How yoga can help improve your flexibility in Jersey City

by ggargiulo, September 19, 2017

Take a long stroll around your city, and there’s a strong chance you’ll come across a yoga mat or two tucked under someone’s arm or strapped over their back. In a way, yoga mats have become an accessory of sorts, and the frequency of their appearances is a testament to the growing popularity of a practice that can be found almost everywhere in the country these days. But yoga is far more than a passing trend, and for those that commit themselves to the discipline, it can mean a host of benefits such as better flexibility in Jersey City.

Yoga developed in Northern India at least 5,000 years ago, but it didn’t make its way to the Western World until the first American yoga studio was opened in Hollywood in 1947. Afterwards, yoga experienced a continual-but-slow growth until about the past decade, when its popularity began swelling rapidly. Today, approximately 37 million Americans (about 15% of the population) practice yoga to some extent, which is up from just over 20 million in 2012.

More than just a workout, yoga encourages a healthy overall lifestyle and focuses on the integration of mind, body and soul. It provides both instant gratification and lasting changes, which is what leads many who practice it to continue doing so in the long term. Research has also shown that yoga can lead to a wide range of health-related benefits, such as reducing chronic (long-term) pain, alleviating stress and anxiety, improving sleep patterns, reducing blood pressure, and improving heart rate, metabolism and respiration.

At its core, though, the gentle postures (asanas) of yoga are designed to improve flexibility and the movement of joints, and this is one of the main reasons we recommend it to patients who have tightness. While yoga is not appropriate for all of our patients, we believe it can help in certain situations either during treatment or after discharge.

Many of the patients we see have limited flexibility and joint movement due to their injury or condition. When it comes to treatment, we focus heavily on specific stretching of the limited muscles and joints, manually releasing them with soft-tissue and joint mobilization techniques and by strengthening other muscles. But for patients looking to improve their flexibility in Jersey City even more, yoga can serve as an adjunct to physical therapy that lead to even greater improvements. Some studies point to specific benefits for conditions such as low back pain and arthritis when used in conjunction with traditional physical therapy.

There are more than 100 different types—or schools—of yoga, but most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation and asanas, which stretch and flex various muscle groups. Due to the wide range of different schools, it’s possible for anyone to practice yoga regardless or their age or activity level, but Hatha yoga is generally considered best for beginners.

Yoga may help bring you better flexibility in Jersey City

So if you’re interested in taking up yoga to improve your flexibility in Jersey City and experience a host of other benefits, click here for a select list of yoga centers in the area. (You can also conduct a Yelp or Google search for additional options). If you’re starting yoga for the first time, be sure to take it slow and not push yourself too hard, which can result in an injury. For any yoga-related pain or any other injuries you may be dealing with, Strulowitz & Gargiulo Physical Therapy can help. Contact us today at 201-792-3840 to schedule an appointment at our flagship Jersey City clinic, the Jersey City Medical Center Outpatient Therapy Department, our Bayonne location, or at Clara Maas Medical Center in Belleville, NJ.