The Benefits of Yoga

yoga class in Elizabethton

Pictured here are some of the local Elizabethton yoga crew. 

The Benefits of Yoga

by Crystal Gray, CYI, E-RYT200

Have you ever tried to get your husband to attend a yoga class only to hear – I don’t have time for meditation – or I'd rather do a "real workout" - or the classic . . . I don’t have a sleepy mat . . . Those are all myths.


The truth is - the benefits of yoga span far and wide. Here are just a couple more reasons to get started today.


Yoga and Alignment

Yoga can help undo the ills of the day, a.k.a. bad postural habits. You know what those habits are – slumping at the computer, craning the neck to hold the phone, sitting with your legs crossed, etc. Correct your postural ills with yoga poses. Alignment is a key to less pain, optimal blood flow and improved organ function.

“Standing yoga poses are invigorating. They refresh the body and mind by removing tension, aches, and pains, They stimulate digestion, regulate the kidneys, and relieve constipation. They improve circulation and breathing. The back, hips, knees, neck and shoulders all gain strength and mobility through practice. 


Yoga for Joint Care

As we age, our joints wear down. Especially with the same day-in, day-out movements wearing the joints down in the same places. Different movements facilitated by yoga poses will bring nutrients to the parts of the joints not normally nourished. Currently I currently have 8 yoga topics in rotation for my classes. This helps ensure all areas of the body are being worked equally. You will not be bored as you start improving on your strength and flexibility.

“Twists are very effective in relieving backaches, headaches and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. As the trunk turns, the kidneys and abdominal organs are activated and exercised. This improves digestion and removes sluggishness. The spine becomes flexible and the hips move more easily.” 


Yoga to improve Blood Pressure

As many know, blood pressure has been known to drop with relaxation. If you have high blood pressure your doctor may have already recommend. Savasana, guided imagery and controlled breathing have all been cited to reduce blood pressure. This does not mean yoga is sleepy time – not at all. With proper breathing you will help reduce stress and lighten your shoulders.

As Nirmala Heriza says in her “Dr. Yoga” book, sun salutes stretch the entire body, increasing circulation into the heart, lungs and all of the major organs, muscles and joints. It tones all of the major muscle groups and promotes spinal flexibility, rejuvenating the nervous system. It is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of arthritis by promoting the secretion of synovial fluid in the joints. 


I hope this helps entice you to attend a yoga class in the future. ~ Namaste


Crystal Gray has been teaching yoga for 10 years and has been an active “yogini”, a female who practices yoga, for over 15 years. Crystal has two yoga teaching certifications; a 230-hour teaching certificate from Johnson City, TN based Kudzu Yoga; and a 500-hour teaching certificate from LightenUp Yoga in Asheville, NC. She has taught 1700+ hours over her 10 years as an instructor.

To attend one of Crystals local yoga classes in Johnson City, Elizabethon or Erwin visit her website for full details.

References: Timothy McCall, M.D., Yoga As Medicine, 2007, Yoga Journal Contributor


Elizabethton Recreation Center
300 W. Mill Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643
Tel. 423-547-6441

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