Yoga – Improving Physical and Mental Health

A Nebraska native, Scott Brittenham cofounded Clean Energy Capital, LLC, in 2004 and currently leads as president and chief executive officer. Spending his days managing the firm’s investments in ethanol refineries, Scott Brittenham makes time away from work to cycle and practice yoga.

A harmony between the body and mind, yoga consists of breathing, posture, and meditation exercises. Regular practice is known to reduce chronic pain related to conditions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Likewise, yoga practitioners can see improvement in insomnia and blood pressure, according to an interview with a board-certified osteopathic family physician by the American Osteopathic Association. Other health benefits of yoga include weight reduction, enhanced cardiovascular and circulatory health, and increased stress management skills.

The latter, if not cared for appropriately, can induce physical complications, ranging from headaches to concentration difficulties. Yoga teaches anxiety coping methods that create mental clarity and relax the mind. Encouraging mental well-being, yoga also relieves chronic stress patterns that often result in physical ailments.


About Ashtanga Yoga

A clean energy investment executive by profession, Scott Brittenham enjoys practicing yoga in his free time. Scott Brittenham names ashtanga yoga as his favorite form.

Introduced to the contemporary world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, ashtanga yoga comes originally from the writings of sage Vama Rishi in the ancient manuscript Yoga Korunta. Literally translated as “eight-limbed yoga,” it involves the control of the body and mind in eight distinct practices. The first four prompt external cleansing in the form of breath control, posture, self-knowledge, and moral code development.

Two of these four practices, yama (moral codes) and niyama (self-study and purification) define the practice of ashtanga yoga, yet they require strength of the body as developed by asana (posture) work. The internal cleansing practices, known as vinyasa, also play an essential role in the correct practice of ashtanga yoga. Breath and movement coordinate in very specific synchronization; each movement involves one breath. This connection warms the blood and allows for better circulation, which in turn purifies the blood, while also prompting a sweat that cleanses the body as a whole.