The million dollar question(s)…
I’m not sure if yoga is for me? Yes! Yoga is for everyone! People of all ages, sex, nationality, body type and athletic ability start the practice of yoga for different reasons and at different times in their lives. It may be to induce weight loss, gain flexibility and mobility, de-stress from a busy life, increase concentration and relaxation, heal a specific part of the body or mind, gain confidence or find a deeper connection to themselves.
There are so many different reasons why people begin to practice yoga but there is also one thing that unites us and is found in all of us…. we share the desire to be active in increasing our well being. We want to feel good and feel at peace with the fact that we are doing something to improve our health and well being, when we feel better we step out into the world and do better with more awareness.
Do I have to be flexible? No! Many people come to yoga as stiff as a board and use it as a way to gain flexibility an increased range of motion. Most of us are not born gymnasts or contortionists! Yoga is called a practice for a reason. A regular yoga practice can stretch all muscles and the spine in a safe, aligned and progressive manner at each individuals own pace.
I’m not very athletic or fit is that OK? Yes! Yoga is non-competitive because everyone has a different body and their own life story and reason for coming to yoga; our strengths and weaknesses are individual. The idea of yoga is to come to the mat to work on yourself. Another reason it is called a yoga practice is because it is a continuous journey of the body and mind, we peel back the layers over time and that leads to self-discovery. There will always be more to learn, ways to grow and paths to follow in yoga. There are many different styles of yoga from very gentle Hatha to more vigorous and dynamic styles of Hatha. It is about finding the right fit and exploring a different side to yourself. We all start at the same place… the beginning.
Some of the benefits of yoga include:
• Stretches and strengthens ALL muscles of the body.
• Lubricates the joints.
• Cleanses and strengthens the respiratory system.
• Brings fresh oxygen and blood to all parts of the body.
• Yogic breathing techniques help one to control the breath and still the mind.
• Stimulates and exercises the digestive system.
• Stimulates and balances the hormones and glands.
• Yoga teaches self-awareness of the body and breath.