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Feel Good with Yoga

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Health, Web Exclusives


yogaWhat is it about yoga that appeals to many people from a variety of backgrounds, ages  and lifestyles?  These days, yoga is as popular as any type of physical activity, such as running, spinning, weight training and boot camp. As such, yoga’s popularity is a result of a feeling one is left with at the end of a class.  Like all good physical activity, one experiences freedom from stress as endorphins release to create a feeling of ease and relaxation; however, yoga also strives to bring peace and tranquility. Through a combination of poses, breathing and meditation, yoga teaches us how to access the peace and joy that at times is buried deep. Yoga not only provides a fantastic physical workout, but also delves deeper into the mind and spirit by promoting a union of these three elements. In Sanskrit, yoga means to yoke or unify; therefore the objective of yoga is to bring harmony and balance to the mind, body and spirit.

Those new to yoga may feel intimidated and worried that they will not succeed because they “cannot wrap their leg around their neck.”  While it is true that there are some very interesting and challenging poses (asanas), there are many yoga classes available that are suitable for beginners.  In these types of classes, poses are gently introduced in their foundation and then any progression of the pose will gradually be taught.  Individuals are encouraged to honour their own bodies by tuning into the signals that arise during a practice.  Along with beginner classes, there are Hatha style classes at a variety of levels: Yin, Flow, Hot yoga, Kripalu and Ashtanga (also known as Power yoga).

Just like the fond memory of a favourite grade-school teacher, a great yoga teacher will not only provide you with a solid class, but will, more importantly, inspire you to achieve your personal dreams and goals.  Along with finding the appropriate class, you must find the right instructor. Try out a variety of teachers and classes until you find one that resonates with you. You may appreciate a gentle, soft-spoken voice, a high-energy, assertive style, or a combination of both.  Whatever you prefer, you will realise that you have found that special teacher and the right class by the feeling you are left with.

Why yoga? Consider the plethora of health benefits yoga may bring into your life, such as a decrease in stress, increase of energy, strength and flexibility, mental alertness and awareness; a connection to one’s self and to the world, and a flood of positive feelings such as joy, peace, harmony, gratitude and, above else, love.  In our busy and hurried world, a regular yoga practice can really help us to slow down, and help us remain focused on the present. It is in these moments that life unfolds its splendour and glory and yoga, at the very least, can help us learn to be right here.

Martha Eleftheriou is a registered yoga instructor at I Love Yoga Studio.



2 Responses to “Feel Good with Yoga”

  1. Neal on October 25th, 2011 9:13 am

    Great article! Well written and to the point!

  2. Yvonne on October 29th, 2011 9:37 pm

    Excellent article. Very well written. Thank you Martha.

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