Traditional Indian yoga, the 5,000 year old practice, is a series of postures which focus on building core strength, flexibility and breathing.
The word ‘yoga originates from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means ‘joining together’ and is believed to refer to the joining of the conscious force and the Supreme force.
The famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, was one of the first westerners to study Yoga in detail.
Yoga is known to be a wonderful benefit for not only your physical but also your mental wellbeing. There have been many science-based studies which have been published and generally most of them suggest that yoga is effective and safe but a recent study undertaken by a New York University found that Yoga helped to reduce psychological and physical symptoms of the painful condition Fibromyalgia.
According to the NHS Livewell website, there’s evidence that practising yoga regularly ( at least twice a week) is beneficial for high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease, lower back pain and even depression and stress.
Contrary to popular belief, yoga is considered to be a moderate-intensity aerobic activity and therefore does not contribute to the recommended 150minutes of cardiovascular exercise as set out by government guidelines, though it is considered to be good for strengthening. So aside from the Yoga, you still need to get walking, jogging, running, into the gym or take up another more active activity alongside it.
There are many different styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda but there are many more different types across the world. The one thing they all have in common is the pursuit of a state of ‘oneness’ with the universe through peace, meditation and good health.
Classes are held everywhere in every town and vary from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Remember that whilst Yoga teachers are not required by law to have any specific qualifications in the UK, a practitioner does need insurance, a teaching certificate and accreditation from a yoga association as a minimum.
If you want to find a good yoga class in your area, check out the following websites: