Yoga can benefit everyone, whatever their age, ability or experience.Correctly taught and practised yoga is completely safe, yet as challenging as you want it to be.
It brings many benefits physically and mentally and is a great way to help people deal with the stresses and strains of everyday life.
It is able to
- Improve and Correct Posture
- Slim the body and give better muscle tone
- Improve flexibility and ease stiffness
- Align the spine and ease or prevent back problems
- Improve fitness and energy levels
- Improve blood circulation
- De-toxify the body
- Relieve the symptoms of stress
- Boost self-esteem and confidence
- Improve overall health and resistance to illness
- Give a more youthful appearance
Yoga is commonly seen as a form of exercise that stretches the muscles, however it is far more than this....
It is much more than postural alignment and breathing.
It is, in general, is a spiritual practice or discipline that helps the individual unify his/her body, mind, and heart.
It is is a direct experience of the vast interrelatedness of all life and of all things. You will feel at peace at the end of a class because there is a natural realignment of your body which leads to a natural realignment of your perception of life and of who you are.
Yoga is about transformation, not hamstrings, but along the way we have to take care of them. This is a direct experience as practice will open your eyes to things you have not experienced before. It will take you beyond the mundane survival level and into a whole new appreciation of life. Helping you to notice the beauty in the world around you.
Genuine yoga will change your life, your habits, your body, your health, your mind, your breathing patterns, your attitudes, your outlook. It is about learning from direct experience. You will develop understanding of how your body works most efficiently. You will learn how your conscious and unconscious mind can either support or harm you and how to quiet the conversations we have with ourselves.
The benefits will come to those who practice.
Through steady practice, you will manifest less self-importance, less material attachment, more capacity for joy, less judgmentalness, and more tolerance toward others. If you stay with your practice long enough, you may find you change, becoming kinder and more accepting to yourself and the world around you. This flexibility of mind occurs alongside the flexibility of body more commonly associated with yoga!
Practising with a properly trained teacher will give you a feeling of energy, renewal and well-being and over time the ability to feel in control of yourself. The postures within the physical practice are unique in that no areas of the body are omitted from being used, including fingers, toes, eyes and internal muscles. A fully rounded practice will develop long lean muscles, which have stamina and strength, and healthy digestive and reproductive organs. Many postures use a combination of the breath and the body's own weight and awareness to develop strength in both the body and in the mind. Flowing sequences working with the breath develop flexibility and fluidity, which help to keep the whole body healthy and improve alignment. Attention to detail and inner focus helps develop body awareness in postures and this is then taken into day to day life.
It can help work with and improve imbalance and instability in the body. This may be caused by driving a car, sitting at a desk, or sports such as tennis or golf which are one sided. Practice will help to bring a lightness to your physical and mental life. Regular practice will inspire a greater respect and awareness of your body and how it reacts to the world.
Viniyoga is a tradition following the teaching of Desikacher where the emphasis is linking breath and postures to open the body and quiet the mind. Viniyoga encourages students to practice each asana according to their individual needs and capabilities. Therefore, adaptations and modifications to postures allow students to facilitate the function of the posture over the form. This opens the yoga practice to all ages, and physical abilities.
Breath is the key to yoga practice. Practising the postures without breath awareness is not yoga. By working with your breath you start to unite the body and the mind, which is the meaning of the word ‘yoga'. Unlike more strenuous exercise the controlled movements of physical practice, combined with deep breathing oxygenates the blood, generating more energy. Deep breathing calms our mind and together with the increase in energy it helps our mind become clearer, more alert and with a greater ability to focus and concentrate.The lesson we learn from practice is that we achieve more by learning to let go and unwind physically and mentally. Once we can learn to relax our bodies, stop fighting resistance and simply wait for the muscles and soft tissue to open up we can achieve more than we ever thought possible. Little by little we rediscover ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses; which hip is the most flexible, which wrist is stronger – it is always the areas we would rather forget about that we need to work with - the obstacles we need to overcome to take us further physically and mentally.
Yoga helps us to explore our tight places and the pockets of tensions and then like a ball of wool unravel those knots so we feel healthy and whole once more.