Why do people practise yoga? To be able to touch their toes in a forward bend? To reach the heels on the floor in downward-facing dog?
According to research, 90 per cent of people come to yoga because they seek flexibility, physical fitness and stress relief.
While the impetus for the first yoga class might be a recurring headache, back pain, high stress levels in daily life, sleeping problems or a desire for weight loss or more flexibility, for many this will change as they continue to commit to the practice. What they gain out of it will be both physical and spiritual.
I believe people find their way to yoga because of some kind of suffering. If life is always a fairytale, why would you bother rolling out your mat just to focus on your breath and observe your thoughts for an hour or more? Exactly.
Yoga offers a space for meeting yourself and self-reflection, allowing you to practise kindness, self-compassion and continued self-awareness.
Yoga is not about working out – it’s about making better and healthy lifestyle choices. The practice of yoga allows students to find stillness in a busy, chaotic world in which we need to operate and function somehow.
Yoga offers deep breathing and meditation practices that help foster an inner shift from to-do lists, deadlines at work, kids and spouse’s needs, financial concerns and relationship struggles to something a little bit bigger than the issues at hand.
The benefits of yoga and how you feel after your class provide both instant gratification and lasting transformation. Yoga has the ability to change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health.