What Are The Benefits Of Yoga?

15/03/2022, Olga Allon, The Light Centre

There are so many styles of yoga out there to try – it is hard to know which one to go for, especially if you are a beginner. Some styles of yoga are more physically demanding and other styles focus on the meditative and relaxing side of a yoga practice.

However, all styles of yoga have some things in common; stretching your body, working on your alignment and building your balance as well as giving you time to focus on the asana’s (postures) and your breath - taking your ‘busy’ mind away from your thoughts.

If a regular yoga practice is maintained, there are so many wonderful benefits to discover. The deeper your yoga practice, the deeper the benefits.

It is incredibly important for us all to have both strength and flexibility – ideally in relatively equal measures. We want our bodies to have strength to protect our joints and build lean muscle, but we need to also have flexibility to prevent injury, to maintain good posture and to give our bodies longevity. But most people just tend to forget about stretching. Stretching really is something you should try to build into your routine. You need a good range of motion before you can work on strength. A yoga practice can help build flexibility. Many people say ‘I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible!’ But all the more reason to take up yoga. Yoga is for all ages, all levels, all body types and all ages. You are never too old or too late to start a yoga practice.

The key to this is consistency of practice. Taking up a regular, weekly class will enable you to see the changes. Every time, there will be tiny steps of improvement as your body starts to open little by little, class by class, day by day. And by performing the same sequence of postures, you can see the changes happen.

We spend so much of our lives rounding our spines over phones and computers, picking up the shopping or toys off the floor. Take time to open your body and spine in all directions and refuel and reenergise your body with a yoga practice.

Yoga improves your postures and can help your joints to stay mobile but there are other many benefits. Yoga can reduce stress levels and blood pressure and can improve your breathing. Bringing a yoga practice into your life can help you to make healthier choices including drinking more water and eating a healthy diet.

Yoga isn’t easy. It can be incredibly challenging – have you ever tried standing on one leg for a minute?

Yoga can challenge you to hold a posture – it builds determination, will power and stamina. For all those fitness, adrenaline junkies, even more reason why you have to balance that but it will not be easy.

Slow, controlled movements are often more demanding than using momentum.

And a yoga practice really does work your entire body (including some muscles groups that are usually hard to reach), so it works naturally on alignment. Most of us will be stronger and more dependant on one side of the body. Continued use of that side can lead to injury. A yoga practice brings balance back to both sides – working on each side independently. It is the norm to see professional athletes using yoga to compliment their other training.

Controlled stretching and building strength is good for everyone. It’s the foundation we all need before we can work on fitness – whether that’s running, playing tennis or just keeping up with our kids!

But which style of yoga should you choose? Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha, Power, Dharma, Dynamic, Ashtanga – there are so many different styles. And what’s more, each teacher will bring their own mark on the class giving you endless choice.

The important thing is to give yourself a chance to try many different styles of yoga with many different teachers to decide which classes work best for you, your schedule and your lifestyle so that you can commit.

Set yourself a realistic goal of taking a class regularly. Consistency is key to seeing the benefits that a yoga practice can and will bring. Book a weekly class ahead and commit to a regular yoga practice as part of your routine. It can be daunting stepping foot into a yoga class but there are always classes more suited to beginners and the teachers are there to support you every step of the way. There is huge choice online too which can be incredibly convenient but if you can, get yourself into a physical class at a studio where you can be in person contact with your teacher and you can enjoy the atmosphere in a yoga studio.

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

About The Author
Olga Allon is the CEO of The Light Centre Yoga Studios, which offer an extensive range of yoga classes for you to try with many of London’s most popular teachers on their regular schedule. 

Take their special Intro Offer 14 days pass for just £30 to try a range of classes and a range of teachers so you get a taste of what is to offer and which classes work best for you

@lightcentreuk @olgaallonhys

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