Yoga and health are two words which are closely related and yoga can make you feel really well.
‘For me yoga creates the safe space where you can connect with your body and mind, stop rushing around, forget about everything else and simply celebrate being part of this world. ‘ (Ekaterina, Tower Hall general class, August 2019)
When practised effectively, yoga is a holistic practice, which integrates mind, body and spirit. Physical benefits are matched by benefits relating to the mind and emotions.
In our daily life we can get into a pattern of posture, movement and thinking which starts to be ingrained and undermine how we feel; drain our energy levels and cause unnecessary tension. Practising yoga can help us learn how to relax and to 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 gradually without strain or injury. Yoga also develops strength so there should be no question of overstretching and injury.
Yoga is useful for people who have lost mobility e.g. through a recent operation, injury or ‘wear and tear’. You can easily bring yoga practices into your everyday life e.g. an awareness of your posture or using yoga breathing techniques when you feel anxious.
Ways that Yoga can benefit you:
- Relax, cope with stress and feel calmer and more ‘grounded’
- Strengthens core muscles
- Promotes healthy breathing
- Improves balance, helping prevent or reduce falls
- Improves posture
- Increases and maintains flexibility, mobility and muscle strength
- Helps you become aware of the body and explore limits safely
- Alleviates conditions such as backache, headaches, IBS, joint pain, anxiety
- Curbs insomnia
- Develops concentration
- Increases energy levels
- Helps 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)