By Lauren Green – Vinyasa Yoga Instructor
Yoga can seem so intimidating to a beginner. There are so many different types; it’s hard to know what you are walking into when you arrive for your first class. There’s Bikram Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hot Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Astanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Acro Yoga, Cardio Yoga, Areal Yoga plus many more.
Then there are the images we see online of people doing yoga – young, thin, toned and super flexible, all wrapped up in seemingly impossible positions with a serene look on their face. This can add to the intimidation. You might worry “what if I go to class and the teacher asks me to do that?? What if I’m the only one who can’t do it??”
I believe this is the wrong impression of yoga. Yoga should be available to everybody, no matter what age, gender, fitness level or flexibility level you may be. Everybody deserves a chance to find out for himself or herself what yoga has to offer. I structure my classes so that beginners right through to advanced students can come together to do yoga and feel confident and comfortable.
Yoga has so many profound health benefits! Everything from decreased stress, greater strength, heightened cardio-vascular conditioning, lowered blood pressure, improved weight management issues, decreased chance of injury, lifted mood, improved immune function, increased oxygen supply to the tissues, improved sexual function, increased bone density, stronger joints, improved circulation, increased lung function, promotion of spiritual and physchological well-being, right through to better-balanced hormones and improved mental responses to stressful situations. It is really no wonder that yoga is known as the ‘one stop shop’ for holistic preventative well-being when used as a complimentary therapy. Sometimes yoga can help in ways we do not even expect – like improving balance, sleeping patterns or mood swings. You may find that you come along to yoga class hoping to feel less anxious, then realise that you have picked up a lot more benefits along the way!
Holistic health is the aim of yoga – an approach to life rather than a focus on illness or specific parts of the body. The goal is to achieve maximum wellbeing. It is based on the idea that every aspect of a person is interconnected, not viewed as separate parts that do not affect each other. There is compelling research that suggests disease and chronic health conditions are most effectively managed through a holistic approach, particularly in indigenous cultures such as Australian Aboriginal or Native American peoples. Holism is intrinsic to yoga in that yoga teaches us to be aware of our physical body and emotional self within each moment – that our body and mind change daily and so do our needs and capabilities. Yoga aims to care for all aspects of our needs; psychological, physiological, spiritual, emotional and psychosocial. In this respect yoga is holistic in its approach to the individual.
The best part of all this is that everybody can do yoga! Everybody has access to these amazing health benefits. You don’t have to be fit and flexible to find out how yoga can improve your health and fitness. All you have to do is come along to yoga class and see for yourself how you feel afterwards.
Lauren will be teaching free yoga classes in our wellness week! Call us on 1300 318 817 or email email@example.com to book your spot!