The term 'Yoga' loosely means to join or unite into one whole. In its more advanced form, this is the unification of individual energy and universal energy.
However, as a beginner, we do not step onto a Yoga mat for this reason. Maybe it's for the physical or mental benefits or often a bit of both. In my experience, most students come for one reason but end up finding many more reasons to continue.
When asked to put Yoga into a nutshell, I say that it is a complete holistic system for creating health and wellbeing in all its forms.
In today’s world, almost everyone is somewhat imbalanced or removed from feeling like their optimum self. Yoga works on the mind, body and spirit.
There are now a plethora of classes available to suit all requirements and abilities. The great thing about Yoga is that it is non-competitive and can suit anyone's requirements. It can be greatly beneficial whether you are wanting to become calmer, more flexible, balanced, or looking for a way to help heal an injury. With a little research you can find a class to suit your needs.
The amount of times I have heard "I can't do Yoga, I'm not flexible enough" is countless. There is a common misconception that Yoga is either about making pretty shapes or sitting down in a peaceful pose. Though this can be very fun, these are idealised images of Yoga, creating a mysticism that makes it feel inaccessible.
In reality, most people are moving towards Yoga due to injury, a lack of flexibility or a need to relax or rebalance in some way. This was certainly the case for me when I began my practice 16 years ago. I got into Yoga initially through a back injury and fell in love with the practice for healing my restless mind as a teen.
We all step into something new for our own reasons. Within the vast world of Yoga we can all find the tools to move towards becoming a better version of ourselves, whatever that may be.
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So, here is a little about my experience. Let's start from the beginning, my personal practice began around 16 years ago. I started doing very gentle Hatha Yoga as a teenager to help me with some back troubles I was having. At the beginning I found the very basic stuff hard work, as it required me to focus and find new control and balance that I had never had previously. After a short time the change was amazing, I felt so much better and just fell in love with the practice. Over the next few years I began to notice the way that Yoga works on not just the body but the mind too.
A few years into my personal practice I became inspired and started to notice the profound effects Yoga had on others around me. I then realized that I wanted to learn how to use Yoga to help others. I am proud to now be a Yoga teacher, sharing my passion and helping others discover the benefits of Yoga.