If I had a pound for each new Yoga student who said ‘but I can’t get my leg over my head’… I don’t expect us to get our legs over our head but to increase flexibility in order to improve the everyday functioning of our body would be a great place to start. If you can get your leg over your head then great, we can work with that too.
Another student said ‘only relaxed people can do Yoga’. That is one of the reasons why we do yoga to help us become relaxed. Once relaxed life is a much brighter place and we can make decisions more clearly.
‘I can’t do Yoga with my pelvic floor’ said another student. Yoga is fabulous for toning and strengthening the pelvic floor and the core strength muscles.
Developing the core strength muscles assist us in everyday life to maintain the healthy function of those spinal columns. This can be one of the many reasons why Yoga compliments other exercise i.e. running, cycling, football etc. You only have to listen to footballers in the media who practice Yoga.
So we can assist the body to become flexible (increase range of movement) where we need it most i.e. hamstrings, back, shoulders and hips. We can become stronger and toned, energised or relaxed.
And we can assist the mind to become clearer and calmer. Breathing exercises create a calm state of mind helping us to reduce stress levels. When our posture improves our mental outlook improves. An awareness of health and diet in general assists the mind to become calmer. Yoga postures and breathing exercises soothe the nervous system, improve concentration and reduce anxiety also.
Other noticeable effects of Yoga, either by my students (men and women) or myself, include weight control, an ability to sleep better and pain/inflammation management . And an excellent feeling of well being as our endorphins get triggered during exercise which makes us feel happier. And we laugh more. Laughing is the most relaxing activity we can do.
I could write all day about the benefits of Yoga. One student even gave up smoking with the help of Yoga. Because we find a balance, the ‘middle-way’ or mental equilibrium within our lives to help us find healthier ways of coping with what life throws at us. I can’t promise this will happen to you but you can enjoy yourselves along the way by exploring the potentials of Yoga.
If you think there is a health reason why you may not be able to do Yoga please get advice from your doctor.
If you are pregnant during weeks 1-16 refrain from practicing Yoga. Then discuss with doctor/midwife and yoga teacher if it is recommended that you proceed with Yoga practice. I couldn’t teach a pregnant lady in a group situation after 16 weeks if she has had no prior Yoga experience.
Under 16’s need to be accompanied by an adult/guardian and have to be of suitable age and maturity to take part in an adult class.