You may have heard about yoga and how beneficial it can be for you, you may have tried a class or two, or you may never have even considered going to a class. Regardless of your stance, yoga’s popularity has increased significantly in the UK and worldwide over recent years due to an increasing awareness of its holistic benefits.
Understanding and knowing where to start looking for a class can be difficult as yoga has many definitions and interpretations. However underpinning all yoga practice is an eight-limbed philosophy of which one limb is asana (postures), and this has generally been the main focus for western practitioners. The other limbs primarily focus on meditation practice, breath control, ethical considerations, concentration, self-observation and discipline.
Hatha yoga is immensely popular in the western world and lays emphasis on the physical aspect of yoga, with some classes incorporating breath work and meditation/relaxation.
What are the Benefits of Hatha Yoga?
As we grow older, we can at times find managing careers, families, caring responsibilities and friendships very stressful, with little time to take care of our own personal health. We may experience challenges with a number of stress-related health issues, including fatigue, weakness, difficulty sleeping, weight management and a sense of well-being. Research and my own personal experience have demonstrated to me that yoga has a multitude of benefits.
Hatha yoga is more than just a fitness routine that involves cardiovascular or repetitive exercises, where age and physical fitness determines your workout regimen. It is a practice that naturally moves the focus of your body to self-awareness, inner healing, vitality and better health.
Yoga nourishes and calms the nervous system and teaches you to unwind using Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation (stilling the mind) enabling relaxation and peace. A regular practice consequently improves concentration and can strengthen the immune system.
Yoga has been found to assist in better ageing, through increased flexibility, minimising the muscle loss that occurs as we age and also helps keep bones strong all achieved through the low-impact stretches and strength based exercises yoga offers.
Another advantage that yoga offers is versatility; it does not require specialist equipment and therefore can be done just about anywhere with just a yoga mat.
So if you are hoping to improve your health and vitality in 2018 and want an activity that will benefit your mind and body in multiple ways then put ‘try a yoga class’ on your 2018 to do list. Yoga is suitable for everyone and it is never too late to start and experience the benefits.
I will be running a taster Hatha Yoga class at the New Year event on Saturday 6th January alternatively email me on Rachel@myclaminthecity.co.uk to book onto my Wednesday morning class at 9.30am. Evening Hatha classes are also available at Rowan House with other instructors.