2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Yoga: Getting Started

Posted 04/21/2009

Clinical studies from around the world have shown that students of yoga are healthier than the rest of the population. They have more energy, better strength and joint flexibility, are more relaxed, have lower blood pressures, slower pulses, stronger hearts, better sleep, improved digestion, and more positive outlooks on life. Emotionally, yoga students have increased self-awareness, better coping skills, and a more relaxed approach to any stress, whether on-the-job or in a family crisis. This may be partially due to the slew of feel-good endorphins, including serotonin, released during yoga postures.

Doctors like me who practice integrative medicine regularly recommend yoga classes as complementary therapy for such conditions as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, panic and anxiety disorders, arthritis, and even cancer. It’s just fine during pregnancy, too, and many hospitals now offer prenatal yoga classes.

Without a doubt, in-person yoga classes are far superior to videotape instruction. You need some guidance as you learn the postures when you start, and then you’ll be able to move along at your own pace. Remember that yoga instructors are not health care professionals and as such no formal licensing is required. It’s probably a good idea to ask about an instructor’s training, certification, and the number of years she’s been teaching. Also let your instructor know of any health issues that might require some adjustment to your individual routine.

Some people like a morning session to energize them throughout the day. Others prefer an evening session for improved sleep. Whatever time you select, arrive with an empty stomach and don’t plan to eat for a couple hours afterward. All classes end with a few minutes of deep relaxation, a roomful of students sprawled comfortably and blissfully across the floor.

Plan on two or three sessions a week and you’ll learn some techniques for daily practice. Yoga classes are usually about an hour long, and your daily at-home practice can be 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re uncertain which form of yoga is right for you, try a few and see which is most appealing. Bear in mind that you’ll be more inclined to stick with a class that’s geographically convenient and fits into your schedule.

And like everything else in life, attending class regularly for about three weeks makes it a habit, and a good one at that. The integration of mind and body will allow you to feel a real sense of calm and peacefulness. Stress will melt away and you feel yourself becoming centered. Muscle tension disappears and every joint feels more limber and flexible.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops


**Winter Solstice Celebration: An evening of Acupuncture and Shamanic Healing
Tuesday, December 17, 5:45–7:30pm
Hosted by Katie Oberlin, HTCP and Mari Stecker, LAc

Course Fee: $75.00

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to enter the stillpoint of the Winter Solstice, reflect on the lessons of 2019, and set intentions for the new year. This will be an evening of individual and group healing, ceremony, and celebration. More →

Recent Health Tips

  • Issues with Endocrinologists: Thyroid Approaches and Big Pharma

    My beefs with endocrinologists pretty much center on how they manage thyroid gland concerns, though they rarely win prizes for managing adrenal issues either. I don’t know any endocrinologists personally and rarely refer my patients to them. Occasionally, a patient with newly diagnosed hypothyroidism (low thyroid) will want to confirm the diagnosis with an endocrinologist. I suggest she prepare for a scolding if she’s taking Read More

  • Six Beefs With Rheumatologists

    If you find yourself in the waiting room of a rheumatologist, you’re likely there because your joints hurt and have been hurting, often for years. You’ve been getting by on aspirin or Advil for the pain, but with things worsening your primary care doctor suggests you should see a joint specialist, a rheumatologist. And because there’s a shortage of physicians in this specialty, your appointment Read More

  • The Flu: How To Recognize It and What to Do

    It’s here, folks, and this year could be a doozy. How do we know? We keep a watchful eye on Australia, whose winter and flu season occur six months before our own. The New York Times reported that “In 2017, a terrible flu season in Australia presaged an American outbreak in which 79,000 died. Experts advise getting the shot soon.” More here. You may have Read More

Join our Discount Program!

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION