Benefits of Yoga
The benefits of yoga are wide ranging and personal to each individual. It is credited as an effective exercise system, for improving general health, reducing stress, and helping to ease a number of health conditions.
Yoga as philosophy originates from the Indian subcontinent said to date back some 4000 years ago. The Sanskrit word “yoga” can be defined as “stilling the mind” and is often translated as “union”.
In practicing yoga we aim to unite the mind, body and heart (compassion for the self and others) to ultimately improve wellbeing. Young or older, flexible or not so flexible, yoga is a great way to gain true holistic fitness.
Mindfulness and Everyday Living!
A current buzzword (with benefits), Mindfulness based techniques involve a mixture of yoga inspired mindful movement, Buddhist inspired meditation, as well as insights from cognitive therapy.
Mindfulness encourages us to observe physical sensations, thoughts and emotions, which may go unnoticed in the ‘auto-pilot’ of our daily lives. This provides an opportunity for the mind to become stiller, and more focused.
There is growing evidence that Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, prevent depression, and improve wellbeing. To become more mindful, we need to allow ourselves the time to genuinely rest the mind with a formal meditation practice. We could also approach day to day routines with a sense of mindful awareness.
Maybe next time you are doing an everyday task, consider passing the time by simply observing when the mind wonders to the past or future, and then bring your attention back to your activity with a renewed sense of curiosity and exploration – mundane may never be the same again!
In a fast moving and changing world, Mindfulness and Meditation, both of which embrace the activity of “non-doing” and “non-striving”, seem increasingly more relevant. It can offer us a compassionate means to reconnect with ourselves.
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