Yoga means union or connection - between; inner and outer worlds, body mind, breath, and body, heart and soul. It’s about listening to and honouring your WHOLE self - and learning to let go.However, there are many misconceptions about yoga – and I’d like to dispel some of those here:
Yoga is more than postures: Practising postures with conscious breathing improves flexibility, strength, balance and evokes relaxation, but postures are just one of the 8 Limbs of Yoga. Others include: ethics, self-discipline, breathing & meditation, turning inward and concentration - All of the aspects of yoga are inextricably linked in yoga practice.
"Yoga - It's not about being good at something.
It's about being good to yourself "
Yoga isn't only for the young & flexible: Newsflash - I'm not naturally flexible! I have to work at it! - And I'm not particularly young either!!
Yoga helps you become more flexible and strong - wherever you start from and whatever age you are.. Postures can be tailored to your abilities and it's about tuning into your own body on that day, in that moment, because our capabilities and needs change constantly.
Yoga isn't religious or mystical: Body, mind, breath and soul/spirit exist in all human beings irrespective of religion. Yoga helps to bring these aspects together and does not concern itself with labels of any sort, be it religion or any superficial difference in human beings. What yoga does is build connection, through yourself, to others and to the world around you.
It's a work out and a work in: Yoga builds muscle strength, stamina, and balance, but the true beauty of yoga lies in its many extra benefits. It improves flexibility, takes care of the joints, helps the lymphatic system fight infection, maintains the nervous system, and regulates the adrenal glands. It also reduces stress and helps quieten the mind, helping us deal more effectively with the ups and downs of life.
Yoga isn't only for women
While yoga is predominantly practiced by women, that paradigm has shifted dramatically over the last 10 years. While yoga doesn’t contribute directly to mass increase or muscle growth, it can help prevent wear and tear, improving your endurance, flexibility and sustainability for other physical activities and your health in general. Men enjoy the same range of health and wellness benefits, as long as they, and society are willing to have a change in perception.
Yoga isn't competitive and you don't need to contort yourself into seemingly impossible positions - regardless of how it can be presented at times.
Yoga is a practice and requires practice, discipline, acceptance and teaches you to let go - a challenge for body and mind.
"Yoga is the journey of the self, to the self, through the self"
~ The Bhagavad Gita
Why not come along and join me for an online yoga class this week? Your first class is free.
Or if you're new to yoga, get in touch about the next 6 week beginner's yoga course!