Saturday 25 May 2019

Discovering the benefits of yoga

To be completely honest, I used to think that yoga was a bit of a weak excuse for a workout. I couldn't really see why people would spend an hour or two at a time stretching and lying on the floor and feel as though they had completed a beneficial workout. However, a couple of years ago, I stumbled across Yoga with Adriene's YouTube channel and started doing some short at-home yoga workouts to get an idea of what yoga was like. After completing one of her 30-day yoga challenges, I started to understand the benefits of reducing stress, increasing flexibility and improving my mental health that come with yoga.

There was a period of time where I stopped doing these at-home yoga workouts, and it wasn't until I joined The Studio HQ in Hobart earlier this year that I decided to try a yoga class, as opposed to an at-home practice. Whenever I had attempted to do a yoga practice for longer than 30 minutes at home, I found myself looking at my watch every few minutes to see how much longer I had left. However, I found that attending a class with an in-person instructor and a number of other participants was a very different experience. Having the instructor at the front of the class guiding everyone through the different moves, and providing assistance if we needed to alter our positions, made the experience much more interactive and personable.

The main benefits that I have come to discover over the past few months include improved flexibility through the number of muscles that are stretched throughout each class; increased strength and posture; and a better overall mental health and relaxation as you really focus on your breath, being in the moment and leaving all thoughts of to-do lists, stresses and general life tasks outside of the yoga room.

While a yoga class is not your traditional cardio or weight-lifting workout, I really like to balance out my other workouts with one or two yoga sessions each week, along with getting some cardio through cyle classes, and some strength training through reformer pilates classes. At the end of a yoga class, I don't have the same feelings that I do after a high-intensity workout, but I definitely feel more relaxed and stretched, and experience a similar endorphin hit. I now find that a one hour class is the perfect length for a yoga session, as it provides enough time for moving through the range of poses and stretches without feeling too rushed. I love the fact that the instructors at The Studio include a different routine in each class, so that you never get bored with doing the same routine.

While I have different spiritual beliefs as a Christian from those on which the practice of yoga are based,  I think you can take the practice as you like and don't necessarily need to believe those aspects in order to enjoy participating in yoga. For example, one of the yoga instructors at The Studio often says at the start of each class that you can dedicate the class to a person or thing in your life, and keep that person or thing at the forefront of your mind throughout the class, which I find is a good chance to reflect on my own spiritual beliefs.

All in all, I am very glad that I have been able to delve further into yoga classes over these past few months. If you haven't tried yoga but are interested in giving a different kind of exercise a go, I'd definitely recommend seeing if there is a yoga studio in your local area, or even starting off by checking out Yoga with Adriene's YouTube channel to see what benefits you can get from a yoga session.


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  3. Bhakti or devotion, is an essential aspect of yoga. Through this form of yoga, one expressed love and devotion towards God. Here God is the Supreme Being. It does not refer to any symbolic God, simply universal energy.Luviyoga

  4. Once you have begun to visit the many different yoga classes available in your area, you will find that there is a common denominator among them all. That of which is that they are focused on bringing oneness to one's life.

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