Yoga is a practice for everybody… And it is much more than just a physical practice. When most people think of yoga, they think of a series of strenuous, physical postures.
Yoga is also a mental, and spiritual practice. It originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” which means to yoke or unite, referring to the union of the individual self with the universal consciousness.
Yoga encompasses a wide range of practices in addition to physical postures (asanas). It also incorporates breath control (pranayama), meditation (dhyana), ethical guidelines (yamas and niyamas), and philosophical teachings. The physical postures are the most commonly known aspect of yoga in the West, but they are just one part of a larger system designed to promote health, balance, and spiritual growth.
Billabong Retreat Founder, Paul Von Burgen says “anyone that can breathe can do yoga.”
“Yoga could involve sitting on a chair and moving your little finger with focus and attention. Yoga could involve sitting in silent meditation. Physical yoga should meet you where you are and this is one of the challenges of the group yoga class that the west invented, it assumes one size fits all and it doesn’t. We are all different, we should all be doing yoga that meets our individual needs.”
“If you try a yoga class and feel that it’s too intense or too painful or that your struggles are not being addressed, keep trying other classes until you find one that meets your needs,” Paul added.
Cultivating a safe practice can have many health benefits. This include:
-Improved Flexibility: Yoga poses help to stretch and lengthen muscles, improving flexibility and range of motion.
-Reduced Stress: Yoga incorporates breathing techniques and meditation that can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
-Increased Strength: Many yoga poses require you to use your own body weight to strengthen muscles.
-Improved Balance: Yoga poses often require you to balance on one leg or on your hands, which can help improve balance and stability.
-Better Posture: By strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility, yoga can improve posture and reduce back pain.
-Improved Breathing: The breathing exercises in yoga can help to increase lung capacity, improve breathing efficiency, and reduce anxiety.
-Reduced Risk of Injury: By improving flexibility, strength, and balance, yoga can help to reduce the risk of injury during physical activities.
-Improved Mental Clarity: The combination of physical activity, breathing, and meditation in yoga can help to improve mental clarity and focus.
If you are looking to start cultivating a yoga practice, or you would like to deepen your existing personal practice, why not join us on retreat? We offer a variety of yoga and meditation classes designed to suit all needs and levels of experience.
Remember, it doesn’t matter how flexible you are. All of our bodies are different. Learn to work with and listen to your body.