You may have thought to come to yoga to increase your flexibility, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself sleeping more deeply than you have for a long time, or able to concentrate more easily at work. Once you begin to practice yoga regularly, you are likely to notice many of the following common changes.
• Enhancement of concentration and focus
• Enhanced physical performance, stamina, agility, fitness and endurance
• Improved functional strength and conditioning
• Improved core stability and increased range of motion
• Improved functional stability, mobility and balance
• A reduction in the occurrences of sports injury and recovery from injury
• Improve the quality and efficiency of the breath through breathing techniques.
• Effective management of tension and control of stress levels
• Improved proprioception, spatial awareness and body awareness
• Extend a sporting career
• Improved reaction times efficiency
• Corrections to muscle imbalances and joint instability, perpetuated through repetitive and unbalanced sports
• Reduced recovery times - restorative posture work benefits the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems
Myth's and Truths
The Myth – I have always been as stiff as a board, so I can’t do yoga.
The Truth – Unless you are ballet dancer or gymnast, it’s very normal if you feel tight, so don’t worry if touching your toes seems impossible. The good news is that with regular practice, yoga is extremely effective at improving flexibility. From a teachers perspective it is actually easier to work with someone who is stiff, that stiffness is a natural process of the body that is designed to offer protection. The main issue for most of our bodies is that our lifestyles are often very sedentary or repetitive and that makes this defence mechanism over compensate. The structured application of movement offered in Yoga redresses that balance.
The Myth – I already work out at the gym, I don’t need to do yoga too.
The Truth – Although many forms of exercise provide a great physical workout, only yoga can also claim to be a therapeutic system that helps heal injuries, improve chronic illness, balance mental stress and improves muscle quality and range of movement. More and more top performing athletes are using Yoga as part of their daily training routine. Its not just being trendy, these athletes do it for the simple reason it gives them a competitive edge.
The Myth – Yoga is just for girls.
The Truth – While it’s true that certain things are just for girls, yoga is not one of them. Historically, some of the greatest yoga teachers for over 2000 years have been men. I frequently have men come to me after the class has ended and comment on how surprised they are about the class being tough but accessible.
The Myth – I tried a yoga class once, but it’s too slow and boring.
The Truth – Some styles of yoga are indeed slow paced, but Vinyasa Flow classes offer a faster, dynamic pace and endless exciting challenges by adding variations. Mixed level classes are provided with Krama’s (levels of modification).
The Myth – I'm afraid that taking yoga will force me to adopt a religion.
The Truth – Yoga is not a religion, it’s a technique of physical movements leading to improved health. If yoga has a belief system, it’s simply to become more connected to your body and mind.
The Myth – I can’t do yoga – I like to go out with my friends for a drink.
The Truth – Relax, you can still enjoy a glass and be a yogi, life is after all about balance. Over time you may find yourself naturally leaning towards a healthier lifestyle, but there is no requirement to change. You do Yoga for you, not someone else.