What yoga is (and what yoga isn’t)
What often stops people from trying out new therapies or exercises is what they perceive the practice to be about. If you believe yoga is about twisting your body into contortionist-like shapes and showing off on Instagram, you will probably be put off from trying it.
In this blog we want to explain what yoga really is and hopefully encourage those who have an interest to give it a go.
Yoga aims to heal through mindfulness
If you feel pain or blockage anywhere, yoga offers a powerful tool for self-care. The aim of the practice is to help you get in tune with your body so you can recognise where the underlying issue is and what poses could help. Mentally, it also helps to quiet the mind to clear your head and reduce stress.
Yoga is not a fashion show or a popularity contest
Yoga isn’t about showing off your latest outfit or how you look when you practice – it is about how you feel in the poses. Once you stop comparing yourself to others and start to feel OK with who you are, you’ll be better able to reap the benefits of yoga.
Yoga connects the mind, body and spirit
Working on all levels, yoga looks to connect the dots between your physical, mental and spiritual sides. Each level has its own unique characteristics and by linking them together yoga aims to help you develop more fully than other forms of exercise.
Yoga offers different styles
There are many different types of yoga to suit different personalities. Those who want to try a gentle approach may appreciate Hatha yoga, while those who want to really challenge themselves may enjoy Bikram. The best way to find the style that suits you is to do some research and try a few classes to get a feel for the style.
Yoga isn’t competitive
Some people find themselves competing with others and even themselves when they practise yoga. When you approach the practice with this competitive attitude you will probably find yourself feeling frustrated. You also run the risk of pushing yourself too hard and injuring yourself, which may prevent you from practising in the future. While you should strive for progress, do so with compassion and understanding of your capabilities and remember that yoga isn’t about how well you do a pose – it is about the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
Find out more about yoga for therapy on our yoga therapy page.
View and comment on the original Mind Body Green article.
Find a yoga therapist
All therapists are verified professionals.