Whilst I've been practising yoga for many years - it's only since qualifying as a yoga teacher - that I now come across the question, 'Why do you do yoga?'. So I thought I'd cover here how yoga has helped me over the years - and why I do yoga - and perhaps some of those reasons will resonate with you too...
- Yoga gets those all important endorphins flowing. When I teach people I often hear the words... 'I feel like I've just had a session at the gym'. Sometimes, something that looks so simple enables you to work just as hard as that 'high impact manic fat buster' gym class. Yoga really does get things moving. And the beauty of it is, that you move your body in ways that works for your body (rather than unnecessary stress on the body). The reward - endorphins fly about and you feel great.
- Yoga sorted out my back pain. In my early 20's I played a fair bit of golf. To the extent that I overworked my lower vertebrae. This left me with days where I simply could not move - walk - get to the loo - ridiculous. I felt like a very young old lady. Back problems account for 80% of long term time off work - and poses one of the biggest challenges for the NHS. Back health is hugely important. Even the NHS recognise that Yoga helps to prevent back issues by strengthening key muscles. It's true - it works. I certainly walk the talk when it comes to Yoga fixing my back issues.
- Yoga connects me to me. Ever feel like you're living in your head - rushing around, disconnected? You get into bed at the end of the day thinking - what happened? Where did that day go? You haven't stopped to think about how you are, how you're feeling. Doing yoga, even for just 15 minutes every day - connects you to you. It's time to breath, move, connect and contemplate. It makes for a much more productive and appreciative day. And after all - your body is the most important thing you'll ever own. It's good to feel like you're spending some time looking after it. See it as 'tuning in' to yourself - your 'me time' - time to say hello to yourself and importantly, look after yourself.
- Yoga makes you strong and flexible. As soon as people find out I'm a yoga teacher, I often hear - 'I can't do yoga - I'm not flexible enough'. My retort is always the same 'how then do you propose you become flexible?'. Yoga isn't just about enabling your body to learn how to get back to how flexible it's meant to be - it's not great being very flexible if you're not strong - (as those with hyperextensive joints will know), over flexibility can cause all matter of injuries. And so importantly, yoga helps you to become strong (not muscle clad weight training strong) - but working with your own body weight so that you are 'bone loading' in all the right ways to assist with bone health - preventing osteoporosis, hip, knee, shoulder and wrist issues down the line. With strength and flexibility comes confidence and freedom. You'll certainly gain an extra spring to your step when your core strength, bone health and flexibility is improved. If you want to be doing up your own shoes in your 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's - strength and flexibility now will enable that freedom.
- Yoga is a stress buster. It's true - no matter how bad a day I've had, how stressed I'm feeling - as soon as I get into my class it all shifts. I practise and I feel better. Stress dissipates. I focus on me, my breath, the postures - and guess what - I come out of the class having a) had a mental break and b) feeling far more optimistic. Yoga practise helps you to 'let go' of stuff. Release things that don't serve you - and put things into perspective. I guarantee that when you leave a yoga class - you'll always feel a whole lot better than when you entered it (even if when you entered you were already feeling great! ;)).
So there you have it - just 5 compelling reasons why I do yoga - I could go on (and on, and on) - but hopefully, there's enough there to at least get you to start thinking about bringing yoga into your life.
Would love to see you at one of my classes - Weds 8.30pm -9.45pm Maidenhead - see details here - or call me on 07946 001388.