Why should I take up yoga – what are the benefits?
You’ve heard people talk about how awesome yoga is, how it can benefit your body, your mind, your whole life in fact. You scratch your head and wonder if you’re really the right person to be doing yoga. Well yes, yes you are! Yoga is for everybody, young, old, pregnant, all sizes, all genders, everyone.
Teacher Shams Abu-Tayeh has met many people who on finding out she is a yoga teacher say to her ‘Oh, I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible’ to which she more often than not replies ‘Well, you’re talking to someone who couldn’t reach past her knees since the age of 12. If I can do it, anyone can’. And that is the truth of the matter. Anyone can do it, and they will see the benefits.
Think you have to go to the gym to get a flexible toned body, well think again. As Iain Marshall-Clarke of Olcote Wellbeing explains “you don’t just give your body a workout you give your mind and your respiratory system a workout too when you practise yoga” and points out that “Yoga remains one of the oldest surviving practices of holistic health and fitness in the world.”
So now I have persuaded you to begin thinking that this could be for you and you can do it, I hear you ask “What’s in it for me?” “What exactly are the benefits I’m going to get from donning leggings and contorting myself (or not)?”
On a more introspective level Rachael McGill describes, in her article “Yoga from the inside out”, how yoga helps you develop a physical awareness of your body that bypasses the brain like a form of meditation.
This list is not exhaustive and if you look around the internet you will find that many other benefits are attributed to practising yoga.