This year’s #internationalyogaday is finally here, and we’re ready to celebrate one of the world’s most ancient and widely practiced physical and mental disciplines in the world.
First, a little history…
The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’.
Although we can’t know for sure, this practice is thought to have originated with the Indus Valley Civilization, in today’s Northern India, over 5000 years ago.
While this discipline has its origins in Hinduism, it has grown in popularity among people of many backgrounds and faiths in recent years.
There are many different styles of yoga that have evolved over time, including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, and Kundalini.
The benefits of Yoga;
Yoga has been associated with a number of health benefits. From strengthening our bodies to increasing strength, flexibility, muscle tone and loss of body fat, there is a reason why this practice has stood the test of time.
However, If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you will probably be aware that it has advantages that go far beyond the physical.
This is because, at the root of all the different variations, yoga focuses on creating harmony between the mind and body. As a result, yoga stresses a strong focus on the breath and the inner workings of the mind. In so doing, research has found that yoga decreases anxiety, stress, and depression, reduces or stabilises blood pressure, and helps us relax.
How to find a yoga class near you...
There are a few things to consider when you begin your search for a yoga class that works with your schedule and your needs.
Finding a studio or class that is close to your home or workplace is key. An online search could be a fantastic approach to explore what's available in your area, as well as to see what others think of the studio.
If you are new to yoga, we recommend that you try out a couple of different classes. As we’ve seen, there are various styles of yoga and ideally, you should experiment with a variety of teachers and teaching approaches.
Once you've found an instructor or class that you enjoy, make a commitment. Maintain your commitment by attending class a couple times a week. That is when the magic happens!
While there are countless free yoga workouts on platforms such as Youtube, having an instructor guide you and correct poses as you go is crucial, especially if you are just starting out. If you’re a seasoned pro, Yoga with Adriene is a popular option.