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Yoga for Mood, Ouchies, and for Free
by Diane Cesa


Editor's Note:  This article gives some easy-to-understand benefits of yoga for mental and physical health, with an emphasis on accessibility through free yoga alternatives. ~Nicole

One of the reasons I cringe when people put yoga into the exercise category is because I feel doing so fails to recognize yoga for the positive effects it has on the mind, body, and emotions. Some people's medicine chests are filled with pain relievers, sleep aids, anti-depressants, and so on. Mine is filled with yoga, pranayama, and meditation. Yoga may not cure all that ails me, but it sure does come close.

The Yoga-Mood Connection

If you suffer from mood swings and/or anxiety, you might want to consider yoga over exercise. Recent studies suggest that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety. Click here to read more about this study and the findings.

Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain -- Interview with Carol Krucoff

Just last month, I reviewed the book, Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain. Author Carol Krucoff talks more about this topic in her interview on the Healthy You Radio Network. If you're suffering from neck and shoulder pain and/or stiffness, either listen to the interview or buy the book.

My Yoga Therapy Hero -- Gary Kraftsow

One of my first experiences of yoga therapy was with Gary Kraftsow. I can still remember thinking "THIS isn't yoga," in the middle of a 25-minute practice only to finish thinking "Ah, THIS is yoga." Yep, there's no doubt about it -- once you get a taste of the breadth and depth of yoga, there's no going back. If you'd like to sample therapeutic yoga, I highly recommend Gary's DVDs: Viniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck, and Shoulders and Viniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum, and Hips. Gary was also interviewed on Healthy You Radio Network, and you can listen to the archive here.

Simple Yoga for Lower Back Pain

If you've overdone it in the garden this summer or you're feeling stiff upon getting out of bed, try these simple yoga postures for lower back pain from Maya Fiennes:



A Cautionary Tale

As with all good things -- too much can harm rather than help. The same is true for yoga. If you have chronic pain and you're hoping that yoga will help, it's important to listen to your body and proceed with caution. This article offers some helpful tips for making sure that your yoga practice doesn't aggravate your pain.

Free Yoga from Eoin Finn

If you'd like to download two free yoga practices from Blissologist and Yogi Eoin Finn -- one 20 minute and one 40 minute practice -- click here. Both practices offer a nice, well-rounded flow that will loosen you up and get your blood and energy flowing.

Free Yoga from MyYogaOnline.com

Just in case you missed it in my last post, the folks over at MyYogaOnline.com are offering free yoga in honor of Yoga Month. The classes are available through the month of September. Click here to access them.

While I don't suggest that yoga replace traditional therapies, I sure do think that it's a perfect compliment.



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About the Author

Diane Cesa is a yoga practitioner and teacher, lover of life, tea drinker, adventurer, eternal optimist, nature fan, and blogger.  She loves to move every day, breathe deep, laugh,and live in the moment. Her philosophy is “there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all yoga” and feels her greatest talent is knowing how to live a good life and uses both as the foundation for her work with private clients.




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