What Is Yoga Good For

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Historically yoga was more than just a method of teaching; it was a way of life. You dedicated yourself to a lifestyle and culture that surpassed meditation techniques and included healthy eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction and work.  Its philosophy is rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is still emphasised today at yoga retreats and explains why over 15 million people in the world now practise this ancient tradition.

Every yoga asana (pose) has a different name and includes standing postures, seated twists, backbends, arm balances, inversions and core holds.  The downward facing dog for example, is in itself said to calm the brain, energise the body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs and be therapeutic for high blood pressure.  Whilst these benefits come as a given with most postures, the practise of yoga as a whole provides many more benefits than you might think…

8 Reasons Why Yoga is So Good For You:

1.Lowers stress and improves your mood

Some yoga methods use specific meditation techniques, which focus the mind on your breathing to quieten the constant ‘mind chatter’, relieves stress and allow you to feel relaxed. Practising these breathing techniques on a yoga and meditation retreat can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.

2. Boosts confidence

Aside from the uplifting spiritual values, the act of meditation can actually boost your confidence. The process works by releasing tension from your mind, so that you can feel confident about your physical body. Without any forms of anxiety, you are able to establish an internal connection with yourself. This is consequently reflected in your perception of others and will help to better your relationships by improving compassion and awareness.

3. Lowers the risk of injury

Exercise such as running is usually a series of rapid, forceful movements, which means that effort is at a maximum and there is a higher risk of injury and increased muscle tension. Often, strenuous exercise also engages an imbalance of opposing muscle groups, whereas yoga concentrates on balancing this activity. Unite your body and mind on a yoga and fitness holiday which will allow to combine more intense workouts with low-impact yoga.

4. Helps you lose weight

Being overweight is a sign that there are imbalances in your everyday life and one major contributor to weight gain is excess stress.  Practising yoga enables you to bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind, helping you to de-stress and allowing you to lose weight naturally.

How Yoga Helps Aging

5. Increases flexibility

People often say that they are not flexible enough to do yoga.  The truth is, it doesn’t matter how tight your muscles are as yoga asanas works by safely stretching your muscles and help you to practise it further.  Moreover, yoga also stretches other soft tissue in the body such as ligaments and tendons, increasing the range of motion in the joints and allowing you to move around more freely.

6. Improves muscle tone and strength

Many yoga asanas have a profound effect on your upper body strength, such as the downward and upward dog, whilst the plank focuses on your core. Likewise, standing poses strengthen your upper leg muscles and lower back. Essentially any pose will strengthen an area of the body if it is practised in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups.

7. Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure

If you practise yoga consistently, your lung capacity will increase as a result of the deep breathing process. This will then have a positive effect on more intense sports that you might be a part of, increasing your stamina and endurance. Furthermore, meditation and calming yoga asanas slow down your heart rate which in turn lowers blood pressure and have also been linked with improving the immune system and lowering cholesterol.

10 Ways To Apply Yoga In Your Daily Life

 

8. Improves your posture

By practising yoga you maintain a healthier weight, become more flexible and improve your muscle tone and strength. You will find that your posture will greatly improve because of this. Your abdominals and back muscles can now fully support your weight and you will be able to sit and stand tall, preventing niggling injuries, aches and pains.

The beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced pretty much anywhere, on your own or with other yoga enthusiasts.  If you have been inspired to give yoga a go there is no better place to try it than on our amazing yoga holiday

10 Ways To Apply Yoga In Your Daily Life

Yoga for Pregnancy

Westerners generally view yoga as a way to achieve a flat stomach or get rid of flabby arms. While it certainly provides such services, yoga is much more than that: It is a practice, a philosophical outlook, a way of living. If you have thus far viewed yoga only as a vehicle for physical health, consider looking at it through the lens of mental and spiritual health as well. Applying a yoga mindset to your daily life can bring benefits such as peace of mind, positivity and gratitude. Here are 10 ways to extend your practice beyond the mat.

