Benefits of Yoga – Yoga starts with the breathtaking nice slow deep breaths as if you’re breathing to a slow count of 4, or controlling the breath by seeing how long you can make your inhalations and exhalations. This style of breathing strengthens the diaphragm, tones and cleanses the internal organs, relaxes and releases tension in the body, clears and quiets the mind and helps to balance the nervous system. In Yoga we practice Ujjayi Breath meaning Ocean Breath because your breath sounds like soft waves sliding onto the shore. The sound of the breath helps to quiet the mind and relax the mind to help keep the mind in the present moment (clear of thoughts), instead of following your thoughts from past or future that tend to take over our present moments. Yoga means “to Yoke”, “to Join together”, “Union” etc. Essentially meaning your are uniting the mind and the body together as one. Giving each participant the opportunity to get to know their body and learn to trust the signals from within the body.
The style of Yoga that I tried when I first started Yoga was a Vinyasa Flow/Ashtanga style, in which the Yoga postures are put together in a sequence to get the heart rate going and tone and strengthen the whole body. The flow of postures combined with the deep Ujjayi breathing has numerous effects on the body physically and spiritually.
Physically the benefits of yoga include toning, trimming inches and burning fat, improving balance and coordination, and strengthening your body and mind.
Benefits of Yoga Spiritually; as the Yoga practice revolves around Ujjayi breathing,the breath helps to open the subtle inner channels that the thoughts travel in throughout the body. The goal of Yoga is Nirvana, this refers to permanently stopping all our negative thoughts. For it’s the negative thoughts that we choose to think that cause us pain, and most people don’t realize that this way of thinking is a choice! Depression and Anxiety are a choice that comes down to choosing, am I going to think negatively about others/myself or positively. It’s the thoughts that we choose to think that cause the emotions we feel in our body, so if you’re one of those people that don’t like how you feel you have to change what you’re thinking about. If you want to stop pain, you have to stop the seeds from the past which caused the pain. And this is done in the mind, in deep meditation and Yoga practice.
The incredible magic of Yoga is that it actually attacks negative thoughts on a physical level, as the Yoga postures release blockages from pain from the past that has been held in the body. If we are doing our Yoga poses correctly then, the side channels within the body open up, which actually causes us to think more clearly and kindly. A totally calm and properly focused mind brings negative thoughts to a stand still.
Whether you practice Hatha, Ashtanga, Anusara, Kundalini, Kriya etc. Whether you’re having a relaxing Yoga practice or more of a workout, the physical effects may vary in your practice where the spiritual effects will always stir within the body and allow you to take in what your body needs to take in and release what your body needs to release. This allows your mind and body to find balance emotionally and physically within itself.
This is a process that takes time with regular practice. The last 7 years of my life have become my journey through my own Yoga practice. It was through this practice that I was able to unfold this transformation within myself. Through this transformation I knew if Yoga could help me it could also be so beneficial to others and their lives. And this is how I choose to share my gift with the world by teaching Yoga and Dance, giving everyone the possibilities to turn within to strengthen the body and the mind. We all have our own gifts to share with each other it’s just up to ourselves to explore those gifts and find a place for them in our lives. When you spend time with yourself you learn to live to your own unique purpose, living to the full potential of your being and having the feeling of freedom and happiness in your everyday state. And it does feel AMAZING!