More and more people are choosing yoga as their preferred form of exercise. And it's not just a fad - yoga has stood the test of time and there are good reasons why.
1. It benefits the whole body
Yoga is not just a form of exercise. It focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit and is scientifically proven as an effective and therapeutic practice. It harmonises the mind and body to the extent that it can help the body it to heal itself and to remain flexible. It also helps you become more aware of your posture, alignment and the way you move.
2. It's ultra efficient Yoga gives your whole body a workout. It engages your core, strengthens and lengthens your muscles and is a great cardio workout. Why do weights in the gym when you can use your arms to hold up your own body weight? As you move and breathe, you're raising your heartbeat and using your core to stabilise your body - all this in one session. What's more, you can do yoga anywhere as you don't need special equipment or clothing - grass and carpet work if you don't have a yoga mat with you.
3. It will help you lose weight Yoga is as much about mind as it is body. It can change the way you approach life, your body and the way you eat, helping you to appreciate your body and steering you towards healthy food. In turn, this will be a more effective weight-loss tool than burning calories in a high impact cardio class and replacing them with equal calories afterwards. You'll also find you can sustain a healthy weight as your body and mind will be in greater harmony.
4. It's exercise for every stage of life
You'll be able to do yoga for your whole life without causing stress or strain to your body. Yoga teaches you to move with ease and pay attention to how your body feels and how to avoid putting your body in positions it doesn't want to be in. Because of this, your body will remain stronger for longer and you'll be doing it well into your retirement.
5. It helps you to wake up and wind down Many people think about yoga as a way to relax but, in fact, it can also be used to help you to focus and concentrate. Balance poses such as tree stand and crane pose will improve your focus and concentration. If it's stress relief, relaxation or inducement to sleep you need, child's pose can induce feelings of calm and help put the mind in a meditative state and positions such as standing forward bend and eagle pose can calm the mind.
To celebrate International Yoga Day, World Yoga Day Australia has organised an Australian-first event where you can experience yoga classes, meditation, panel discussions and other cultural activities. Events include an Art of Living talk, Heartfulness Meditation, Kundalini and Kriya Yoga, Yoga for Seniors and more. The free event is being held at the Parramatta Town Hall, 182 Church St, Parramatta on Sunday, 21 June 2015.
So, on 21 June 2015 why not celebrate International Yoga Day by striking a pose and uniting your body, mind and spirit. Keep it up and you'll reap the benefits for the rest of your life.