Yoga.... what is it all about?
Yoga for the body, mind and spirit
So, what is all the hype about yoga? Is it another extreme sport where practitioners need to be doing handstands on the side of cliffs or contorting their bodies into pretzels? On the contrary… yoga is NOT a competition! In fact, one of the main focus of yoga is the journey inward, to find peace and acceptance for what is rather than what isn’t.
Peace in that we lose the need to overreact to our life situations and are much better able to control our emotions when we are in the calm state that yoga provides. This doesn’t mean that we ignore and suppress emotions, rather we allow them to flow through and release, as we allow ourselves the space to recognise the deeper meanings in each of our experiences.
Acceptance of ourselves no matter where we are at will allow the opportunity for growth. As we lose the need to criticize ourselves and others, we again allow ourselves the space to find each learning experience as it arises.
Yoga ultimately creates SPACE in our bodies so that we can be free from physical aches and pains, whilst also creating space in our minds to allow life to flow through and support us. When we are flowing with life, we lose the fight against things which cannot be changed and as a result become much happier and healthier 😊
Over time with yoga and mindful practices, all of this will begin to make so much sense that you will appreciate and continue to practice over the long term, as life becomes so much less of a struggle!
From an academic perspective, there is mounting research evidence for the benefits of yoga practice for everything from back pain, arthritis and quality of life, to anxiety and other mental health conditions. Mindfulness and meditation also have a growing body of scientific literature, again to assist with a myriad of social and mental health issues, as well as nervous system disorders.
Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation or relaxation. If you don’t already have a favourite style or are new to yoga, try out different types before you form an opinion as there is something to suit everyone and many to choose from.
Here is a link to an interesting documentary on the science of yoga, for those interested in looking a bit deeper –