Yoga is not a new activity. It has been in existence for many thousands of years, although in recent decades it has become ever more popular for a variety of beneficial reasons, not least as a way of dealing with our daily stress.
A Yoga practice aims to strengthen your body while at the same time allowing it to become more flexible; you cannot have one without the other. It aims to bring our distracted thoughts to a single focus for the duration of the class. Thus we are bringing together the often disparate aspects of the mind and body. Ultimately, a Yoga practice is used to quieten the body and mind so that the practitioner can concentrate on achieving a state of concentration or meditation. This can take some years of practise!
Yoga can improve posture, create a toned, strong and flexible body, improve respiration and increased lung capacity, and promotes cardio and circulatory health. It can also relieve pain and restore vitality.
Yoga can very quickly quieten the mind, improving concentration, in turn leading to meditation. It brings awareness to our emotions and their effect on us and how we can take what we learn about ourselves in the studio into everyday life – work, family, relationships, activities and sports, helping to manage our daily lives more efficiently with less stress and with a greater sense of peace.
Yoga can build awareness of the mind, body, emotions and the larger world around us. With a greater sense of harmony between these aspects of ourselves Yoga can then support a greater sense of peace and belonging in everyday existence.