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Taking Yoga to Heart

Taking Yoga to Heart

Although rescue dogs were first trained as paratroopers in 1944, the first military dog to skydive from an altitude of 12,500 feet was Sgt. Maj. Fosco in 2009. He jumped in tandem with U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Chris Lalonde. Clearly, that’s an extreme case of downward-facing dog.

For a less daredevil rendition, we suggest you try the yoga pose instead. Downward facing dog is one of the first postures you’ll learn. And the pose morphs easily into upward facing dog. It’s as uplifting as this ancient practice is for sagging muscles and tired spirits. In fact, a Swedish study found doing yoga once a week for an hour once can be a life-changing, health-boosting experience, especially for people with high anxiety.

The researchers looked at a group of people diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (a type of a-fib that starts and suddenly stops—there’s some high anxiety!) to see how yoga might improve their health. Half of the folks in the study received standard treatment and half received standard treatment, plus yoga. After three months the researchers say the yoga group saw a drop in blood pressure, a slowing of heart rates and overall better mental health.

Just think what a little weekly yoga could do for you! So go to clevelandclinic.org and see the gentle style of yoga Dr. Mike’s team has developed. Do the Yoga Starter with Joel Harper or do a Sun Salutation with Dr. Oz. Just minutes a day can bring you calmness and more energy.

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