Exercise Mind and Body with Yoga and Mindful Movement

mother daughter do yoga at home

Could yoga be the missing piece to your whole body health puzzle? Many people experience increased energy and lower stress when practicing yoga regularly.

Most people experience increased energy and an improvement in overall well-being as physical activity becomes routine. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help relieve depression and may even lower your risk of developing it.

But what if you’re not the active type, are older or have physical limitations? You can still add healthy movement to your life.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) describes yoga, tai chi and qi gong as centuries-old, mind-body practices. They involve specific postures and movements combined with mental focus, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Almost any form of exercise, like walking, running, or dancing can be done mindfully as a form of meditation.

The OM factor

What’s in it for you? Some research studies have suggested that practicing mindful movement activities like yoga may help:
  • manage stress, depression and insomnia
  • improve heart health including body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate
  • improve balance and stability
  • relieve chronic pain
  • improve quality of life and mood in people with heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses
  • motivate you to exercise more and eat healthier

More research is needed on the health benefits, but it’s clear that yoga is becoming more popular. In the last 10 years, the number of Americans practicing yoga has grown by over 60%. It’s now practiced by more than 34 million people in America.

Yoga and other mindful practices can be gentle and may be done by just about anyone, anywhere, with no special equipment needed.* Look for instructional videos, books and websites.

Whatever way you choose to get active, you’ll be taking a step toward being your best you. And you may find yourself feeling happier and more relaxed, too.

*There is a wide variety of yoga styles; not all are gentle. The NIH recommends that people with high blood pressure and women who are pregnant should modify or avoid some yoga poses. Talk with your healthcare provider and a qualified instructor if you have concerns.

Mindfulness Tip from a Heart Attack Survivor

Dina Pinelli - Heart Attack Survivor and member of the 2023 Go Red for Women Real Women Class of Survivors

“Practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga help to steady my mind and allow me to attune to the sensation in my body keeping me focused on just this breath, just this moment. When the world around me is swirling and things feel out of control, I’m reminded to pause, connect to my heart and allow my breath to flow gently, releasing anxiety and worry and calling in strength and peace.”

Real Women Class 2023 Dina Pinelli doing yoga outside