Harlem Yoga

| December 11, 2008 | 4 Comments

You’ve probably heard that yoga is good for you. Maybe you have even tried yoga and discovered that it makes you feel better. But what are the specific health benefits can you expect to enjoy from doing yoga regularly?

Physical Benefits

Flexibility: Stretching your tight body in new ways will help it to become more flexible, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints. Over time, you can expect to gain flexibility in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips.

Strength: Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg (such as in Tree Pose) or supporting yourself with your arms (such as in Downward Facing Dog). Some exercises require you to move slowly in and out of poses, which also increases strength.

Muscle tone: As a by-product of getting stronger, you can expect to see increased muscle tone. Yoga helps shape long, lean muscles.

Pain Prevention: Increased flexibility and strength can help prevent the causes of some types of back pain. Many people who suffer from back pain spend a lot of time sitting at a computer or driving a car. That can cause tightness and spinal compression, which you can begin to address with yoga. Yoga also improves your alignment, both in and out of class, which helps prevent many other types of pain.

Better Breathing: Most of us breathe very shallowly into the lungs and don’t give much thought to how we breathe. Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, focus the attention on the breath and teach us how to better use our lungs, which benefits the entire body. Certain types of breath can also help clear the nasal passages and even calm the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.

Mental Benefits

Mental Calmness: Yoga asana practice is intensely physical. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing a calmness to the mind. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.

Stress Reduction: Physical activity is good for relieving stress, and this is particularly true of yoga. Because of the concentration required, your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. This provides a much-needed break from your stressors, as well as helping put things into perspective. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress, as you learn not to dwell on past events or anticipate the future. You will leave a yoga class feeling less stressed than when you started. Read more about yoga for stress management here.

Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.  Source

Yoga Studios in Harlem

Bikram Yoga – East Harlem
4 East 116th Street, 2nd Floor,
Phone: (212) 369-1830

Yoga Bliss at Harlem Healing Arts
18 East 116 St.
(Btwn. 5th and Madison Aves.)
Phone: (212) 712-8715

Bikram Yoga Harlem
518 West 145th Street
(Btwn. Amsterdam and Broadway)
(212) 926-0753

The Ta Yoga House
71 West 128th Street, Suite 3B
(Btwn. Lenox & 5th)
Phone: (212) 289-6363

Neighborhood Holistic – Harlem
115 West 128th Street
Phone (212) 678-8749

Your Rebirth
70 West 125st, 3rd Floor
(Btwn. Lenox & 5th Ave
Phone:(718) 213-3316

Not in Harlem or want to practice Yoga privately at home, check out YogaToday.com and MyYogaOnline.com for online videos of beginner to advanced yoga.

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Category: Harlem News, HEALTH / WELLNESS

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Comments (4)

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  1. Hmmm good read! I think I will try this…

  2. It’s great to know there are so many studios here in Harlem!

  3. CecileNo Gravatar says:

    I called Eclectic Yoga today and a recording said the phone number was out of service. On other websites I checked out, the most recent reviews were from 2005. Does this studio still exist?

  4. Hi Cecile,

    Thanks for the update. I’ll remove them from the list.

    April

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