Yoga is for everyone, it doesn’t discriminate. Your age, gender, socio-economic status, your personality, your height, width, sexual orientation etc. won’t affect your ability to do yoga.
There are even yoga classes for wheelchair users or other mobility issues, there are so many forms of yoga practice that you’ll find something to suit you. Yoga is a way of life that can help everyone. From very stretches and poses to meditation and relaxation.
What is yoga?
With so many people spending more time indoors, individual and group yoga video classes have become increasingly popular! Yoga isn’t only about stretching and exercise, it’s a philosophy of life that originated in India.
It is a relatively old practice as it emerged over 5,000 years ago. One of the basic notions of yoga is the connection between the body and the mind. It’s often the case that mental health can be improved by physical health. The body and mind interact with and affect each other, which is why we should take care of both of them.
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.” - Sakyong Mipham
How is yoga beneficial?
Most people, unless they’re brought up around those who do yoga, can be quite sceptical about it. It might seem too ‘calm’ or ‘slow’ or too ‘new age’. Even if you’re unsure, you should give it a try, it might be something new and it will give you the opportunity to see what you think and how you feel. Always try something before dismissing it, you never know, you might even enjoy it.
Sometimes, yoga can be demanding and depending on the kind of yoga you’re doing, it may require considerable effort. It can take a long time to be able to balance your weight in crow pose, do a headstand, handstand or shoulder stand. In spite of the challenging advanced poses, we all have to start somewhere, even after half an hour, you should feel more relaxed. You may even feel a sense of inner joy or peace. If you haven’t tried yoga yet, consider it.
Here are some benefits of practising yoga that will hopefully convince you to give it a go:
You will develop increased strength and flexibility.
Yoga increases the range of motion of your joints. In time and with practice, you will be more flexible. Your whole posture should look different, you may even appear taller thanks to stretching muscles you may not ordinarily stretch.
If you do back and forward bends as well as twist asanas correctly, you’ll notice a difference. Particularly in the lower back. As with all exercise, try to be careful if you have an existing injury. Never continue a yoga position if you feel any pain.
Your spine health will improve.
Asanas are any of the many yoga positions you might do. Some target specific muscle groups and there are particular asanas that strengthen the paraspinal muscles. Yoga is also a great way to eliminate pain in the back, neck, shoulders and knees.
This is really important if you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk looking at a computer screen or staring down at your phone.
Yoga can help with the oxygenation of your body.
Harmonious and conscious breathing is a huge part of yoga. You will become more aware of your breath and your ability to control it. It’s likely that you’ll be asked to inhale and exhale as you move from one position to another.
This can be confusing at first as everyone breathes and moves at a different pace. Regular exercises in controlling breathing can improve both the body and the mind. It also teaches us how to regulate it in everyday situations, which includes coping with our emotions.
You will be able to maintain a healthy weight.
Yoga speeds up the metabolism and helps in getting rid of toxins from the body, making it easier to control weight. There are a lot of larger people who are able to do and enjoy yoga very successfully, so don’t let your size put you off.
You might feel a sense of vitality and youthfulness.
Yoga regulates the operation of the endocrine system and prevents the formation of free radicals, which helps to reduce stress. Stress is the number one enemy of a youthful appearance, it can age people very quickly.
Yoga helps to maintain a healthy heart and circulatory system.
Proper practice of asanas ‘massages’ and relaxes muscles and blood vessels, which has a beneficial effect on the heart and body cells. Yoga lowers blood pressure, regulates blood sugar levels (that’s why it’s recommended for diabetics) and helps with insomnia.
Yoga will provide you with a sense of inner peace and concentration.
Yoga calms down the mind and helps to organize thoughts and regular exercises effectively increase our resistance to stress.
Yoga can put you in a good mood.
Thanks to yoga you can find inner joy and serenity. It charges you up with extraordinary energy and it’s a natural treatment for depression.
Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. If you practise it regularly, you’ll discover it has a whole spectrum of advantages. It allows you to look at yourself and others from a different perspective and find a balance between your body, mind and environment. That’s why it’s called a philosophy of life.
Have you tried yoga? What did you like or dislike about it? If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org! Please feel free to get in touch via social media (send us some photos or videos too), you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, let’s connect!