Each one of us is precious and rare. There will never be another you!
Yoga is a union of your body and mind. Through the combination of breath work and movement we can still the mind, strengthen the body and, combined with a compatible diet, ultimately restore health and wellbeing.
These days there is a no-pain no-gain philosophy towards exercise. Too much emphasis is put on exercising purely for weight-loss or as a way to create sculpted muscles instead of a way to heal the body, mind and spirit.
Weight-loss is normally a by-product of exercise. However, if consuming foods that are toxic to the body, such as wheat, no amount of yoga or other exercise will help aid the body shed excess weight. I learnt that the hard way. Also, exercise does not have to be painful to be beneficial.
We are all so very different, not just in the way we look but in the way our body functions. Because of this factor, what works for one will not always work for another. We have to learn to tune into our body to hear what it needs. Quite often, what our mind wants us to do is not what our body needs.
Through many years of studying yoga and people, I have discovered that it is often those who are attracted to high-impact/energy exercise who need a softer more reflective yoga practise. And those who prefer slow-paced exercise or stretching need more vigorous and strong movements. It’s all about finding a personal balance!
What is yoga? The word yoga has many interpretations, the one I prefer to use is the: ‘union of body and mind’.
Regular yoga asana practice helps improve circulation and digestion, tones the nervous system, lubricates the joints, strengthens the muscles, increases flexibility and helps release tension stored within the body.
Yoga poses energize and boost the metabolism which is great for weight-loss.
Yoga helps bring chemical balance in the hormonal secretions and to the nervous system. When your nervous system is strong it allows you to deal with the day-to-day stresses of life and restores equilibrium to the body.
How is yoga different from other exercise? Unlike other forms of exercise, yoga looks after far more than just the physical wellbeing, it keeps one in peak mental and spiritual balance too.
Using the weight of your own body for resistance, all the muscles are worked, mostly eccentrically. This means the muscles are being both lengthened and strengthened at the same time. This creates long, lean muscles as opposed to weight training that works the muscles concentrically, creating shorter, bulkier muscles. The shorter and bulkier the muscle the tighter it is and can create an imbalance within the muscle groups.
By building long, lean muscles through practising yoga, it will aid in fat-burning and increasing the metabolic rate, yet keeps the body toned, streamlined and creates a more willowy silhouette as opposed to a more bulky one.
One of the many reasons yoga is favoured by so many celebrities and those working in the highly stressful fashion, music and entertainment industry, is not just because it makes them more calm, centered and confident and thus better at what they do, but because it keeps the body long, lean and youthful.
How does yoga reverse ageing or keep us young? Amongst other things, yoga works on balancing the endocrine system. The endocrine system is part of the body’s chemical messenger service which secretes hormones into the bloodstream as and when needed to keep the body functioning optimally. However, when the body is out of balance through drinking, smoking, a poor diet, stress, or lack of exercise the endocrine system will not work efficiently, which will in turn lead to anything from weight-gain to premature ageing.
There is a saying: ‘we are only as young as our spine is flexible!’ What this means is a stiff, rigid back and pelvic region can add years to one’s appearance and to how old one feels. Keeping the body strong, lithe and mobile through the practise of yoga can take twenty years off the way one looks and feels!
Who is Yoga at home suitable for? Practising yoga at home is suitable for anyone of all ages or flexibility. However, those who: are introvert in nature, do not like busy places or classroom environment’s or may feel too intimidated to do yoga in public will greatly benefit from practising at home. Even if you attend a class once or twice a week and would like to practise safely at home as well, Snowflake Yoga is for you.
Yoga tutorials are accessible to everyone (if you suffer from an illness , back or other skeletal problem please consult your health practitioner before taking up any yoga practise to ensure it is suitable and won’t aggravate your condition), novice, beginner or intermediate. There are modifications to accommodate all levels.
Your home is your sanctuary from the stresses of the outside world. Creating a place within your home (you don’t need much more space than that of a yoga mat) that you can practise at any time of day is ideal to creating peace and harmony within your life. Through Snowflake Yoga you can practice at any time to suit you, in your chosen space.
Can you be too inflexible and stiff to practise yoga? The quick answer to that is no. I have often heard people use inflexibility as an excuse not to try yoga. Many falsely believe you have to be flexible to practise yoga when that could not be further from the truth. You will be amazed at how quickly you will regain your flexibility through practising.
Unlike many other yoga teachers, I am not naturally flexible, in fact quite the opposite. I am testimony that anyone can practise and benefit from doing yoga. Before I started yoga, the term ‘stiff as a board’ could not have described me more perfectly. I could not even touch my knees never mind my toes when doing a basic forward bend. However, through regular practise my stiff body soon began opening up and reaping all the wonderful benefits of yoga!