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Yoga - The New Fitness

Every five years or so a new fitness craze sweeps through the culture. Television news anchors blather on about the latest, greatest exercise programs. Newspapers and magazines publish features in their Sunday sections, filled with pictures of glistening, glowing, glamorous celebrities hard at work on the new routines.

Back in the mid-1980s, aerobics classes were the leading edge of these fitness booms. Then after people found out the hard way that all that jumping up-and-down caused stress fractures and other injuries, low-impact aerobics was the thing to do. The world of strength training has also seen many fads come and go. Exercising on Nautilus equipment, circuit training, and high-weight/low-rep training have all had their day. The most recent strength training fad involves using "kettlebells" rather than traditional dumbbells and barbells to move weight around.

Many people who try out brand-new workout styles eventually find that the things they learned long ago are actually the methods that work best. In terms of overall strength and fitness, the push-ups, pull-ups, squat-thrusts, jumping jacks, and standing long jumps that high school gym teachers used to make us do were actually very good for us and still are very good.

Most of those compound exercises we'd grudgingly do as teenagers, complaining and groaning all the while, were great for building core strength. In those days, though, no one was talking about core strength - the overall concept wasn't clearly defined as such. But the results of the workouts were plain for all to see. Core strength is now an important focus of overall fitness. Pilates classes - based on fundamental principles of core fitness - started to dominate the health-and-fitness media in the 1990s.

The rise of yoga classes as a fitness phenomenon has roughly paralleled the popularity of Pilates classes. Joseph Pilates developed his training methods in the 1930s and his programs have become widely known within the last 20 years. Yoga, of course, is an interrelated set of branches, styles, and disciplines, many of which are centuries old. Hatha yoga, a well-known method, was initially described in the 15th century by Yogi Swatmarama. Yoga has become a popular exercise program for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Participants in a typical yoga class include middle schoolers, teenagers, college students, and adults of all ages, including older adults in their 70s and 80s.

As a fitness method, yoga offers a complete range of activities in one hour-long class. A yoga workout includes strength-building exercises, rapid series of movements that are intensely aerobic, and flexibility routines.1,2,3 Participants learn how to focus and concentrate. Yoga students learn how to calm their mind. Participants learn how to breathe so that energy is available for the hard work of the class. Importantly, beginners can work at their own pace and are able to derive as much benefit as the most experienced students in the class.

Yoga classes provide life-affirming benefits that last all day long. Additionally the endorphin response is profound, enhancing well-being while simultaneously strengthening the immune system. Yoga is a total-body training system that literally involves the body, mind, and spirit.

1Williams K, et al: Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine 34(19):2066-2076, 2009

2Tekur P, et al: Effect of short-term intensive yoga program on pain, functional disability and spinal flexibility in chronic low back pain: a randomized control study. J Altern Complement Med 14(6):637-644, 2008

3Chandwani KD, et al: Yoga improves quality of life and benefit finding in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. J Soc Integr Oncol 8(2):43-55, 2010

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "In 2006, I was scheduled by a Cardiologist to have a Heart Catheterization. I had been having constriction and tightness in my chest, so I sought the opinion of Dr. Hicks. He showed me where my neck was subluxated and told me he was sure an adjustment would remedy my situation. He was right! I felt immediate relief and my symptoms have never returned."
    -Jeannine K.
  • "In May 2010 I had been hit in the head with a softball and had a concussion. Soon after I began having severe migranes and headaches. After two MRI studies, the medical doctor prescribed me Sumatriptan which is a painkiller. I suffered from the migranes for 14 months until I met Dr. Hicks. He gave me my first adjustment and my mom and Dr. Hicks noticed that the color in my face went from pale to pink immediately! My migranes have disappeared and I rarely even get a headache. Thank you Dr. Hicks!"
    -Brenna B. age 17, South Lyon
  • "My husband and I were apprehensive about seeing a Chiropractor but Dr. Hicks put us both at ease. The treatments we have received have helped both of us far beyond our expectations. Not only have the adjustments been beneficial but our eating habits and sleep patterns have greatly improved. Dr. Hicks listens to our concerns and keeps finding ways to improve our well being. Both Joanne and Dr. Hicks have made us feel a part of their family."
    -Elizabeth & A.J.
  • "I have had sinus problems for 25 years. It caused me to lose my voice every year and I love to sing at my church. I was also unable to smell or taste food for years. Now, with regular chiropractic care along with nutritional supplements, I have regained my sense of smell and taste. Also, I have not had to miss singing for my church on Sunday mornings thanks to Dr. Hicks!"
    -Barbra R.