• Health & Wellness

Benefits of yoga / meditation on health from Earth & Skye Yoga

Today we are experiencing a world that is increasingly stressful and hectic and we are getting sicker and unhappier. In a survey carried out by in 2018 they say that ”In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope”. We are constantly looking outward for something that will bring us happiness. In a time when we know that our NHS is under great strain, we can take charge of our own health. Yoga and meditation can tackle the causes of our health issues rather than treating the symptoms. Yoga can have a direct effect on our mental health, our physical health, our emotional health and gives us a sense of belonging.

With yoga we look inward. We discover that the elusive happiness that we often seek outside of ourselves is a mirage. In fact, joy and peace are within us all, we need to identify and remove the obstacles and habits that get in the way of our centre. Peter Blackaby puts it like this in Intelligent yoga “yoga can help us to become more fully integrated as human beings”

Yoga is open to everyone no matter what faith group, age group, fitness level, It is non-competitive and non-judgemental. It’s a 'come as you are thing'. It's your practice; you do what is right for you, because only you know what is needed for you. A famous doctor explains our uniqueness like this “There is no one alive that is youer than you “ ~Dr Seuss (happy birthday to you; 1959)

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice. It has evolved naturally to suit modern living but there is a timeless richness in the traditional teachings. It is now popular worldwide and is practiced by half a million Brits daily. This number is increasing. Yoga can take many forms and is not just the bendy pretzel type shapes we are used to seeing. Postures develop and prepare the body for meditation but working with the body is a mindful practice in itself. We draw our awareness into the body. Through movement, cleansing, mindfulness, breathing techniques, we can meet ourselves on deeper levels.

The movement and postures in yoga aim to allow the body to explore its full potential. Leaving no part of the system to become stagnant and a breeding ground for disease.

ari Prinster lists some evidence-based benefits to yoga in her work as a leading yoga teacher for cancer survivors; Yoga detoxifies the body, strengthens the body, increases range of motion and flexibility, keeps your spine strong, strengthens the immune system, manages weight gain, manages pain, manages fear, anxiety and depression, enhances body image, enhances empowerment and wellbeing.

Yoga also has a deep connection with the breath, affecting our energetic body as well. We only use a fraction of our lungs capacity with our habitual daily breathing patterns. When we direct our attention towards the breath and take conscious control of this process, we can influence our health on a cellular level using the nourishing and cleansing effects of the breath. It only takes a short daily breathing practice to develop a valuable tool for whatever life presents to us.

Meditation is a thread of yoga where the mind becomes focussed and steadied upon a point. Through a balance of concentration and letting go, one can become undisturbed by the flux of daily life positive or negative, “the mind is unwavering like the flame of a candle in a windless place” Bhagavad Gita 6:19. This practice of focusing the mind toward a single point brings a state of consciousness that is calm and peaceful. Through these contemplation and concentration practices we can make positive new neural connections and let go of others that no longer serve us. The practice of meditation is also just a nice way to take a break from our busy surface minds. From my own experience, many students, feedback and many modern evidence-based studies; yoga really works. This wonderful ancient practice has really stood the test of time and is needed more today than ever before. People who practice yoga often experience deeper self-awareness, self-love and universal peace. Oh and it’s fun too.

Join a yoga class today, just give it a go and start to find the yoga that suits you. The amount of different yoga practices and teachers is absolutely endless. So, if you are not sure the first time you try it, know that the right style of practice and teacher is yet to find you.

Contact me if you are interested in classes on Skye or on Zoom -

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