Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Does your back and neck feel tight and your body feel sluggish? Can you remember the last time you had 20 minutes to focus just on you?
In recent years the popularity of Yoga has exploded in the Western world. It’s not a drug or a self-help book, it’s a practice the connects you to your body and your consciousness through physical awareness and restoration.
We often ignore how great an impact our physical well being has on our mental state. When our bodies are stiff and cramped it creates a painful environment that becomes a distraction from many tasks. Yoga consists of a series of stretches, poses and twists aimed to release tension and increase mobility, flexibility and strength leaving your whole body feeling revitalised. Traditionally practice aimed to prepare the body to be able to remain still for meditation and can be helpful to enable you to become equally centred and comfortable to attend to your work or study.
Yoga can also be a form on meditation itself. It’s practice is about the mindful use of our body and awareness of breath by using stretches and positions to focus our mind and energy on specific parts of our body at a time. This allows us to disconnect from all worldly distractions and concentrate purely on our relationship with our bodies. Deep breathing is an important part of Yoga, allowing the body to release tension and promote a state of calmness and serenity.
Everybody experiences the benefits from Yoga in their own way; for many people it is an enjoyable form of exercise that fosters positive relationships with our bodies through an appreciation of our strengths and limitations and how each of our parts is connected to the whole. For others it releases stress, anxiety and depression, it can even lower blood-pressure, and decrease pain and the symptoms of chronic illness.
If you’re just starting out Yoga classes are available at Yoga studios and many gyms. For those feeling more confident just grab a mat and anywhere can become a place for mindful Yoga!