If you’ve never tried yoga before you may be unsure what it’s all about. Simply put, yoga is a life-affirming practice designed to help us feel at ease in body and mind. You don’t need to be flexible or strong to participate – these qualities come with practice – or hold any particular beliefs. Yoga is an inclusive practice and all are welcome. All you need are comfortable clothes to move in and a little time to do yourself some good. Once you know the basic techniques, they can be used at any time to help you find a sense of focus and calm.
Yoga practice dates back thousands of years, the benefits of which are well established and wide ranging. It has only been in the last few decades that the practice has become recognised within the scientific community to the extent where the NHS endorses it as “an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing”. Studies report that people who practice yoga are happier, healthier and more engaged with life. The physical benefits are holistic, including improved balance, strength, flexibility and co-ordination for free and natural movement. From injury management and prevention to hormonal and stress response regulation, yoga helps to soothe the nervous system and reduce inflammation markers. There are many positive effects for the cardiac and respiratory systems, digestion, cognitive functioning, bone density and organ health, at all stages of life. It can assist in the care of pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and anxiety, and boosts immunity. Most importantly, yoga empowers us to take responsibility for our wellbeing and cultivate healthy habits for life.
The practice is lauded for its ability to cultivate optimism and resilience, and over time we develop a nourishing connection with ourselves that promotes self-esteem and healing from trauma. At Flow Studio we are body positive and focus on how we feel rather than how we look, and believe there is a practice to suit every body. Yoga encourages confident and wise decision making, both on and off the mat, without judgement or competition. This helps us to meet life’s challenges and improve our quality of life. We have more to give to those we love, our community and the wider environment, helping strengthen our social connections and find a sense of purpose and meaning.
The best way to receive these benefits, and many more, is try it out. Yoga meets you where you are so there’s no better time than now to begin!