Contrary to popular belief Yoga is not about wrapping your toes round your ears whilst chanting OM. In fact it is not even about touching your toes.
Instead, it IS about breathing and moving more efficiently to calm and focus the mind and reduce stress.
Here are – in my opinion – are Yoga’s top 4 benefits.
1. Your body will get stronger.
Yoga poses develop strength, balance and stability – flexibility is not a requirement!
Many naturally flexible people are attracted to yoga to start with but have to work a lot harder to protect their stretchy limbs. Added benefits are improved posture, enhanced performance in other physical activities such as running and cycling, and greater protection against arthritis and osteoporosis.
2. Your overall wellbeing will improve.
What do you do 25,920 times a day?……breathe! But how often do you actually notice you are breathing?
We tend to take sips of a breath using our chest muscles and hold it when we’re anxious. Yoga will teach you to breathe fully using your abdominal muscles and diaphragm. This should improve your circulation and digestion, help you sleep better and provide you with a tool to help you in stressful situations.
3. You will learn to listen to your body.
In a yoga class you will be encouraged to pay attention to the way you feel – both physically and mentally – and act accordingly – for example by taking a gentler variation of a pose. It may be initially quite hard to let go of a sense of competition — but by learning to take the option that really suits you best, you will become better able to assess what your body is trying to tell you in daily life – especially if you are tired and run down.
4. You will feel calmer and more focused.
Yoga requires you to focus on the present moment – and not get mentally caught up in tasks you have to do later in the day or problems in your daily life. This will help you to develop increased focus, patience and self-awareness.
So there we have it. Four top notch reasons to get along to that yoga class you’ve been meaning to try for ages! And remember, there are lots of different styles of yoga so if you don’t enjoy your first class then consider trying another…..