The physical practise of yoga aims to unite the movement of the body with the breath via the two most popular limbs of yoga in the West; Asana and Pranayama. There are many benefits to be had from the practise, most importantly it encourages feelings of wellbeing and relaxation. This in turn creates a more mindful state of being in the body which can increase mobility in both the muscles and the joint and enhance your overall performance in any other exercise routines.
An altering state
Altering the state of the body into a more relaxed state of being helps to focus the mind on the present moment, alleviating the constant chatter and noise it creates itself, thinking over plans for the future or reliving events from the past. When your awareness is focused on the present moment, you get a better understanding of how your body is feeling, becoming more aware of any aches and pains or areas of limited mobility and tightness in the muscles and the joints. Grounding your awareness into your body can help to reduce any physical pain as well as increasing overall feelings of wellbeing in both the body and the mind.
Utilising a mindful state
Using the more mindful state created through the practise of yoga can help you move your body in a more conscious way, working with any limitations from reduced mobility in the muscles and joints. Rather than pushing the body to it’s limits, easing the pressure on the body can enhance performance by encouraging the body to relax. By encouraging the muscles to relax and release allows them to return to a more mobile state, creating length and space in each muscle and the body overall. This in turn will increase the performance of the body, creating more strength and endurance.
The practise of yoga can be beneficial to everyone from complete beginners to elite athletes, the journey is continuous with a myriad of starting points and no end! The practise is complementary to any other regular fitness routines or workouts as it can support the body with different kinds of movement. It is also a stand alone practise, as you can start to increase the intensity with vinyasa flows and strengthening postures. The more your practise, the greater your mobility and mindfulness will be.
Very little equipment is needed to get started, a mat and some props to assist your body with the postures and relaxation are all you need. Creating a space where you can relax and let go and take some time out for yourself will enable you to take your fitness routine to the next level.