Hello, and welcome to Windsor Yoga’s first EVER blog post! We are so excited you are here and ready to learn all about yoga.
So, today we are going to be introducing you to some of the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga. As a side note, before we begin, it’s important to know these benefits need some time to flourish with regular practice, so just keep that in mind for what we are about to reveal. Let’s dive in, shall we?
First off it would be helpful to define yoga…
What is yoga?
Yoga is a sequence of practices, such as meditation, mindful movements (also known as postures), and controlled breathing, which focus on balancing the mind and body.
As you may already be aware, there are many types of yoga, all of which vary in pace and intensity.
The following are the ones Windsor Yoga provides:
· Yoga Nidra
But why choose yoga you say? Well, it has a lot of benefits for us on all levels of being. So let’s start with…
Mental benefits of yoga
So yoga helps the mind, by utilising breathing exercises and meditation, all of which can result in:
A relaxed mind (and body)
Yoga relaxes and calms the mind and body. Now, both the mind and body are mentioned here because the relaxing effect of yoga is intertwined. To understand what I mean by this you must know that emotions and trauma can be stored in the body if you do not process them. And secondly, this storing in the body can come in the form of tight muscles. By doing yoga you can work through physical blockages to release emotions that are stuck, allowing for mental relaxation.
Breathwork is a key aspect of yoga and is used to teach fellow students how to relax through deeper-regulated breathing. We all know what it’s like when we get tense and stressed. Our breathing pattern becomes short and ragged! So, breathing exercises work a treat in helping us reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. The beauty of breathwork is it can be used whenever we are handling uncomfortable emotions and situations.
Another, mental advantage of doing yoga is…
Do you want to be able to concentrate more? Do you struggle to remain focused? Well, yoga may be the practice for you.
With mindful movements, postures, and awareness of the breath, the circulation of blood around your body can improve. This means… more oxygen is delivered to your brain! This not only improves concentration but also your memory and awareness. Now, the latter can be divided into body, mind, and spiritual awareness, but for the sake of this section, we are going to talk about…
An awareness you can start to cultivate through yoga practice, mindfulness, breathwork, and meditation.
Therefore, your ability to become aware of your body and how it is feeling on a day-to-day basis is improved.
You sit on the mat not only to relax your mind and body but to also feel into them and accept them. It’s like a friend popping around to check in on you. The difference is, YOU become your own caring friend. By building this mental ability and connection with your body, you can move and be more mindful throughout your day.
Now, I am not saying everyone who practices yoga walks around fully aware 100% of the time, but they sure do have some advantages, such as reducing the likelihood of injury. Talking about that, why don’t we jump into…
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a form of exercise that can advance the state of your body and help…
Muscle growth and reduce likelihood of injury
When held for a long period of time, yoga poses stretch and activate muscular fibres, allowing stronger muscles to develop, resulting in a leaner physique. We’ve all wanted that more toned body once or twice in our lives, right? Trying to eat the healthiest and workout intensely, only to realise you are injuring yourself more because you didn’t take time to stretch.
By doing yoga you increase not only the strength of your muscles but also your spine, and bones, which improves your flexibility and balance, making falls less likely to occur for example.
We all suffer from time to time in having too little energy or having too much energy (being very wired), due to too LITTLE stress which can make our bodies feel depleted in energy or, too MUCH stress that puts us on edge and eventually leads to burnout.
Luckily yoga is a practice that can help you regulate your stress levels by grounding you into the present moment with your body and breath. Additionally, in terms of having low energy, the release of wellbeing enhancing hormones, such as endorphins, can increase such energy!
Talking about energy, spirit is a form of energy, it is always there but we cannot see it. Another aspect of yoga (if you wish to explore it) is its ability to help you connect with your spiritual side, and with practice can lead to life-enhancing results…
Spiritual benefits of yoga
First off, it is important to know what is meant by the term spirit (according to us at least). Spirit is the life force within each and every one of us, which drives us to do and be everything that we are. The spirit is not a physical part of the self, but is a form of energy, that some refer to as higher consciousness. If you wish to explore your spirituality, yogic meditation and self-awareness may be the tools you have been seeking.
Luckily for us, the mindful and meditative aspects of yoga help us cultivate self-awareness over time, and this can serve us in more ways than one.
For example, it can help you identify how you as an individual show up in this world (E.g. how you behave and react).
Being aware of yourself is the first of many steps towards a deeper knowing of yourself, and how you experience life. With self-awareness, you have the power to not only accept yourself fully for who you are in the now but also provide an opportunity for self-development.
We all go through our struggles and with mental, physical, and spiritual awareness, we can accept, handle, and process them with love and compassion. This awareness doesn’t necessarily come out of nowhere, but we can develop it.
Once you’ve started to gain more self-awareness, you can explore how to flow with life instead of against it in a way that benefits you and those around you.
Therefore, bettering the relationships we have with ourselves and others.
Experiencing beyond the physical
We, humans, live in a 3D material-based world, where all of our information is received and interpreted by our senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Yoga includes this dimension through grounding the body in the now, as well as the spiritual dimension through the gaining of awareness and tapping into the higher consciousness that exists within us all.
In this space there is no such thing as time, it is a place for you to simply BE with no limitations to experience lightness and freeness like no other.
Are you interested? You will only know once you have tried…
So, there you have it, a list of benefits of practicing yoga, from building muscle strength to cultivating awareness, yoga has got you covered.
If you are interested in trying out yoga, we run regular online classes, which you can find more information in the following link
Or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email or telephone: https://www.windsoryoga.co.uk/contact-8