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Yoga Body Bliss

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A new study published by the University of California at Berkeley shows that women who practice yoga have better body images and less disordered eating patterns than women who take part in traditional aerobic exercises. Study participants filled out surveys about the type of exercise they performed, how often, and their feelings about their bodies.

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This particular study didn’t put women into different exercise groups, so researchers can’t be sure whether women who already felt good about their bodies tended to steer towards yoga, or if the yoga itself helped improve body image. However, yoga, a mind-body exercise, allows practitioners to tune into their bodies, emphasizing their strengths and abilities, not their size or appearance.

This focused practice is also a great stress-reliever. Yoga could help many individuals (not exclusively women) focus on the positives of their bodies, thus improving how you feel about your body, while helping improve flexibility, strength, and mental focus in the process.
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Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • PETITAPPETIT
    For those looking for free yoga workouts, start up YouTube and type in "yoga workout". You'll get lots. - 4/27/2014 4:23:00 PM
  • VAINVT
    I've been doing yoga for almost 20 years and love it. It has taught me how to be mindful about moving my body and how to be slow and controlled. I believe it has contributed to my ability to do things like Body Pump because I am more aware of positions and movements. - 2/9/2014 8:21:15 AM
  • I am going to look for some yoga tapes and start to doing yoga. See how I like it. - 9/19/2013 7:48:13 AM
  • I love yoga...I need to do it more often. - 5/7/2013 8:19:10 AM
  • When I started at the Y last month I had yoga classes on my schedule for Tuesday and Thursdays...pilat
    es MON, WED and fri. They took away the yoga and replaced with another pilates so now it's pilates all week. I'm missing the yoga that I was only able to take a few times. The hour went so fast that I didn't even realize that what I was doing was actually suppost to be considered exercise. It was great and I'm looking into taking some later in the day yoga classes that they now have available.
    Oh, and I'm not a small girl and not everyone in the class is perfect looking. We are all there to benefit our mind body and spirit. - 3/5/2012 12:42:55 AM
  • I was wondering if there were any free yoga workouts online? I'm looking for a full 20min or greater workout that is all in one video. Not just links to different poses. Anyone have any sites that they use??
    Thanks - 11/30/2009 1:59:58 PM
  • I got into yoga over the summer and loved it. because of work I was unable to make it, now I really would like to get back into it because I felt so good after class. - 11/29/2009 2:20:36 PM
  • STARDUSTD
    I'd be interested in knowing how big these women that were studied were. I'm quite large (and inflexible), and let me tell you, taking a college Yoga & Pilates class with skinny, bendy girls didn't do a lot for my self-esteem. Not to mention the fact that I irrevocably screwed up my knee from that class and it hasn't worked right for the past 2 years. I'm scared to ever try yoga again! - 11/11/2009 1:22:02 PM
  • I am getting into yoga again - I got away from it and have only been doing it again for 4 days but feel better already. It is great for your spirit and soul (mind will and emotions) - what's not to love about that? It helps with breathing (energy) and focus too. - 3/12/2008 12:04:09 AM
  • SPARKYRUST
    I just started a yoga class. It was wonderful. I haven't felt so relaxed in a long time. It should curb my stress and anxiety, and hopefully my lower back pain. I want to try it all. Stretching has always worked for me, and the added breathing exercises are so important to it all. - 2/10/2008 8:22:32 PM
  • Yoga helps to release the power within the body to naturally heal itself. - 1/19/2008 2:39:31 AM
  • For anyone waffling about whether or not to try yoga I can heartily recommend giving it a try. I have chronic pain and yoga has helped to relieve the symptoms and made me feel better overall. There are some poses I cannot do because of my physical limitations, but it hasn't mattered. I do the poses I can and forget the rest. The breathing, once mastered, helps relax and aid one in the accomplishment of the pracitce. I use a book and a DVD to help me learn and advance - classes, while recommended, are not a necessity. Best wishes on your journey to health - Elle - 1/10/2008 11:58:01 AM

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