Shelly White knows yoga may not be a familiar phrase around these parts, but the important thing is people keep coming to her class.

“A lot of people will come in new and have never even heard of yoga,” White said. “What’s yoga? They’ll actually call it yoger. But yoga is an all-encompassing workout so I get a variety of people.”

White has served as the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation yoga instructor since the program began in 2009.

She has seen not only a growth in the program, but students have become more knowledgeable about the technique, poses and practice in general.

She first discovered yoga because she wanted help with lingering injuries from her days as a martial artist and BMX bike riding.

“I decided to do something physical, yet not an impact workout,” White said.

Yoga combines the structures of exercise, breathing and meditation.

Yoga puts pressure on the glandular system to increase total health. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and improves heart function.

Talisa Porch was in the Army for 21 years before retiring as a first sergeant. For her, the class does more than just stretch the muscles and work the body’s core.

“This class has really helped me spiritually connect with who I am versus not knowing who I am,” Porch said. “This is a very good class for those who are in the military and those who have also retired from the military.”

Fort Hood civilian employee Jolamta Miller likes making it to the Applied Functional Fitness Center, where yoga is held, during her workday. The class offers her a chance to recharge.

“We come to get away from our desks and have more energy for the rest of the day,” Miller said. “I feel great; I’m ready to go back.”

Edward Winder was in the Army for more than two decades. His wife discovered the benefits of yoga when she researched ways to help with hip and other injuries he sustained.

“After 22 years in the Army, things don’t move quite like they used to,” Winder said. “I knew that if I did it, it would actually help out.”

Linda Wright retired from the military after 26 years in the Army and attends White’s classes. She said she wished there was a program like that when she was enlisted. Besides all the benefits, White makes yoga fun, Wright said.

“I don’t feel like I have to compete with anybody, and I have an instructor who cares about what she does,” she said. “She really loves what she does and we really appreciate that.”

There is hardly one benefit of yoga.

Rather, the benefits of yoga are almost too numerous to speak of.

For simplicity, we have listed, the top 10 benefits of yoga:

  1. STRESS Relief – of course, this is what the entire website is all about!
  2. Inner Peace, Calm and Authentic Happiness
  3. Increased Strength, Physical Conditioning and a Beautiful Posture
  4. Weight Loss and Weight Management
  5. Increased Overall Energy
  6. Improved Sleep
  7. Heightened Mental and Intuitive Awareness
  8. Improved Hormonal Balance (especially important in cases of breast cancer, infertility and prenatal conditioning)
  9. Brain Synchronization and Brain Fitness
  10. Whole Body Detoxification

Health Conditions Benefited by Yoga

Many people come to yoga looking for help with a specific condition, like low back pain, headaches, heart disease, menstrual discomfort, cancer, etc.

And in fact, it has long been known that certain exercises and combinations of breath and meditation are very helpful in restoring the body, nervous system and immune system to a state of health and wellness.