Yoga offers much more than just a way to exercise the body: Yoga helps us cultivate an inner state of body-centered consciousness that allows us to walk calmly amongst the chaos. Yoga teaches us both to let go and to have exquisite awareness in every moment. Even if yoga only enhanced our physical fitness, the time spent in practice would be fully justified and a great start towards a lifestyle of vitality.

Obesity could be handled better if people understood how toxic and fattening common foods like white bread, white sugar, white pasta, processed foods and and junk sodas can be. The FDA does not do it’s job in protecting us from ingredients that cause cancer, heart disease and other health impediments. We need to monitor our own food consumption and lobby for an objective government agency that can produce unbiased independent food research. If you don’t understand what an ingredient is in a food, then it’s probably not nourishing for you. If you don’t know what disodium inosinate is, then it’s best to limit or avoid consumption.

Eating foods with unprocessed and wholesome ingredients is a smart start. Yoga helps us become aware of how we react and process stimuli in our environment. After you eat something, do you feel full of vitality or do you feel sluggish and edgy? One you start to notice the effects food has, you have begun traveling on the path to making more nourishing food choices. Try eating only cookies and soda for two days straight and you will realize how devitilizing these foods are.

Yoga has been demonstrated to be an effective practice for children of all ages. An active yoga practice helps children calm the mind, improve focus, increase balance and attentiveness, gain a heightened level of responsibility, while learning more effectively. Additionally, it promotes self-discipline and self-control. It rewards children for being more empathetic and caring, more connected to their community and understand earth-consciousness. It helps them learn to deal with fear and anxiety objectively and they also learn to respect themselves and others more easily. It can aid in the functioning of all bodily systems, such as their immune, nervous, circulatory, skeletal, lymphatic and respiratory systems.

Yoga is a powerful strength-building exercise for every part of the body, including the muscles of your core, back, legs, chest, and arms. This can reduce problems such as back pain and arthritis. As you strengthen your body, you also gain discipline, self-confidence, and build your inner fortitude to deal with life’s challenges.

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Throughout her 15 year yoga practice and teachings, Jasmine Kaloudis has experienced how yoga is a tool which allows us to experience our selves more fully and more richly.

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