In the western world, despite our advanced medical systems, we are facing a health crisis. More people than ever are overweight or even obese, and stress levels, backache, joint problems and mental-health issues such as anxiety and depression are causing major absentee issues for employers and for the economy.
We all know that being fat is not healthy and that, in order to increase our strength and improve our health, most of us should eat less and move more. It doesn’t sound so difficult; but why, if the solution is that easy, are the gyms full of people in January but eerily quiet by June? It is becoming recognised that a more holistic approach to health and well-being is called for; and yoga is part of that solution.
Yoga often slips into people’s awareness through articles about the more extreme versions such as Bikram or “hot” yoga, where slim, beautiful people are seen to bend their muscular bodies into difficult positions like the lotus pose.
Others become aware of yoga through celebrities such as Madonna, Jessica Biel or Cheryl Cole,; even the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team and many major American Football teams now have a dedicated yoga teacher. But the benefits of yoga lessons are not just for the very fit or famous.
In our busy working lives, even balanced people become anxious, stressed out and tired. Our breath can become habitually erratic, which can lead to both mental and physical illness. Yoga lessons can help us to relearn breathing patterns, relieve stress levels, and re-energize mind and body in a natural way, enabling us to breathe more easily, relax and reduce fatigue. The prana – the energy that lies untapped within us all – can be released through yoga exercises. The poses can also assist in increasing levels of fitness, lengthening muscles and addressing injury sites, which in turn can help ease problems with bad backs, shoulders and other joints. Utilising respiration, yoga can help to calm anxiety, and eventually most people will be able to achieve the benefits of relaxation; some may even achieve meditation.
There are a bewildering number of different types of yoga to choose from, not to mention numerous varieties of portmanteau mind/body exercise classes like pilates and yogalates. One can be overwhelmed by the quantity and diversity of online yoga, books and magazines anxious to impart information about how to improve your health through exercise, some of which are of a very good quality, others less so. All types of yoga are based on the original Indian philosophy, but many have lost the purity and precision of yoga. If the body can be encouraged to achieve correct alignment, the body can be opened to the breath that helps dispel fatigue and restore health and well-being.
So why should you practice using myyogatutor.com? We would always recommend going to a well-qualified teacher rather than always practicing alone. But not everyone can get to a yoga class as often as they would like. Home practice can be a useful tool to help you develop your yoga, heath, stability and calm.
My Yoga Tutor, the online Iyengar practice program, The Brain Child of the Maidstone Yoga Centre, true disciples of Mr Iyengar’s evolving legacy.