One of my gurus, Nancy McDonald, taught me “you are only as young as your spine is flexible.” Most people think that they have to be flexible in order to practice yoga, but the intent of the practice is to create flexibility, as well as core strength, improved posture, increased body awareness, and through breathwork, increased lung capacity which helps with sports performance and endurance. Studies have shown the health benefits of yoga to
reduce high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cholesterol, anxiety, asthma, back pain, arthritis, and more. Doctors are now researching yoga’s effects on the treatment of insomnia, multiple sclerosis and even clinical depression possibly due to increased oxygen levels to the brain. According to WebMD, “some studies have suggested that yoga may have a positive effect on learning and memory. Other researchers have been studying whether yoga can slow the aging process, increase a person’s sense of self-acceptance, or improve energy levels.”
Many students with a regular personal yoga practice report improved concentration, mood and that they are overall happier and better balanced. Even those new to yoga tend to be more relaxed and less stressed after the practice of quieting the mind through physical poses or asana practice, breathwork, chanting and meditation – all experienced during our SUP yoga classes.
In regards to a quiet mind, in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.52, he writes, “As a result (of yoga), the covering that blocks our own inner light is reduced.” Meaning that through the practice of yoga you can reduce the mental chatter that prevents you from connecting with your own inner light – your true Self. Yoga can have a profound effect on your life.