Yoga is not a recent practice. It is a practice which through time, has developed and increased in significance and appeal worldwide. The rationale behind the appeal is greatly to do with the physical and psychological benefits experienced when integrating yoga into one’s daily schedule. Yoga can be viewed as a breath of fresh air in this fast paced lifestyle that we live in.

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit language and means “to integrate”. Yoga promotes a harmonious working together of the body’s components leading to both physical and mental training. Despite the fact that there are numerous forms of yoga; Hatha Yoga is still presently seen as one of the more commonly practiced yoga styles. Hatha Yoga consists of non strenuous physical exercise which aids in strengthening, stretching and balancing the body’s joints. Regular breathing is performed at the same time which aids in providing oxygen to the muscles, and in turn positively affects bodily structures and organs. The awareness required during yoga practice, ensures that mind and body have to work together to create a mind-body harmony which in turn promotes healing.

Yoga will not be a quick fix for all your aches, worries and pains. However, with regular yoga practice your body will rebalance slowly and steadily, leaving you discovering the results for yourself. Physical benefits which you can anticipate are improved efficiency of the lungs, better use of your respiratory muscles, improved flexibility of the joints, improved coordination and muscle tone, maintenance of bone density, reduced risk of injury as well as the prevention of weight gain. Psychological benefits can also include an increase in self-confidence, decreased cravings for tobacco and food, better sleep, an increased ability to relax, improved concentration as well as a reduced likelihood of depression. Yoga differentiates itself from other exercises as it draws on the entire person as a whole.

Half an hour of yoga a day, or 15 minutes of yoga twice a day, can easily be incorporated into any daily schedule. Some breathing techniques can even be practiced while working or driving home after a long day. A short routine for those of you spending hours staring at a computer screen is to take a few moments every day to glance at a distant object. This allows your eyes a moments rest from glare and a change of focus. Look left and right, up and down at least 5 times, blink at least 8 times to moisten your eyes and if it is at all possible, rest your elbows on a comfortable surface and close your eyes whilst covering them with the palm of your hands. If you can incorporate this with or without some breathing exercises, you will already be on the way to a healthier and possibly more focused lifestyle.

Baby steps everyone…no one expects you to transform overnight.

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