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Don’t Miss Out on the Benefits of Yoga

benefits of yoga

International Day of Yoga

International Day of YogaLast week, I was asked to comment about the many benefits of yoga for a New Zealand media release on International Day of Yoga.

It seems yoga is taking off and people who aren’t into yoga may not know what they’re missing out on. ExerciseNZ share their observations of exercise and sport in New Zealand via the article released earlier today. See the full media release at the end of this post.

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

Most people are live an extremely busy and stressful life. Time is valued and precious. How we choose to spend our downtime impacts our day-to-day life.

What I notice is that people live primarily in their heads with their minds ticking over endlessly.

We are constantly ‘plugged in’ to our devices, never letting a moment go by without some stimulation for the mind. We can lose connection with our quality of life because we are so mentally wound up that we seldom properly slow down or even stop to be present.

Regular yoga practice teaches us how to slow down and connect.

Connection Course

I teach a weekly yoga course on connection. Students learn and practice skills to…

  • become more present in their bodies
  • rediscover things that give their lives meaning
  • master techniques to both relax and connect

I often tell my students that we’re losing touch with how to live a simple life. All the contrived complexity puts our health and happiness at risk.

Carving out time to practice yoga leverages our downtime massively. For example, the difference between taking time to breathe and connect versus blobbing out in front of the TV is huge when it comes to our overall well-being.

My students report significant changes in their lives as a result of attending the yoga course. They sleep deeper, are happier, less stressed and they practice the tools that yoga gives them throughout daily life. Overall, they are more connected to living a meaningful life.
dual headstand pose

Benefits of Yoga Becoming More Accessible

As yoga grows a diversified offering, more people can easily access it. No matter your age, gender, body shape or size – there’s a yoga option out there for you.

Yoga has become more accessible by different brands creating styles of yoga practice for every market. All physical yoga poses originate from Hatha Yoga but over decades, yoga practitioners have extracted elements of Hatha Yoga to meet the needs of this booming industry.

Here are some examples…

Maybe you already have a good fitness program, but you need deep stretching to balance the impact your training program has on your body – you could choose Yin Yoga.

Perhaps you are convalescing from surgery or illness, you might choose Restorative Yoga or Yoga Therapy.

Those with incredible amounts of stress in their lives may seek yoga styles and classes that integrate meditation and breathing exercises.

Need strength? Look to Power or Vinyasa Yoga to build overall body strength and flexibility.

Want to sweat? Try Hot Yoga styles.

Many studios offer more than one style of yoga which welcomes a larger demographic of practitioners. Gyms such as City Fitness have integrated dedicated yoga studios within their gyms to offer members the benefits of yoga to compliment their gym regime.

Many teachers provide private lessons and have their own websites with their schedules and services listed. Yoga teachers usually contract their services to studios while offering other options to students outside the studio as well.

So if you really like a particular teacher at a studio, you may find he or she teaches in other locations and offers private classes.

Online Research

The internet is a great resource as reputable teachers and businesses make yoga classes available online. Do your research and choose the ones that use high quality teaching and delivery. Home practice is becoming more popular as the yoga industry grows because not everyone can take a couple of hours out of their day to travel to the studio or gym for a 60-90 minute class.

Whatever your schedule, you can fit yoga into it. Here at Courage My Love we also understand how active wear helps inspire exercise.

In fact, Victoria University of Melbourne published the following in March 2017:

A Victoria University study into Australia’s booming ‘active wear’ market indicates that the very act of wearing colourful leggings and Lycra tops can help encourage physical activity. The study shows Australian women want to exercise anywhere and anytime as they try to fit informal exercise into a busy schedule, with walking listed as their most popular activity.

We pride ourselves on creating active wear for all sizes that is manufactured locally with our quality guarantee to support women to be active anytime, anywhere while feeling confident in their apparel.

Persephone Singfield
Founder & Director
Courage My Love

 

Yoga major part of soaring Kiwi exercising momentum –

June 20, 2017

If exercise was considered a sport, it would be the biggest sport in New Zealand, by more than 50 percent, Exercise New Zealand chief executive Richard Beddie says.

He made the comments today on the eve of international yoga day tomorrow.

Beddie says there are more than half a million Kiwis who take part in exercise in gyms, and fitness centres alone and yoga has been a major part of this growth.
“Yoga has grown more than 500 percent in the last 10 years and there are now lots of support organisations for yoga including the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals.

“Yoga has reached a tipping point and became a mainstream activity over the last five years and as a result the number of providers (studios and teachers) have blossomed.

“Yoga is both valuable as an activity in its own right, as well as being extremely complimentary to lots of other exercise activities. It is very common now for a regular gym user to add in yoga as a part of balance.

“Stress is also almost a given in a developed country and, as a result, the mindful component of yoga is so beneficial and desired. While yoga can vary in physically intensity, it always provides people with the best methods of being mindful, which is something that so many people benefit from and seek in today’s busy lifestyles.

“Yoga is growing consistently across a range of options for the consumer, from yoga classes in gyms and dedicated studios, to an explosion of yoga teachers providing classes in local halls.  There are so many ways yoga can be practised at home, from apps to online classes.

“Yoga Community NZ was recently set up in response to the fast-growing yoga community. If exercise was considered a sport, it would be the biggest sport in New Zealand (by more than 50 percent). SportNZ has confirmed that while exercise is growing, sport is falling.

Meanwhile, a Lincoln University international PhD student Tilak Raj is teaching yoga to Lincoln University rugby players as part of his doctoral research. The aim of this research is to see if yoga is really helpful in reducing injuries and improving performance.

“Yoga is the most beneficial way of improving one’s health. We are using yoga as a holistic approach for rugby players to improve performance and reduce injuries,” Raj says.

A national yoga advocate and teacher Persephone Singfield says her students report significant changes in their lives after attending yoga courses.

“They sleep deeper, they are happier, less stressed and are practising the tools that yoga gives them every day,” she says.

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