Most of us will have heard about yoga or may have been curious enough to attend a class but have you kept it up? Maybe you think it’s a little late to start yoga classes but the benefits can be seen at any age with many people not starting until their seventies. The benefits of yoga are just as useful and essential for a healthy body as an hour in the gym but with the added bonus of also being great for your mind. Yoga unites the body, mind and spirit by keeping them aligned and helping you feel completely in synch with the main components being posture and breathing.
It has been proven that yoga helps with supporting your bone density, easing stiffness and arthritis, keeping the arteries soft, stabilising the nervous system, keeping joints flexible and strengthening the knees and ankles which helps with your balance and avoid falls. Not only can the effects be seen on your physical body but yoga has also been proven to help stabilise your mind and ease depression as you concentrate on breathing and let negative thoughts drift away.
There is something liberating about being in a yoga class where each person is in their own zone, trying to forget about the stresses and strains of work and home life and just be in the moment. It makes you realise that we need to empathise with one another as each of us is going through stressful things and trying to achieve happiness. Hearing your classmates breathing and moving all at the same time can have a surprisingly humbling effect on you.
After just one lessen it’s likely you will start to feel much calmer when faced with stressful situations as you are more aware of your own mind. When you are forced to be quiet for up to an hour you will find yourself thinking things over in your mind and the tranquil state you find yourself in thanks to your regular breathing pattern may make you look back at situations you faced throughout the day and wonder how you could have handled them better next time.
If you have any existing aches and pains you might be surprised to find that the pain has eased or you have improved your own condition by yourself without the need for a physiotherapist. You may start to have a natural want to eat more healthily and notice that you have a much better quality of sleep. The benefits of yoga are endless!
Lauren Charles is a yoga teacher and recommends www.yogamasti.com for yoga clothing