June/July $50 Massage for new clients (reg. $85)
June/July $50 Massage for new clients (reg. $85)
Yoga is The Fountain of Youth!
The History of Yoga
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 emphasized today at yoga retreats and explains why over 15 million people in the world now practice 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, energize 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 practice of yoga as a whole provides many more benefits than you might think…
Yoga is for everyone.
Yes, everyone. Though it may seem to be a physical activity—and it is—it is very much an inward moving practice. It’s about union and the relief of suffering. Everyone has something they need to let go of. Everyone needs a time out from life to self reflect and everyone needs self love.
It’s surprisingly super hard to avoid getting addicted to yoga.
…and that’s OK! Yoga is good for the mind, body, and soul.
You don’t have to be able to do a headstand, crow pose or any other advanced pose to join a class.
Savasana is the most important pose of the entire asana practice.
Savasana is the short period of time when your mind and body are most relaxed and at ease. It’s a brief moment in time when you can fully relax, let go of the past and the future and just be fully present. It’s the time when you can tap into a deeper part of yourself. It’s a meditative pose, and after an entire yoga class, you’re most likely more prepared for inward movement.
Yoga can be used outside of the studio.
When life is crazy, work is hectic, and you can’t seem to get a break, find the lessons you learned in your yoga classes. Stop, close your eyes and breathe. Even if it’s just three slow deep inhales and exhales through your nose, you will feel more calm than if you continue pushing through crazy moments of life. Sit tall and proud; have good posture, allow yourself to feel connected to others around you and the universe as a whole, and never forget to love yourself. Your true self lives inside of you and when life seems to be spinning out of control, look inward and find peace. Follow your inward light and live with love.
Don’t forget to breathe.
In general, just breathe. Our breath tells us what’s going on in our body. When we’re nervous, scared, or stressed our breath is shallow, quick and often shaky. When we are calm, peaceful, and unstressed our breath will be long, deep and fluid. In our practice, when poses get difficult and our body starts to shake we must remember to focus on our breath. This idea can be applied to daily life too.
This piece originally appeared on Wanderlust.com in June 2014.
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. Practicing 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. Practicing 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.
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 practiced in the right way, without putting too much stress on specific muscle groups.
7. Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure
If you practice 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.
8. Improves your posture
By practicing 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 nagging injuries, aches and pains .