Nobody has to tell you why yoga’s right for you: you’ll know by doing it! Think of yoga as a practice for your physical and mental health, which has five elements that produce five benefits.
Learn more about the structure and ideas underpinning yoga plus the benefits it brings to your life. The two sections below provide a more detailed synopsis of each side of the equation.
Decide which of these applies to you and start there. Develop your skills as-and-when you’re ready. Most people begin with exercise and progress from there.
1) Compassion Truthfulness Non-violence and Integrity
Yoga is active and starts with living life thoroughly and honestly, having kindness and respect for yourself, other people and the world about you.
Yoga exercises the body through the development of postures called Asana. It’s physically demanding: be mindful of that! There are seven groups of Asana:
3) Applied Breathing
There are two aspects to this:
4) Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness relaxes the body and mind. It uses breathing and visualisation to help you concentrate on the present moment. It’s an ideal emollient for mental health problems such as anxiety, anger, depression and stress. You would do well to set aside time for this excellent form of conscious relaxation. It’s daily hygiene for your mind and body.
Meditation is awareness of one’s self. It’s more spiritual and reflective than mindfulness. Meditation is about complete knowledge of the more profound person within you. It regulates your brain and develops a sense of purpose in life.
5) Healthy Diet
You are what you eat and think. Quality, quantity, and how you prepare your meals is critical for your wellness and wellbeing. Buy fresh organic produce focusing on nutrition and variety. More fruit and vegetables, less meat and better portions will be better for you and the planet. Also, consider the ethics of how your food gets to you and animal welfare.
You have to commit to practising yoga to reap the rewards, but you can be sure all your hard work will repay itself, many times over.
1) Physical Fitness
Regular yoga exercise will develop the five elements of physical fitness:
Unique to yoga is its connectivity and integration of activity with the breath and mind. It prevents injury, improves recovery, sharpens performance and lengthens an active life.
2) Mental Health
Yoga nurtures your mental health through exercise, applied breathing, mindfulness and meditation. It is an approved therapy for easing and preventing many health problems; in particular lifestyle-related illnesses.
3) Wellness and Wellbeing
Wellness pertains to physical health, whereas wellbeing refers more to mental health. Yoga’s positivity fosters a healthier mind and body. It aims to make you a ‘complete’ person, at ease with yourself and the world you inhabit. Attainment of that state is the ultimate purpose of yoga.
4) Emotional Awareness
Yoga underpins your emotional awareness. If you’re not fully aware of your emotions, you cannot manage them as well as you might. Yoga develops your understanding of why and how you feel like you do, which is vital for your happiness and effectiveness in relationships of all kinds.
5) Fulfilment of Self Purpose
Making the best of yourself and getting what you want out of life. Your sense of life-purpose is the driving force for meaningful change. Yoga helps to promote the psychological qualities needed to meet this.
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