Article text as published in Hiya Bucks (Bourne End, Flackwell Heath, High Wycombe, Marlow and Wooburn) December 2018.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is an immensely rewarding activity to practice regularly. Although it has grown and developed from an ancient and exotic practice, yoga is a perfect remedy to many of the issues caused by our modern lifestyles (e.g. sedentary living, having our minds over-stimulated and distracted by technology, living with constant stress etc.)
I first began serious practice of yoga because I was not feeling strong or flexible. Now, having practiced for five years, it has transformed me!
Yoga is a flexible system (pardon the pun) and therefore I found it the easiest type of physical activity to stick with long-term. Different classes on offer can range from being relaxing through to vigorously challenging and everything in-between. Teachers are also able to incorporate influences from other movement forms into their classes to add variety. As a yoga student it is virtually impossible to get bored!
Having learned postures or sequences in class, these can easily be practiced anywhere as long as you have a yoga mat. This includes at home, on holiday or when stuck in a hotel on a business trip.
Yoga works well to complement other sports, because it can build strength and mobility in key areas. Examples include weight-lifting (helping to strengthen wrists and shoulders), running (easing tight hamstrings and ‘IT bands’), horse riding (building strength and mobility in the hips and lower back), football (strengthening knees and mobilising ankles - the England team did yoga in-between matches at this year’s World Cup) and surfing (the ‘pop up’ manoeuvre is very similar to transitioning from cobra into warrior pose).
Even very strenuous yoga sessions always involve a relaxation element, something which (I believe) is unique to yoga. The sessions I teach begin and end with relaxation phases, forming an important segue between the affairs of your day and the focused yoga practice.
Finally, yoga can also be an important first step in aligning your life in a more positive and productive way. For example, you may well start eating more healthily, quitting smoking or getting better rest so that you can get more out of your yoga practice.
I hope I have piqued your interest about this discipline and art form. If you have any questions please do feel free to get in touch with me!