Yoga is an ancient practice that aligns the body and the mind in a way that invokes relaxation and wellness. Historically, this was more than just an exercise, but instead, a way of life premised upon meditation and wellbeing as you traverse the path to self-discovery and awareness.
While many people think of Yoga as a New Age, modern way of exercising and being healthy, its origins in fact date back further than most people know. Dating back more than 5, 000 years ago, it was created by the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation and derives from the Rig Veda text, which is an ancient Indian sacred text and part of the Vedas.
Yoga was developed by the Brahmans, documenting this in the Upanishads, a huge tome containing hundreds of scriptures. The Indian Sage Patanjali was the first to have created a more synchronized presentation of yoga, credited with documenting the 2000-year-old scriptures that were often contradictory. His seminal work, the Yoga Sutras, providing the framework upon which the yoga that we know and love in the 21st Century is based upon.
Yoga is one of the best sports around with regards to the huge host of both physical and psychological benefits. On a physical level, yoga improves core strength, flexibility and overall fitness, and it has been proven successful in reducing the risk of heart disease. It can even help to improve your breathing, resulting in optimized performance in other sports and helping to keep your lungs and heart healthy.
Yoga can also help with weight reduction: experts say that although this is not often the go-to for serious weight loss, it can trim and tone the body whilst improving circulation and boosting metabolism. The ancient art of yoga also has a significant impact on psychological well-being, with studies indicating that women who regularly practiced yoga were more likely to have lower lovers of stress, anxiety and depression. The sport promotes mindfulness and being in the present, and living with a greater awareness of the importance of breath and peace is the key to a calmer, more serene you.
If you are based in Cardiff, why not check out the fabulous Hotpod Yoga Cardiff, offering hot vinyasa yoga classes at a steamy 37 degrees. Mandayoga has lots of specialised teachers, and they cater for everyone, regardless of age, level of experience, or fitness, in a warm and friendly environment.
Or you can even learn yoga from genuine Buddhist monks at the Cardiff Buddhist Centre; they offer fantastic support and guidance in your yoga journey. There are lots of different yoga centres available across the capital but also check your local gym, with many gyms offering classes for a range of different abilities and levels of fitness. Wherever you are in the UK, have a look online for your local yoga centre or class, and learn mindfulness, find peace and make like-minded friends whilst learning this divine hobby.
Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times a week can have significant and long-lasting benefits for both your physical and psychological health, so sign up for a class today and breathe….