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Posts Tagged ‘hot yoga benefits’

Surveying the damage

It’s the last day of January, a cause for reflection on my first month of resolutions. 

Here are the reasons I began doing hot yoga, according to my first post on the subject:

  1. Back pain due to degenerative disc in lower back (the pain began 4 years ago during my last pregnancy).
  2. Migraines (sinus/allergy and hormone and barometric pressure-related).
  3. Mood/PMS (I want to stay married).
  4. Insomnia (not so bad now, but can be).
  5. Crohn’s Disease (I’m convinced hot yoga will help.  I have a mild-to-moderate case.  It’s more irritating than painful).
  6. Stress & anxiety (my husband says I “have no Zen”).
  7. Focus (the ADD can be quite frustrating).
  8. Weight loss (really, toning the stomach muscles weakened by years of ice cream indulgence and two C-sections).

So, how’d I do?

  1. Back pain – I definitely can feel a difference.  My back doesn’t spasm as often or for as long.  I don’t get up from the couch clutching my lower back and walking sideways to the kitchen.  I am also able to sleep on my right side occasionally, which I haven’t been able to do for four years.  SUCCESS.
  2. Migraines – No difference so far.  I had a killer migraine last Monday that actually prevented me from attending yoga class.  Had I done yoga the night before, perhaps the migraine could have been prevented.  I will say that even though I still had a migraine and it lasted for two days, it wasn’t as intense as past experiences.  I functioned enough to drive when I needed to pick up the kids at school.  NEED MORE DATA.
  3. Mood/PMS – I am still happily married.  Actually, my husband has noted an improvement in my mood.  Sure, I still get cranky and impatient, but I have been more aware of my moods so I can adjust my reactions to my family pretty quickly.  This is a subtle difference, but the fact that my husband didn’t run screaming out of the house the week before my period is an indication of improvement.  SUCCESS.
  4. Insomnia – I just had a bout the other night, but this has become rare.  My sleep pattern had been disrupted, so I went to bed at 10:00 (early for me) and woke up at 4:00 (early for anyone).  Until my son is sleeping through the night in his own bed, I’m not sure yoga or Ambien will make a huge difference in this arena.  Still, I do feel more rested in the morning so I’m going to say . . . SUCCESS.
  5. Crohn’s Disease – Can you believe I’m less flared than usual?  A normal day includes discomfort and many trips to the bathroom and just an overall feeling of blech.  I haven’t had too many of these days this month.  One other reason for this is Stonyfield Organic Chocolate Underground yogurt.  I heart it.  SUCCESS, I think.  I see my gut doctor next week and I’ll get his opinion.
  6. Stress/anxiety/no Zen – I’m remembering to breathe.  Sound corny?  It’s true.  When I start feeling stressed I have noticed that my breathing becomes shallow and fast, so I take a few seconds and focus on lengthening my breath – in for 6 counts, out for 6 counts.  Try it.  It does help.  Overall, my stress triggers are still there, but I’m reacting to them more positively.  SUCCESS.
  7. Focus – Well, I can’t be sure if the yoga is helping when I’m incorporating many coping mechanisms into my routine.  The brain chatter has definitely lessened, so let’s call this a SUCCESS.
  8. Weight loss/toning – I haven’t weighed myself, but have a check up with my doc on Thursday.  I don’t expect a huge difference, BUT because my posture is improving — I’m sitting with my discs stacked on top of one another rather than like a slob slouched over my dinner plate, some of the unflattering tummy bulge is gone.  My jeans are a bit roomier, but nothing drastic.  I also don’t notice any difference in muscle tone, but it has only been a month.  I will say that I can hold standing poses longer, which means my balance and strength have improved.  I’ll leave this with, MODERATE SUCCESS THUS FAR.

There are so many benefits to doing yoga of any kind, that I can’t say enough good things about incorporating a regular yoga routine into your schedule.  If you don’t believe me, go to WebMD and see how it improves your joints, muscles, heart, lungs, aging, chronic conditions, focus, posture, and more.

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