The Times West Virginian

Local News

March 12, 2013

Stress reliever

Yoga helps people cultivate ‘overall better awareness of the body’

MORGANTOWN — Yoga is one exercise that helps eliminate physical and mental stress.

Siegfried Bleher, yoga instructor at Inner Life Yoga Studio in Morgantown, said his students experience the benefits of practicing yoga.

Bleher said it’s possible to physically feel mental stress through tension and tightness.

“If the tightness is significantly long then it becomes pain,” he said.

Bleher said practicing yoga not only stretches muscles but can help make people more aware of their body and when stress arises.

“You’re cultivating overall better awareness of the body,” he said. “There’s more attention to movement.”

When someone gets frustrated by something, whether it be at work or at home, Bleher said if that person is practicing yoga she has a better way of picking up that immediate awareness.

“When that physical and mental stress starts to come up, they can change course,” he said. “They think, ‘How can I change?’ and then make that switch and start to feel release from those symptoms.”

Along with feeling better in a physical and mental way, the body’s organic systems can get some benefits when a person is practicing yoga. Bleher used the example of inverse poses that are used — those poses benefit the brain, heart and endocrine system.

“There’s more blood flow through the thyroid and pituitary glands,” he said. “So you get a better function from those organs.”

Bleher said when the organs are functioning better, people feel better, but to get the full benefits from yoga, a person has to continue to practice yoga.


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