Hi gorgeous friends!!
Its becoming a busy time, I hope you are all breathing well and enjoying the flow of the lighter days!
This month I would like to remind you of just some of the benefits of yoga, this comes from talking with one or two people recently who are looking to join me in practice to become more ‘flexible’ Those experienced yogis amongst you will know it is so much more than this!
Originally Yoga was created to bring together the body, mind and breath through a series of natural movements and meditation, developing greater inner strength and flexibility. Historically Yoga was more than just a method of teaching; it was a way of life. You dedicated yourself to a lifestyle and culture that surpassed meditation techniques and included healthy eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction and work. Its philosophy is rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is still emphasised today and explains why over 15 million people in the world now practice this ancient tradition.
Every Yoga asana (pose) has a different name and includes standing postures, seated twists, backbends, arm balances, inversions and core holds. The downward facing dog for example, is in itself said to calm the brain, energise the body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs, reduce the workload for the heart and be therapeutic for high blood pressure. Whilst these benefits come as a given with most postures, the practice of yoga as a whole gives many more benefits than you might think…
So why is Yoga so good for you:
Lowers stress and improves your mood – Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques to focus the mind on your breathing that quietens the constant ‘mind chatter’, relieves stress and allows you to feel relaxed. Practising Yoga can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.
Deep Breaths – Less inflammation – There is a lot of talk about how cancer and many diseases can only live in an acidic body. Deep breathing is said to reduce the acidity level of the body making it more alkaline and possibly reducing your risk. I think it is partially because it reduces stress levels which when elevated can increase the acidity levels.
Deep Breaths – More Awareness – The more awareness you have in the present moment, the more likely you are to connect with your intuition. Your body knows how and what to feed itself to be healthy, how much and how often to move, and how much to rest. It is a matter of learning to listen.
Slower Breaths – Better Relationships – Most relationships would be better if people were less reactive. Wouldn’t that be nice? The state of your mind affects the breath, the reverse is true as well. When you are angry or cross the breath is fast and shortened. When you are relaxed, your breath is slow and complete (hopefully). Consequently more in control and able to look at the situation from a new perspective!
We focus first and foremost on our breath, it is the very essence of life itself, deepening and lengthening, stimulating the relaxation response and improving lung capacity. Slow deep breaths also help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which is when the body gets the chance to recuperate, regenerate and heal. Very important to help keep a healthy immune system. If you suffer with poor digestion, you will benefit from learning how to put your body into ‘rest and heal’ this is the only state when your body can digest food efficiently!
The benefits of breathing correctly are amazing and the best thing about this is you don’t have to take time out to breathe because you have to breathe!! Anytime, anywhere, just stay mindful, even if it is only five minutes twice a day of slow deep conscious breathing. It can make a huge difference.
Yoga is a complete body system and works on all levels, internally, externally, physically and mentally. Doctors/ physicians are increasingly prescribing Yoga and meditation to patients. Ongoing research shows that this ancient ritual improves mood, reduces inflammation, shrugs off stress and improves overall health in general.
The beauty of Yoga is that it can be practiced almost anywhere! It will improve your muscle tone and strength, your posture will greatly improve, your abdominals and back muscles will fully support your weight and you will sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains.
I hope this has inspired you………
My summer Yoga retreat ‘Blissimo’ is well under way, it is now fully booked, looking forward to a glorious weekend on the North Norfolk Coast with fellow yogis! Workshops will continue but later in the year due to other yoga commitments. My Relaxation Workshop morning will happen…..in the Autumn, this one always generates a lot of interest, keep watching this space for further information.
Just be with any area of it,
This present body
As permeated with limitless space,
Drenched in freedom.
(The Radiance Sutras)
Yoga blessings to you all
See you on the mat!
Love Susan x x