Yoga and its benefits
“When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to do something.
Try to be sensitive. That is yoga.” ― Petri Räisänen”
Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility
Yoga and its benefits – One of the 5 aspects of Evenstar 5 Star Wellbeing is Movement. I prefer the word ‘movement’ to the word ‘exercise’ for numerous reasons, not least of all because the word ‘exercise’ seems to polarise people into 2 groups – those who love it and can’t live without it, and those who hate it and see it one of life’s many evils that they try to ignore as much as possible.
The fact is that the human body is designed to move. It’s not necessarily designed to do 5 HIIT classes a week but it’s definitely not designed to sit at a desk 8 hours a day and sit in a car or on a train for 1 hour either side of that. One of the many problems with the modern western lifestyle is that it involves very little movement and as a result the population is becoming more and more unhealthy, with lifestyle factors a major contributor to increasing chronic disease levels.
Reasons Why You Need to Move
The simple truth is that the human body is designed to move! So this is not about exercising to become super fit or stick thin, this is simply about moving because that is what your body needs in order to function properly, not to mention to function well!
Essential body operations – movement increases circulation allowing more efficient and effective delivery of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food you eat to all parts of your body.Even more important than increased circulation is the fact that if your muscles don’t move then your lymphatic system can’t operate. The lymphatic system is a one way waste removal system that allows your whole body to constantly detoxify, but it only works if you move your muscles. The contraction and expansion of muscles moves the lymphatic fluid. So what happens if you don’t move? Wastes build up, literally poisoning your system. Think about what your neighbourhood would look like if the garbage trucks were unable to move through the streets and collect the garbage – piles of rubbish everywhere! That is what your insides look like when you don’t move!
Use it or lose it – no doubt you’ve heard this term before but have you ever thought about the fact that your heart is simply a big muscle? So what is going to happen if you are not exercising and ensuring that your heart gets a workout? Just like you, it will become unfit and lazy, and may just stop working completely a lot sooner than it should!
Immune stimulation – movement stimulates the immune system, causing changes in antibodies and white blood cells and allowing your body to have a fighting chance against illness and infection. Movement is therefore absolutely key to preventing and reducing the symptoms of any ailment.
I want to give a special mention to yoga because it is a form of movement that benefits your mental, emotional and spiritual health as well as your physical body.
Despite what you might think from scrolling through Instagram, yoga is not about being upside down in lycra on a beach! The asana practise of Yoga involves holding a series of poses that stretch and strengthen the body. Because these poses are physically challenging yoga also teaches your brain that it can deal with stress! Your stress management integrity will be improved and your stress levels will drop! How awesome does that sound?
There are many different types of yoga asana practise – from those that are more gentle and relaxing like Hatha or Yin to those that are much more intense like Vinyasa or Bikram. There is definitely a yoga for everyone.
If you feel a bit self conscious as a beginner yogi now is the perfect time to do my Chakra Yoga for Beginners Course [link] in the privacy of your own home!
I also highly recommend the YouTube channel Yoga with Adrienne because the wonderful Adrienne is a fantastic teacher, has 100s of yoga videos for all levels and to suit all moods, including things like 30 day challenges and she just knows the right thing to say to always make you feel great about yourself. You may even find that your local yoga studio now offers online sessions (after going through the steep covid-pivot learning curve!) as well as in person ones.