HELENA — When it comes to better sleep and reducing stress, going to the yoga mat can be good choice for better health.
Hannah Nordhagen, owner of The Loft in Helena, offers workout classes both in-person and via zoom. She says that working out has many benefits: “I feel for me, that working out is helpful emotionally, mentality, just as much as it physically,” said Nordhagen.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health research, yoga may:
- Help improve general wellness by relieving stress, supporting good health habits, and improving mental/emotional health, sleep, and balance.
- Relieve low-back pain and neck pain, and possibly pain from tension-type headaches and knee osteoarthritis.
- Help people who are overweight or obese lose weight.
- Help people quit smoking.
- Help people manage anxiety or depressive symptoms associated with difficult life situations.
- Relieve menopause symptoms.
- Help people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Additionally, Nordhagen says yoga helps bring people back to their center: “You're present in what's happening in your body. You're connecting that to what's happening in your mind it gives you a spot to just kinda step away from the craziness the hecticness of your life.”
Other benefits for Norhagen include teaching people to be present in the moment, rather than lost in distractions. “Your body is one place, but your mind is everywhere else. Yoga offers you space, for your body and your mind to be in the same place at the same time. Which I feel is very rare, and I feel that is what mindfulness is,” she said.
Whether it’s yoga, barre, pilates, or hitting the weights, finding the place that best fits your schedule and comfort level is important. That also starts with asking the right questions: “If you have anxiety about going to a club or a gym or to a studio message, call ahead of time, ask every single question, you have to ask,” Nordhagen suggests.