Beyond the obvious reasons for yoga's increasing popularity, what's fascinating is data shows those who practice yoga have measurably better perceptions of their individual strength, balance, dexterity, and mental clarity versus non-practitioners. Those who practiced yoga were also more likely to be involved in other forms of exercise.
A 2016 American study found that, "More people than ever across all age groups are realising the benefits of yoga, from stress relief to flexibility to overall well-being”.
Wouldn’t you like to develop more strength, balance, co-ordination, stamina and flexibility in your life?
A perfect complement to an active mountain lifestyle, yoga helps with maintaining optimal joint health, recovering from injuries, reducing stress and boosting mood as well as increasing mental alertness and encouraging an overall sense of wellbeing for the practitioner.
So how do all these wonderful benefits happen?
Yoga is a mindfulness practice and when practiced with good alignment, it safely stretches the belly of all the main muscle groups, building within them a greater elasticity and strength and aiding a healthy range of motion in the joints.
Combining mindful movement with co-ordination of the breath, referred to as Pranayama – translating to “breath cultivation and regulation” or “life force control”, creates a powerful breath body connection and intensifies focus. Energetically, harnessing the power of the breath combined with the contraction and tensioning of the muscles, areas of high and low pressure are created, improving the flow of all our circulation systems, not just the heart.
The mind is drawn away from the everyday chatter and directly into the here and now of the practice. A reduction in stress and anxiety levels results and an increase in mental clarity occurs as you breathe through the challenges that arise on the mat. This strengthens your mental focus and your ability to stay in the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest mode) whilst you face the challenges that arise in your life off the mat.
Mindfulness is the new buzz word. Why? Because when we take a break from the busyness of our lives and connect with the natural flow of our breath and the immediacy of our environment, everything changes. We stay calm under pressure; we listen more attentively; we increase our capacity to focus and we create space by releasing tension and clearing the obstacles that we build up in our minds and bodies.
Yoga is medicine for your wellbeing, physically, mentally, energetically, emotionally and spiritually. If your time poor, or just looking for the right practice to compliment your life; it’s a one stop shop.