1. Be Present with Others

Yoga is all about presence. Placing yourself at the centre of a moment and really living it is a wonderful goal inside the studio, but it doesn’t evaporate when you put your street clothes back on and step outside. Rather, your goal should be to experience every moment as deeply as you can. This is especially true when you are spending time with others. While other people’s words or concerns may not matter to us quite as much as our own, one of the greatest services we can provide is to drop our own thoughts and desires and give ourselves fully to others.

2. Dig Deep

So you’re great at digging deep to hit an elegant tree pose or really put your all into camel. But do you do the same in everyday life? Whether you’re facing a stressful work interaction, an exhausting family get-together or simply the choice between preparing a meal or giving in to junk food, digging deep can help you hitch a smile back onto your face and find that good attitude.

3. Seek Balance

Life is a constant balance between what we have to do and what we want to do, our likes and dislikes, the physical and spiritual. Although it’s hard to enjoy life when you have no clean dishes and the house is a mess, if you spend every moment worrying about little details you’ll find equally little enjoyment in your day-to-day. Apply your goal for a half-moon pose, balance, to daily tasks such as housework, scheduling and more.

4. Take Action

It’s hard to get much out of your yoga routine if you’re unwilling to take action, and the same is true for life. Although no one likes a busybody or bossypants who constantly tells people what to do or tries to fix all problems, you should consistently be prepared to take positive action in your own life.

5. Monitor Your Body

The healthiest people are those who are most in touch with themselves physically. Yoga asks us to pay attention to our physical selves throughout practice, stretching to our limit but going no further, noticing what hurts and what feels good. Begin to do this at other times as well, noting which situations or people make your neck tight, and which loosen you up. Cultivate anxiety-free associations. Feel tension arrive, then make a conscious decision to let it go.

10 Ways To Apply Yoga In Your Daily Life

6. Breathe Deeply

Breath is a crucial component of yoga, and during a session you probably spend a lot of time thinking about it. Funny thing is, your breath is pretty necessary the rest of the time too, but gets almost no scrutiny. Start to pay attention to your breathing throughout the day, not just during downward dog. If you have to push through a tough moment, use breath to your advantage. You can send it toward irritation, anger and pettiness just as easily as a tight hamstring or a challenging pose.

7. Eat Mindfully

It’s hard to be present and positive with a terrible gut ache. Yoga’s emphasis on mindfulness should extend to your daily diet, from the moment you get up until you turn in for the night. You are what you eat, after all, and if you’re consuming mostly empty calories or sugary treats, you likely won’t feel your best. Revamping your diet can be difficult, though, so start slowly by making small changes and noticing what works and what doesn’t.

8. Commit to Transformation

Yoga is about transformation, spiritual as well as physical. While the bodily benefits of yoga make themselves apparent after each workout, the spiritual benefits are more difficult to cultivate, but perhaps more rewarding. Make a commitment to transforming yourself mentally and emotionally, taking each moment of each day as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and reach for your best you.

9. Find a Guru

None of us are alone in the world, but a surprising number of us act as though we can only count on ourselves or have to figure everything out on our own. Luckily, this isn’t true. A saying often misattributed to the Buddha (but more likely hailing from the 19th century thinker Helena Blavatsky) holds that “When the pupil is ready, the Master will appear.” If you need help with something, be it your work or a hobby or raising your children, look around. There’s a good chance that if you’re really seeking guidance and enlightenment, you can find someone to help you.

10. Follow Routine

Yoga exists on the foundation of firm routine. That’s one of the things that makes practice so comforting, in fact: A sun salutation is always a sun salutation. Research shows that routine also plays a huge role in healthy lifestyle and in happiness. It’s no surprise that people who manage to incorporate routines into their daily schedules end up exercising, eating and sleeping better and more consistently. Snatch these benefits for yourself by choosing set windows for sleeping and waking, mealtimes, exercise and anything else you wish to make time for.