With International Yoga Day around the corner (June 21st), it’s a good time to learn a bit more about Yoga. Yoga has become a global favorite for both physical and mental exercise. What’s better: you don’t have to be a flexible yogi to reap its benefits. While there are so many different Yoga studios, types of Yoga practice and countless complex Yoga poses, Yoga shouldn’t overwhelm or intimidate because Yoga truly is for everyone.
Yoga developed in ancient India at about 3000 B.C. as a way to align the heart and soul to achieve enlightenment, while some of the facts about the origins of Yoga is uncertain, it has been around for thousands of years and brought to the Western World. While Yoga has been popular for years, it wasn’t until the 1980’s when Yoga was popularized in the West.
Since Yoga is an ancient practice, it has many benefits that anyone can benefit from. Because of Yoga’s focus on the breath, the mind is allowed to wander from stressful thoughts and slow down the nervous system, allowing a relief from stress and anxiety. Along with the stress relieving properties of Yoga, a good workout can be achieved with the same practice. Yoga uses the body as its main source of support for most, if not all, poses, giving anyone a great workout based on the practice of the day. Props can be used to help get the body in the correct or safe position for practicing in various poses while still allowing the body to support and work. While Yoga is a great workout, it can also help open up the body. There are countless poses that can open up the hips, back, chest, and every other body part. Finding the right practice for your body can allow your body to open up and increase flexibility. As you continue to practice, you’ll become more in-tune with the body and be able to understand the body’s movement with better precision. Lastly, Yoga can be done anywhere and only requires a mat. While Yoga studios offer a guided practice with props and professionals to help adjust your body, Yoga can be done anywhere, alone, or with friends. We currently offer a free Yoga class every Monday night, to see more about our free classes click here.
Although Yoga is more physical, it can improve mental and emotional health as well. Lead Yoga Instructor, Jen Jaia, found Yoga life-saving, “I began practicing yoga during a difficult transitional time in my life. Instantly, yoga gave me the sense of calm that my body and mind desperately needed. The more time I spent on my mat, the more energy I had to give to other parts of my life and family. The practice of yoga goes beyond muscles and bones. Connecting with each breath allows my mind to take a central focus and to leave behind the troubles and trials of the day, leaving me feeling refreshed, renewed, and open to take on whatever life brings.”
As we develop a practice, we develop better communication with how we feel physically and emotionally, helping us live a more authentic life. Developing a daily yoga practice can be as simple as sitting and breathing or complex as learning challenging sequences of postures. There are many teachers and styles of yoga, try them all. Keep an open mind and your body will follow."