Yoga is considered a meditative movement practice, often used for health benefits like stress relief and greater flexibility. There are many different styles of yoga, but all the various styles typically combine physical postures or asana, proper breathing techniques, along with meditation or relaxation. Hatha yoga, commonly practiced in the United States, includes the styles of Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kundalini, among others.
One NCCAM-funded study of people with chronic low-back pain found that those who practiced Iyengar yoga had significantly less disability, pain, and depression after 6 months. Another study conducted in 2011, also funded by NCCAM, compared yoga with conventional stretching exercises or a self-care book in adults with chronic low-back pain. Findings showed that both yoga and stretching were more effective than a self-care book in reducing the symptoms from chronic low-back pain.
For those that are just beginning in their yoga practice, try this great kit for a holiday gift. The kit includes two full-length yoga workouts, a yoga brick to aide in proper positioning, a yoga mat and strap, and a bonus meditation practice guide. The yoga beginner’s kit (Item# 05-60556) normally retails for $29.98, is available now through GAIAM for $23.98.
For those looking to incorporate a meditation practice into daily life, the Meditation for Beginners Video (Item# 05-59243) is a great place to start. Regularly $14.98, is available for a limited time for $11.98.
All yogis & yoginis
A great gift for those who want extra traction while practicing yoga or Pilates is the No Slip Yoga Socks (Item# 05-52204_2). The socks are toeless so that the toes remain unencumbered while still providing the wearer “slip-free security”, $9.98 regularly, are now available for $7.98.
Everyone needs to clean their yoga mat eventually, but who wants to use harsh chemicals that could damage it? Instead try this gentle Super Yoga Mat Wash - Mat Cleaner (Item# 95-1390) available for a limited time for $7.98.
GAIAM is also offering free shipping over $75 (Restrictions apply).