How Yoga Can Help You
(First published in The Mercury, October 1999)
Yoga can help you by: developing a more supple and stronger body; making changes to your diet for optimum nutritional intake; learning how to detox your body; increasing your energy levels; learning how to relax in our stress-ridden society (also from anxieties and depression); being able to make decisions with a focused mind; developing your inner strength helping you to flow through life ’s crises.
On the physical level the physical postures (Asanas) combined with deep breathing lead to an improvement of all the body systems (e.g. skeletal, muscular, circulatory systems).
Many people’s spine is stooped through bad habitual posture which closes the lungs to a certain degree so that not enough oxygen can be taken in. In a Hatha Yoga class you will bend your spine forward, backward, sideways and laterally twist it helping a neglected spine to get back to its original proper shape. All the muscles are put into balance and kept elastic with the various Asanas by stretching and contracting the muscles and the deep breathing in the postures carries fresh oxygen to them. Due to the body being placed into different positions the blood circulation will improve in your body. An efficient blood circulation provides for a strong heart and unobstructed blood vessels.
Asanas also remove toxins (e.g. cellulite) from the body. Our body needs to be detoxed on a regular basis as it continuously accumulates toxins (e.g. from the environment/car fumes etc.). A nutritious diet is of paramount importance to cut out toxins entering our body (advice on proper nutrition is covered in the Yoga course). Specific cleansing techniques (part of Hatha Yoga) as well as regular Fasts are further tools to detox.
Breathing techniques remove restlessness and increase energy levels leading to a calm mind which in turn leads to reduction in stress. They have an instant effect, relaxing the mind due to its influence on the nervous system. Subsequently, the body is relaxed, too.
The relaxation techniques and meditation rest the whole system (body and mind). A calm and relaxed mind is crucial in coping with so-called problems/disasters/pressures (financial/emotional etc.). Your mind is in a state from which you can act confidently and make decisions; some decisions may have been overdue for quite some time.
Everyone needs a support in times of crisis and Yoga offers that support by building up your inner strength. Regular Yoga practice leads to a strong and healthy body and a mind free of agitation and worries. This gives you strength and confidence to embark with ease on a new direction in your life.