WHY PRACTICE YOGA?

Yoga and the Athlete
March 29, 2017
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WHY PRACTICE YOGA? 

The short answer is that yoga makes you feel good. The postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation and meditation give you a healthier body, mind and soul.  Yoga helps you tune in to your body and your emotions as well as allowing you to chill out and tone up — all at the same time.

But there is a longer answer, as long as you care to make it.  Yoga –

  • Improves strength, muscle tone, flexibility and stamina
  • Reduces stress and tension
  • Enhances self confidence
  • Improves concentration
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Lowers fat
  • Boosts circulation
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Gives an overall sense of well-being and calm.

Research indicates yoga can manage or control anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, stress and many other conditions and diseases. And the research continues….

However, the benefits outlined above are secondary to the original purpose of this ancient practice. Originating in ancient India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the last 5,000 years or so. Yoga typically means ‘union’ between the mind, body and soul. It involves the practice of physical postures and poses with the ultimate aim of creating a balance between the body and the mind and to attain self-enlightenment.  In order to accomplish this, yoga makes use of different movements, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to create a body healthy and strong enough to sit in meditation and still the chattering mind.  Once the mind is still, the yogi can begin the journey to enlightenment.

 

Even if you don’t believe in this spiritual side of life, you can still do yoga.  If you practice yoga, you will benefit from its psycho-physiological effects. You don’t need to seek or indeed, find self-enlightenment to discover the benefits of a strong, flexible body, a calm mind and a rested spirit.

 

Returning to the short answer, yoga helps us get in touch wi.th our true selves.  It redresses the balance, replenishing us from the stresses of everyday life

 

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