Self-awareness is the overall key and ultimate goal in Yoga.
When you think of Yoga, do you immediately envision seemingly impossible poses, deep breathing and quiet meditation? Do you think of it as the latest exercise craze or “trend” for Hollywood megastars? Well, who are we to tell you you’re wrong? You’re not, but we are here to tell you there is so much more. To believe just those images is scratching the surface, and if there’s one thing you learn in Yoga, it’s to look beyond the surface.
The main goal of Yoga is to achieve harmony with yourself and environment; to create a balance of your mind, body and spirit. Ahhh that word, balance…you’ll hear it used a lot. Instructors will use it often when describing poses, but it’s also a feeling we strive for in our everyday lives. We’re all looking for a little stability, and Yoga is a great place to start.
Okay, so let’s break it down to the need-to-know basics. There are three techniques you’ll learn in any good Yoga class: First – breathing. All your breathing is done through your nose. Many of the breathing exercises bring much needed blood and oxygen to bodily tissues and organs. Did you know the breathing exercises practiced in Yoga have been scientifically linked to improvements in patients with bronchial asthmatics and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
Next is stretching. Yoga stretches and tones the muscles and joints. Studies have shown that it can even help conditions of arthritis, chronic fatigue, varicose veins and heart ailments. It also has positive effects on the spine and may be your answer to the common backache.
Last is meditating. Yoga has been shown to reduce everyday stress, provide awareness to the body and significantly improve energy levels and alertness. Meditation may come easier to you than you think. Through breathing and stretching, your mind is already focused on your body and mastering the moves.
So are you a fan of Yoga yet or at least ready to try a class or practice a few poses? We suggest starting with the most popular and traditional form of Yoga, Hatha Yoga. Start slow and build your way up to a regular Yoga practice. You’ll soon see the health benefits and if nothing else, enjoy those few minutes of inner peace and quiet.