There is a lot of hype in the media about Yoga. Yoga has become one of the most practiced forms of exercise with its origins dating back over 5000 years.
Why has yoga become a phenomenon 5000 years later?
There is a lot of confusion around yoga and its benefits, in my experience I have found quite a push back to practicing or incorporating yoga poses in my classes, many of my students stating “I am not flexible enough to try yoga” or “I heard yoga is a spiritual practice, I am a Christian”. These types of statements indicate that there is a big misconception and that we aren’t informed enough about what yoga is and how it can benefit you if you practice it daily.
What is yoga?
Yoga in Sanskrit means to bind or yoke. Yoga is a collection of philosophies called the eight limbs of yoga. Each representing a different aspect to the practice. In modern culture today we focus mainly on the third limb, these are the poses we practice today known as asana.
When we practice the asana we are improving our stamina and the practice of the asana is a physical demand. Due to the breath work and channelling into your own body through breathing it is a meditative practice. To meditate is to concentrate and focus, this aspect often makes people feel uncomfortable as it is seen as spiritual.
Yoga is a community, there is something so powerful in rolling your mat out next to a complete stranger and move. Yoga doesn’t discriminate, it encourage’s all ages, all fitness levels and all types of people can practice yoga. There is no prerequisite for joining a yoga class, you do not have to be super fit, or have incredible flexibility, you just need to have a willingness to try and to leave your ego at the door so to say.
Here are some of the benefits to practicing yoga:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle tone
- Weight management
- Increased muscle strength
- Increased vitality and energy
- Protection from injury
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism
- Improved athletic performance
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