Why We Yoga?
With the information overload that we all suffer from – the flooded news feeds, the overloaded inboxes – we often find it hard to make sense of a lot of what we do. Often we do, simply because. For many, that’s the case with yoga. We’re not quite sure why we do it, and yet we do. On the other hand, there’s also many who don’t do yoga because they’re not clear on the benefits. This post is for both camps.
So, why do we do yoga, or why should we?
Well, there’s a long list of reasons, but let’s start with two of the most basic.
1. Increased flexibility
The practice of yoga is designed to help us reconnect with our bodies – and minds – through a variety of exercises (also known as poses). Practically all of the yogic poses have a stretching component to them; they cause us to move our bodies in ways we don’t tend to, improving our mobility, and therefore, our movement. Improving our ability to move obviously has some super practical benefits – like making it easier to get around and do the things we need to do day-to-day – but it’s also hugely therapeutic, both mentally and spiritually. After all, the body/mind distinction is a false divide – they’re both parts of the same whole. Improve one and you invariably improve the other.
2. Connection to the present
“Presence” is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days. While it might sound a little esoteric, a little “woo-woo”, it’s basically just the idea of living in the moment – breaking free from the past and ceasing our neurotic obsession with the future in order to focus on what really matters: the here and now. In the frantic, and increasingly digital world in which we live, presence is something that we’ve lost touch with. Yoga is an extremely powerful form of mindfulness practice – a means of connecting with the present moment, of way of paying attention to the moment. In helping us connect with the present moment, the practice of yoga bestows many physiological benefits – from alleviating anxiety, to reducing symptoms of depression, improving memory and focus, and much much more. It simply makes our minds a better place to live.
In future posts, we’ll explore other, more specific, benefits of yoga, as well digging into the biological mechanisms that underpin them. In the meantime, head into one of our classes to experience the powers of yoga for yourself.