How does Yoga Help?
Below are some of the key components of Yoga practice,
Asana is the part of yoga most of us will know about, the physical poses and ‘exercises’. By developing good alignment in these poses we not only build strength, flexibility and balance, but also develop an awareness and deepening of our breath. Becoming flexible means that there is less tightness and restriction around the joints, reducing wear and tear, and often reducing pain. There is a significant body of scientific of evidence of the benefits of yoga practice, yet it is important to work at a safe and comfortable level for your individual needs, or find a teacher who can help you modify and adapt the poses to meet your current level of ability.
These are the breathing practices used in Yoga. They are many and varied, each with differing physiological effects and benefits. ‘Prana’ means vital energy or the breath, and ‘ayama’ translates as ‘to draw out’. Basically, with these practices we hope to widen and lengthen our energy through developing our ability to breathe.
In the yoga traditions there are many layers and techniques of meditation practice. At the most accessible level, Yoga helps us develop MINDFULNESS, the ability to move out of our habitual ‘automatic pilot’. We find ourselves in our own body, in this moment in time, with only this breath! Mindfulness is a way of training the mind to be still and present. This enhances our ability to be ‘awake’ and learning, and to respond to our life situations, rather than to react in our usual, perhaps unhelpful, ingrained ways.
Yoga is an ancient tradition, with millions of book and resources for you to draw on! However, I have included references for a few of the books I have found most helpful.
If you are keen to try a Yoga class, it is best to start with Hatha Yoga, a slow and gentle approach. Check that the teacher has a recognised accreditation, ask around! Speak to the teacher before you begin, so that they are aware of your needs and you have a chance to ask questions. Mostly, trust your own judgement and instinct!
To find out about the classes and workshop I deliver in Glasgow, you can go to: