The British Wheel of Yoga Northern Region

A short introduction to Yoga

A short Introduction to Yoga

Yoga is a 5000-year-old Indian philosophy that combines exercise, breathing, diet, relaxation and meditation. It is a combination of physical and mental disciplines which make the body stronger and healthier and the mind calmer and more controlled, helping towards self-realisation. It emphasizes the relationship of body, mind and breath, the synchronisation of the breath and movement, the use of preparation, counter pose, sequences of linked postures and modification of postures to suit individual needs.Yoga is the art of living. It is all things to all people. It is about getting to know yourself. Integrating the many aspects of ourselves and putting us in control of our minds; the effects are holistic, bringing about health awareness and a change of attitude towards ourselves and the world around us. We cannot practise Yoga without changes happening within ourselves, becoming more aware that it influences our life and the way we live.The practice can be low impact but it can also be very demanding. The beauty of Yoga is that it is accessible to everyone, as the session can be adapted to each person’s level of fitness or state of health. For those who love Yoga, it becomes a way of life. Whether your path is physical, mental, spiritual or a combination, yoga is for everyone.There are Yoga classes especially for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners, enabling teachers to grade their students and plan the lesson accordingly.Hatha Yoga is probably the best known form of Yoga which includes Asanas (body postures), Pranayama (control of vital energy through breath control), Kriyas (cleansing practices) Meditation and Relaxation to reduce stress and build self confidence.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is good for your posture and structural balance (leading to mental balance), it promotes flexibility and suppleness, strength and stamina, tones the internal organs, improves concentration, teaches you how to breathe more effectively, facilitates relaxation and calms the mind.When you breathe slowly and deeply, more oxygen circulates through the blood. During exercise the cells of the body receive a fresh supply of nutrients and oxygen, so increasing energy, vitality and the flexibility of youth.Yoga can help a whole range of ailments including asthma, high blood pressure, lower back pain, arthritis, ME, menopausal changes, menstrual problems, stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga movements stretch all the major muscle groups and release built up tension. Through posture work, as the body’s circulation increases and bones are properly aligned, age related rheumatism and arthritis can be prevented.You should not expect immediate results as Yoga is a gradual, progressive process. However, some people may find instant benefit after their first session. Yoga is not a ‘cure all’ treatment and care should be taken to find the right teacher and class if you have any medical condition. For some conditions it may be advisable to seek advice from your doctor before commencing a yoga class. It is important that the teacher knows about your condition prior to the practice (all information is confidential).

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