Yoga is an ancient Indian discipline dating back thousands of years. The word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning ‘yoke’ or ‘union.’ We can think of yoga as a system for harmonising the mind, body and spirit.
Today, in the Western World, the most widely practised form of yoga is Hatha yoga. This uses physical postures (asana), combined with conscious breath awareness (pranayama), mental concentration and relaxation to promote strength, flexibility, balance and feelings of calm on a mental as well as a physical level.
Benefits a regular yoga practice can potentially bring:
· Improved strength, muscle tone and flexibility
· Greater range of movement in joints and muscles
· Improved posture and alignment
· Loadbearing so can increase in bone density thus improving skeletal stability
· Target small muscles not generally used in a gym session
· Alleviate ailments associated with muscle tightness and spinal compression
· Increased efficiency of lungs and cardio-vascular system
· Use of breath is an integral part of yoga, correct breathing can help to calm the nervous system which greatly benefits the whole body & mind.
· May improve concentration, memory and ability to focus
· Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
· An alert positive mind with greater sense of wellbeing.
· Better quality of sleep