Yoga and Meditation

Amarillo College Continuing Education Division will launch a Yoga and Meditation Program for all ages starting Spring 2020.

yoga sitting mudra“Yoga” has become a general term for the physical practice of stretching, strengthening, and balance work, done on a mat. Yoga is a type of exercise in which one moves the body into various positions in order to become more fit or flexible, to improve your breathing, and to relax your mind. Yoga helps with flexibility, endurance, and self-confidence, along with many other health benefits.

Meditation can be viewed as an antidote to the fight-or-flight response. When one meditates, the breath slows down, heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, stress decreases, digestive function improves and the sense of tension in the body decrease, therefore  lowering anxiety and combatting depression. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. Meditation is being in quiet thought and stillness, which allows the active thinking mind to settle, so one can experience a calm, peaceful level of awareness.

Mindfulness is the ability to notice what’s happening at the current moment, and not get overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It’s about being present now, instead of worrying about yesterday or tomorrow.  Mindfulness helps increase clarity, tolerance, emotional intelligence, and compassion. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can boost immunity, help the healing process, help deal with stress, and teach love and kindness towards oneself and others.



Benefits of Yoga for Adults *

  • Yoga is for everyone
  • You can do yoga anywhere
  • Builds muscle
  • Lots of options
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Improves Balance
  • Easy on the joints
  • Decreases stress
  • Improves eating choices
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Eases breathing
  • Kid Friendly

Benefits of Meditation for Adults**

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Increasing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.  With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Sleep problems
  • Tension headaches

Meditation isn't a replacement for traditional medical treatment. But it may be a useful addition to your other treatment.

Benefits of Yoga for Over 55 ***Senior yoga

  • Memory. "Meditation is associated with enhanced short- and long-term memory," says neuropsychologist Jean Lengenfelder, assistant director of traumatic brain injury research at the Kessler Foundation.
  • Cognitive decline. "Meditation may help preserve cognitive function in folks who are starting to have struggles with memory and cognition. It's associated with maintaining function longer than if you didn't have a meditation practice," Smoski says. A 2014 review of a dozen studies involving older adults, published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, suggested that meditation was linked to positive effects on attention, memory, executive function, processing speed and general cognition.
  • Digestion and circulation. "One study found that people who meditated had improved circulation and oxygen in their blood. For the elderly, that's important because as we age, digestion and circulation problems develop," Lengenfelder says.
  • Stress. "Meditation has been shown to decrease stress and have a calming effect on older adults," Lengenfelder notes. "That can help them organize their thinking and give them a clearer perspective. They have improved focus, and their mind is sharp."
  • Loneliness. A 2012 study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity linked eight weeks of mindfulness meditation with decreased loneliness in older adults.

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