Why practice Yoga?
Yoga is an amazing holistic practice that can help us to lead healthier and happier lives amidst the busyness and often, sedentary nature of everyday living.
Our bodies were not designed to spend hours at a time hunched over computers. They need to be stretched and moved. The mindful awareness and meditative aspects of yoga provide us with the opportunity to quieten and calm a busy mind. We rediscover a greater sense of peace within ourselves, which is essential for mental wellbeing, but challenging to find with our frantically paced lifestyles in an increasingly digital era.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has many and far reaching benefits including:
- Relieves stress and strain;
- Increases strength and flexibility;
- Enhances spinal health and improves posture;
- Lubricates joints keeping them healthy and increasing range of movement;
- Encourages breath awareness and deeper respiratory patterns;
- Reduces blood pressure;
- Calms and quietens the busyness of the mind;
- Increases focus, resilience and confidence;
- Lifts the spirit and encourages a more positive outlook;
- Deeply relaxes;
- Improves balance;
- Injury prevention.
Mindful awareness and its benefits
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present moment. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience and to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.
This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns.
Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply 'mental events' that do not have to control us. Practicing mindfulness is recognised within the NHS as a particularly effective tool to help manage stress, anxiety and depression.
As your practice develops the benefits deepen and increase
When you first begin practicing yoga, you'll probably be most aware of feeling calmer, more relaxed, looser, perhaps sleep better or just feel more at ease within yourself- who wouldn't welcome that!
However, as time goes on and your practice deepens you may begin to become aware of increased and subtler benefits that enhance your health, help heal aches and pains and bolster your immunity so that illness is kept more at bay. There really are a multitude of ways that yoga helps our health, vitality and overall wellness!
It's sometimes said about yoga that the beauty is that people often come to classes for the joy of the stretch and leave with a whole lot more. Whatever your reasons for practicing, you are sure to gain a whole lot more from yoga than you originally may have even considered.....
Read more about the 38 Ways Yoga Improves Health here.
Why else should you roll out a yoga mat?
Well, not to mention yoga is fun!
Join us on the mat to explore and discover the benefits and joys of yoga for yourself !
Be patient with yourself! It takes time but you will soon enjoy feeling more free and moving more easily. Aim to keep a smile on your face, a positive attitude and enjoy the process.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
~The Bhagavad Gita