Updated: Feb 5
Have you been rocking up to your local gym and noticing less HIIT classes on the schedule and more Yoga? Ever noticed how the most successful people in the world describe their morning routine and it almost always includes Yoga or meditation? Or even wondered what is in the keep-cups of those people who just seem to float around the office all airy and happy? What is the go?
It seems like Yoga is becoming more wide spread and open to being for every body. The only benefit I knew of Yoga before my first class was that it was suppose to help with my lower back pain. Boy oh boy, that was only the beginning.
Let me share with you my friends, the benefits I came to find in my Yoga journey and the benefits that could be for you too!
1. Breathing. (I am being serious).
If you know, you know. If there is anything to take away from Yoga it is learning how to breathe fully, deeply and completely. Breath has changed my everyday life and the way I move my body. Yoga encourages moving with your breath, when you inhale you step forward, when you exhale you fold forward. It is something about this way of being taught to move with breath, that trickles in to your everyday movement. Noticing your breath is really a way to bring you back in to your body.
2. Stress. #NoJoke
The main way Yoga relives stress on the mat, is by bringing our awareness to the present. It can be so easy to let our minds wander to 100 different fears, worries, to-do lists, events etc., Yoga invites us to gently quiet the outside noise and go inwards instead. Focusing on our breath, on the movements and our bodies, which can bring a much-needed sense of calmness and serenity. Unlike high intensity exercise, Yoga taps us into our parasympathetic nervous system and allows our mind and body to calm down rather than being on fight or flight mode. This system of "rest and digest" allows our body to slow down, to heal and to restore.
"Oh I can't do Yoga, I am not flexible enough." This is my all time favourite response I hear from people who want to try Yoga and what they tell me when I ask- Yeah do it, why not?!.
It seems crazy thinking that people will not go to Yoga because they aren't flexible... That is why you go my friends. The reason why we have become robot bodies with so much tightness is because we hold a lot of tension in our bodies and we do not move to release that tension.
So we walk around with stiff necks, tight shoulders up to our ears and sore bodies. Yoga is stretching and being in poses for certain periods of time which help to engage muscles that are not often used and build strength and length. After class you always feel a little lighter on your feet and it is because you have let go of so much tension weight within your practice.
With so many of sitting at desks, on our couches, standing and slouching over our phones more and more, our posture is copping the effects. Through breath and movement Yoga helps us to improve our posture with alignments in standing and sitting poses. By using your abdominal muscles to maintain a pose and activating your back muscles you significantly strengthen your core, making it easier to straighten your back and say goodbye to Hunchback of Notre Dame.
5. Heart Health.
Being young or having your full health, we can tend to forget the incredible importance of our hearts in keeping us alive. From the moment we are conceived, hearing the first heart beats bring so much emotion with them. Yoga is a way that helps us to remember the importance of connecting to our breath and heart. With stress on the rise, our hearts are more as risk with having
Often in a class I will have my student put one hand on their belly and other on their heart, bringing together heart and breath. Two of the most important things that keep every single one of us alive. The way Yoga can slow down our heart rates in certain poses and also change our breathing to short and shallow to slow and full, means the heart doesn't pump so hard. Healthy hearts, here we come!
If you are new to Yoga and been keen to try I run pop up classes in Sydney on sunday mornings. You can book in here online. If you want to try but not ready for the group setting- I got you too! I have free Youtube video practices on here too.
Would love to hear the benefits you've been experiencing from your Yoga practice, so leave me a comment :)