Despite negative stigma, Yoga stretches oneself

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Child’s pose, Warrior One, Triangle Pose and Downward Dog. One may experience these positions while going through the motions in a yoga session.

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise, originating in ancient India. Although there tends to be a negative stigma that follows yoga and its Hindu roots, it can be redirected in the best ways to stretch and de-stress your body.

Yoga instructor Naomi Kingery has been a certified teacher of yoga since the age of 13.

“At the age of 12 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that ultimately changed everything about my life,” Kingery said.

Kingery and her family were living as missionaries in India when her Type 1 diabetes was discovered.

Photo by Katrina Samuelson "Taylor Morris, sophmore English major, strikes her “warrior one” pose while practicing yoga in her apartment. “Warrior one” is one of many standing poses one can use while exercising with yoga."
Photo by Katrina Samuelson “Taylor Morris, sophmore English major, strikes her “warrior one” pose while practicing yoga in her apartment. “Warrior one” is one of many standing poses one can use while exercising with yoga.”

“Exercise is a key component to successful diabetes management, and while in India at the time I heard wonderful things about the physical aspects of yoga,” Kingery said.

While continuing her practice of yoga, Kingery found the benefits of the exercise to be a key factor in the controlling of her illness.

“In my case, I saw that it not only lowered my blood sugar but it kept it stabilized which is a goal for anyone with diabetes. Yoga gives you a full body work out and mixes cardiovascular exercise and stretching. It is beneficial for a variety of illnesses: hypertension to autism to fibromyalgia,” Kingery said.

Lindsay K. Dolan, sophomore behavioral science major, began practicing yoga during the summer of 2012 and has continued using the exercise since.

“I really like how it’s not a strenuous form of exercise but it just relaxes you. It’s just really good stretching and it relaxes your mind and helps with your balance too,” Dolan said.

Likewise, Kingery appreciates yoga for the stress-relieving aspects is possesses.

“(Yoga) is good for clearing your mind as it can be done at a steady pace that helps you to remain focused on what you are doing … when you are doing a balancing pose, it’s not common that you are thinking of work-stress, you’re just focused on balancing. And that’s a good thing,” Kingery said.

According to Kingery, as for the religious aspect of yoga, she uses different methods of meditating that focus on scripture and prayer. There are no other elements of spiritual meditation when she practices.

“I would say that it is important to be aware, and to initially put your guard up when you are looking for yoga to do, but know that there are ways that you can do this exercise in a safe and God-pleasing way,” Kingery said.

Dolan added: “I like the way it stretches your body … you feel sore all over, because you’ve stretched just about every part of your body. It’s just like any other sport or exercise, you don’t have to be a pro.”

So whether you’re looking for the health benefits Kingery found years ago, or just the stress-relief yoga brings, this exercise can be used for whichever your body needs.

About Renee Flannery

Staff Writer

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