The true origins of Yoga are unknown. There has been a continuous tradition of yoga for 6000 years or more and it is certainly much older than our earliest archaeological evidence from 3000 BC. (Ref: Georg Feuerstein PhD, 1998, The Yoga Tradition – Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice, Hohm Press, Arizona, USA)
Yoga is not only about making the body stronger and more flexible – it includes learning how to witness our attitudes towards ourselves and others, moving and expanding our personal energy via the breath, learning to relax and finding peace around you and within.
In saying all of that, people practise yoga for their own various reasons. Many enjoy the physical exercise and stretching, some have been referred by their health practitioners, others practise for the profound sense of peace and relaxation, some people practise to connect with their higher consciousness and others love the sense of community. Regardless of why you practise, you know that it makes a positive difference to you and that’s all that really matters.
In recent years there have been a growing number of well designed studies into the health benefits of yoga. These show that the practise of yoga is safe, useful and very cost effective for a wide range of conditions and life-stages. Researchers discovered that the regular practise of yoga can produce the following benefits when practised safely and under the supervision of a fully trained teacher:
- Improved flexibility
- Increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of the body)
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of the body
- Enhanced muscular control of the back and limbs
- Improved stabilisation of the spine
- Improved posture
- Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- Improved physical coordination and balance
- Relaxation of the shoulders, neck and upper back
- Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- Prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- Improved concentration
- Increased body awareness
- Stress management
- All over relaxation (balance of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system).
……………..and much more.
And here’s the best news ever…………you don’t need to be physically flexible to practise yoga, all you need is a body and that’s it!
Yoga is for Every Body!
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