So what is it that’s stopping you from trying out and taking up yoga?
Perhaps you’re afraid yoga is only for the young or those with particular bodies. Alternatively, you may think yoga is about flexibility, image, religion or status.
You’re not alone. There are many misconceptions about yoga. Especially given that today social media portrays yoga as a photogenic physical practice.
But the fact is these misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth.
On the contrary, no matter your gender, age, shape, size, physical condition or state of mind, you can benefit from yoga.
A point often overlooked these days, is yoga is both a body and mind practice.
The aim is not only to help you feel stronger and flexible in your body but also to help you be more comfortable, calm and centred so that you can better understand yourself and others.
Consequently, if you practise yoga, you’ll not only get fitter, stronger & more supple but also you’ll improve your emotional wellbeing as you’ll feel more at ease with yourself and life around you.
Your mind will become better focused. What’s more you’ll have inner strength and trust in the flow of life.
Let me explain how yoga can offer something for everyone:
1. You can practise yoga, no matter your shape or size
You know movement & exercise improves your physical fitness, flexibility and muscle tone. But maybe the thought of yoga is intimidating. Perhaps you think you won’t be able to manage it.
In reality, you’re not competing with yourself or others when you practise yoga, because yoga is respectful and focuses on finding harmony with how things are in the present time. It removes distractions and helps you to focus on the here and now. The aim is to help you feel comfortable in your own unique body.
Good teachers support you personally. They modify yoga moves to suit you, whatever your body type and according to your ability and experience.
2. You can practise yoga if you’re a child
With little time for unstructured play and outdoor playtime, and much overstimulation from screens, children can become unsettled and overwhelmed.
Yoga teaches children how to handle the stresses of modern living, through mindful meditation, movement and breath. Therefore, children who practise yoga can benefit from improved concentration, self-confidence and ability to manage stress.
As a result, children can feel happier and healthier in their developing bodies.
3. You can practise yoga when you’re elderly
Staying active keeps you mobile and your heart healthy. Not only that exercise naturally enhances your mood. Yoga can be a gentle and restorative movement. So it’s ideally suited to seniors as it helps you maintain flexibility, balance and keep your mind sharp.
4. You can practise yoga even if you’ve lost your mobility
People who lack mobility due to age, injury or debilitating illnesses can improve strength and flexibility and even reduce stress with yoga.
How is this possible? First off, you can practice yoga from the comfort of your chair.
Then props and hoists assist those with severe disabilities.
5. Yoga is good for your mental health
How you handle stress, think and feel can be positively affected with consistent yoga practice. Yoga breathing techniques calm and centre your nervous system and therefore strengthen and balance your body and mind. As a result, your mood will improve, and any anxiety you feel will lessen.
There are so many yoga styles, but beyond the name of the practice, the aim is to bring the practitioner closer to a sense of inner peace and understanding.
Over 20 years of teaching, I’ve worked with all ages, abilities and restrictions: those with a terminal illness, suffering from strokes, Parkinson’s disease, MS and other physical challenges.
Furthermore, I’ve worked with people suffering from mental challenges and emotional distress.
Not only that, I give tuition and professional training to people no matter their financial circumstances, so that as many people as possible experience the range of benefits that yoga offers.
Consequently, I’m working to open a community centre and friendly hub where people can meet and enjoy the full, extensive benefits of yoga and the arts.
The aim is to de-mystify yoga and connect people with the broader philosophy of this potentially life-changing practice.
I don’t want visitors to feel intimidated by trying something new.I do want visitors to feel welcomed and supported according to their specific needs.
No one should be turned away from yoga. We can all experience many aspects of this all-embracing philosophy and potentially life-transforming practice.
Of course, your support would mean a lot to me.
Are you willing to support the Unity Lewes project? Unity Lewes is crowdfunding on Chuffed.