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 emphasised today at our Health Retreats.
- 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. Practising these breathing techniques can also boost oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you feeling happier and more content with everyday life.
You will sleep better
When we are less stressed we sleep better, and when we sleep better we are less stressed. Physical activity and mental relaxation fuel this virtuous cycle. A variety of studies have shown that yoga can improve sleep quality and quantity in people struggling with insomnia.
You will gain flexibility AND mobility
People often talk about flexibility, but what’s really important is mobility–the functional flexibility that makes it easier for you to complete everyday movements that require kneeling, bending or reaching–or maybe just cramming into a tiny airplane seat. Yoga increases mobility so that you can bring more ease to your movement and don’t feel so stuck in your body.
Inexpensive anti-aging treatment
We cannot stop our body from aging, but the least we can do is keep it healthy and detoxified. Yoga, along with its sister knowledge – Ayurveda, offers wonderful techniques to treat those wrinkles and patches that come with age. These techniques cleanse the body inside out and rejuvenate it.
Gain a sense of inner calm
Yoga quiets the monkey mind. At the very beginning of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is Sutra 1.2: Yoga chitta vrtti nirodha, or “Yoga is the stilling (regulation, quieting) of the turnings of the mind.” Yoga teaches us how to step back from our churning thoughts and maintain a state of inner calm.
It helps with weight management
Yoga is exercise, and you do burn calories doing yoga. But even less vigorous styles of yoga can help you control your weight by reducing stress, bringing mindfulness to your eating habits, and providing a heightened sense of well-being and self-esteem.
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
Benefits breathing and lowers blood pressure
If you practise 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 immunity and lowering cholesterol.
Yoga aims towards transcendence of all those things. In a culture in which we rush from one day to the next, constantly trying to change our health, our body or our emotions, or to plan our future, yoga opens up the possibility of connecting to what we already have - to who we already are.