- Yoga and health are two words which are closely related and yoga can make you feel really well.
When practised effectively, it is a holistic practice, which integrates the mind, body and spirit. Physical benefits are matched by benefits relating to the mind and emotions.
Classes consist of asana (posture) work, breath awareness/ breathing practices as well as relaxation/ meditation.
In our day to day living we often get into a pattern of posture, movement and thinking which starts to be ingrained and which might undermine how we feel. Our usual way of standing or moving, or our way of coping with stress might be draining our energy levels or causing us unnecessary tension.
Practising yoga in a reflective way can help us learn how to relax and to notice where we hold tension so that we can start to release it and feel better, physically and mentally.
Yoga postures are not just about stretching, but also strength and stability. For people who have tight muscles yoga can develop flexibility slowly and gradually without strain or injury. For people who are very flexible, yoga can develop strength and reduce the risk of overstretching and injury.
Yoga can be useful for people who have lost mobility e.g. through a recent operation, injury or ‘wear and tear’. You can easily bring yoga into your everyday life with an awareness of your posture for example or you can use yoga breathing techniques when you feel anxious.
Ways that Yoga can benefit you:
Yoga can: help you relax, cope with stress and feel calmer and more ‘grounded’
- Increase energy levels
- Strengthen core muscles
- Promote healthy breathing
- Improve balance, helping prevent or reduce falls
- Improve posture so you stand tall
- Increase and maintain flexibility, mobility and muscle strength
- Help you become aware of the body and explore limits safely
- Alleviate conditions like backache, headaches, joint pain, anxiety
- Curb insomnia
- Develop concentration
- Help you age well
“The primary aim of yoga is to restore the mind to simplicity and peace, to free it from confusion and distress.This sense of calm comes from the practice of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing).
Unlike other forms of exercise which strain muscles and bones, yoga gently rejuvenates the body. By restoring the body, yoga frees the mind from the negative feelings caused by the fast pace of modern life.
The practice of yoga fills up the reservoirs of hope and optimism within you.” (B.K.S. Iyengar)