Yoga for Health and Vitality
A well balanced yoga practise can help us achieve optimum levels of health and vitality.
Yoga gently and rhythmically moves the body to enhance mobility and energy flow, refreshing and recharging the whole body. It is important to always practise yoga mindfully and listen to your body, when care is taken yoga becomes a nurturing practice bringing a multitude of benefits that continue to grow.
Yoga practitioners repeatedly report about how good yoga makes them feel. Due to these “good feelings” that yoga brings, for many, yoga becomes a huge part of daily life and filters through into every aspect of life, even diet and lifestyle continue to subtly change for the better.
Yoga improves strength and flexibility, increases circulation and lung capacity, corrects postural imbalances, aligns the spine, reduces stress and tension, strengthens the immune system, aids digestion and elimination, helps to clear and focus the mind and improves sleep pattern, these are just a few of the benefits, but each one of these has a knock on effect that positively impacts our health and wellbeing physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The more we practise yoga the more we discover how we can utilise many of the techniques that we learn and practise whilst on our yoga mats to enhance our health and wellbeing. I am continually blown away by different stories that reveal how yoga has provided support, relief or encouraged changes that make for a more positive and happier life. However, I cannot stress enough the importance of listening to your body and not allowing your ego to drive your practice. As soon as we force our practice or try to compete with either ourselves or fellow class mates injuries can occur. This is not the aim of yoga.
Here are two few simple examples of how we can use yoga.
Muscle Fatigue, most people will at some point experience tired achy muscles. When the body feels tired roll out your yoga mat, lie down and move through a series of gentle floor based nurturing postures to ease and rebalance the body, such as the apanasana (wind relieving pose), jathara parivartanasana (belly revolving posture), setu bandhasana (half bridge), janu sirsana (head to knee), baddha konasana (the cobbler) and of course savasana (final resting pose).
Busy Mind, many people will experience a busy over active mind during hectic or changing times. If your mind is continuously active, take a moment to find somewhere peaceful to sit. Sit with a straight spine and focus on your breath, breathe slowly through your nose. If your mind does not settle with this simple breathing technique select a posture that combines breath and movement such as cat (majaryasana), by focussing on your alignment and coordinating your breath and movement, the mind has a task to do and other mental activity should settle.
Today there are many studies that reveal the impact that yoga has on our general health and wellbeing, they provide many positive results as to how yoga can assist and help manage many different health conditions, from mild non clinical conditions right through to more serious health issues. Yoga is fast becoming accepted as a therapy and a preventative measure for many health concerns. Although research is in its early stages this research is ongoing and in the next ten years we can hope for more studies to reveal the benefits that yoga brings physically and emotionally.
One of the most wonderful things about yoga is that anyone that chooses to practice yoga can, there are postures for all levels and all abilities.
Krishnamarcharya said “If you can breathe, you can do yoga”.