Yoga is an ancient practice which originated in India and has since exploded in popularity in the west, during the 20th century.
Devoted followers of yoga believe it to be far more than just an exercise – it is considered by many to be a life-long journey.
Whether you attend a class once a week or have chosen to devote your whole life to it, you might be interested to learn that Holland & Barrett stocks a range of nutritional products and supplements, which may help overall good health.
What is yoga?
As a form of meditative exercise, yoga aims to bring both the body and mind into balance through a variety of flowing physical movements.
These physical movements are intended to stretch and strengthen the muscles, promote balance and practice mindfulness.
Breath is a key element to yoga – it is thought that breathing deeply from the lower belly has a relaxing effect, which helps its followers to ‘centre’ themselves, concentrate on the moment and reduce outside stress.
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One of the big attractions of yoga is that it is suitable for everyone, regardless of your level of fitness.
Yoga is now commonplace amongst schools and nurseries, as a mindful practice for small (and big!) children, who love its relaxed vibe and wide range of movements.
In fact, yoga is so mainstream in the UK today that the NHS recommends it to help manage certain health conditions such as anxiety and lower back pain.
Yoga is well known for its ability to both relax and strengthen those that practice it. And the good news is that you do not need any expensive equipment to get going.
You can turn up to your local class with nothing more than loose fitting clothing and an inexpensive foam mat.
Yes! Yoga is ideal for pregnant women as it can be a relaxing form of exercise and importantly, one that can be adjusted to suit your particular requirements.
Preliminary evidence from research into effects of mindfulness-based yoga during pregnancy, on maternal psychological and physical distress, supports yoga's potential efficacy in these areas, particularly if started early in the pregnancy.
As with any new exercise, it is a good idea to begin yoga practice with an instructor or as part of a yoga class. That way, you can be sure that you will receive proper guidance on poses, which will reduce the risk of any injury.