With the yoga business now being worth billions, its popularity shows no signs of slowing. With the rise of yoga megastars, thanks to social media, it can be easy to feel that capturing the perfect yoga selfie could be the drive behind practising yoga. Though there is no denying that social media is supporting the growth of the yoga industry, is it always for the right reasons?
To start with, the poses are only one part of the eight components that make up yoga, known as The Eight Limbs of Yoga. To only pick one aspect of this science risks missing out on the rich array of treasures that yoga has to offer.
Yoga, though maybe thousands of years old, offers the world a great toolbox that can help fix, strengthen, adapt, rejuvenate and develop ourselves as we navigate through all the niggles that make up life. Here are just three ideas to get you started on your path.
1. It all starts and ends with the breath
Correct breathing is an essential component of yoga. Children are a prime example as they use the whole of the lungs to inhale and exhale. They seem much happier than adults! Okay, so kids may not have the pressures of adult life. However, one of the benefits to correct breathing is a calmer and more present self. Unfortunately, by the time we reach adulthood most of us have adopted shallow breathing habits that do nothing more than increase the chance of suffering from things like anxiety, low self-esteem, stress and depression. Through doing breathing exercises regularly, we can learn to feel more calm and centred.
To get started, try inhaling for the count of five and then exhaling for a count of five. Do less or more, depending on your lung capacity. Do this while sitting still daily as a meditation for five to ten minutes, and see how with practice it equips you to keep calmer in life.
2. Yoga equals more confidence and better mental attitude
As we clear away our self-limiting beliefs by embracing meditation, yoga postures and correct breathing, a knock-on effect is an increase in confidence. As we start to develop our practice, a brighter outlook can be cultivated. As our body, mind and soul become balanced, we learn how to step through any perceived limitations, and instead inspire others to follow us on our road to recovery.
3. Concentration and focus are heightened
Yoga is like a big duster, cleaning away any clutter and self-sabotaging distractions in our subconscious that prevent us from reaching our full potential in life. A healthy yogic diet, meditation, positive thoughts, yoga poses and self-awareness through embracing yoga in depth help to amplify this. The good news is that it is easier than you think. Eating well making time in your busy day to meditate, getting to a good yoga class, and being aware of your thoughts can be achieved in busy modern life. Doing less of what doesn’t serve us, and more of the stuff helps us via yoga, is a winning path to take.
Here are just a few ways yoga is beyond the physical. Remember you don’t have to wait until you hit the yoga mat to feel the benefits!
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