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Yoga
Written by Catherine Davis   

Yoga StretchAn ancient Indian tradition, yoga is a holistic approach to health and fitness which promotes the union of mind, body and spirit through physical and mental exercise.

The most common form of yoga in the West is Hatha yoga, which combines a sequence of postures and balances with deep breathing, relaxation and meditation to foster a sense of harmony and well being.

Yoga postures or 'asanas' are held for just a few seconds or several minutes. Designed to work the entire body and free it from tension, asanas develop a blend of strength and flexibility. Performed slowly and smoothly, they stretch and tone the muscles and keep the spine and joints supple. They also improve circulation and the functioning of internal organs and glands, increasing energy levels.

Breathing exercises or 'pranayama' teach the power of concentration and focus, while relaxation and meditation train the mind to achieve stillness and inner peace.

It's never too late or early to start practising yoga, and yoga classes provide a social environment in which to do so. Many people find yoga a soothing and rewarding activity that leads to growing self realisation and fulfilment.


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