When it comes to the start of the new year, making yoga a new year’s resolution is a good move. These are the reasons why…
1. Creating a healthy new habit
Start the year off how you wish to continue. Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Spend the first 21 days of the year doing sun salutations when you wake, and see the difference it makes to your life.
When you’ve done yoga consistently for a while, you notice that a delicious calm comes, and doesn’t just last for the length of a yoga class; it stays. This is part of the magic of yoga. This underlying calm becomes essential, allowing you to take on life with equanimity no matter what happens. This is where the yoga addiction kicks in.
2. Staving off stress
Regular practice of yoga relieves stress and eliminates toxins. Deep mindful breathing and rhythmic movement activate the parasympathetic nervous system, so combat that fight or flight stress mode, which is where we spend most of our time in this day and age.
Stress has a terrible effect on the body. It interferes with our immunity, causes inflammation, which in turn leads to disease like heart attacks and strokes, we lose calcium out of our bones at a greater rate and accelerates the ageing of the brain, damaging the brain cells and interfering with memory and learning.
But the good news is, being in the moment, doing yoga and meditation reverses the effects of stress.
3. Improving your experience of life
When you get rid of stress and spend more time in the moment feeling grateful for just being alive, your experience of life improves. Your world is not coloured by stress and anxiety and you are more optimistic, experiencing more joy as a result.
4. Improving flexibility, strength and balance
Many people will start yoga because they want to increase their flexibility, strength and balance, and it does do these things. The changes happen gradually and come when you’ve committed to a regular practice (See 1. :-))
The double bonus is the benefits you get for your day-to-day life. An increase in wellness, increased immunity, and inner strength, balance and calm to face life no matter what it brings. Yoga is primarily an inner spiritual journey and all these things are welcome added extras.
5. Changing your perspective
Want a new perspective on life? Yoga will give you one. You will start to focus on the things that matter, moving away from focus on earning lots of money, image and caring about what others think, and move towards a feeling of true wellbeing and living every moment.
As it happens (What a coincidence!), I’m running an urban yoga retreat at Grasshopper Yoga Studio in Eltham from Monday 2 January to Saturday 7 January, 2016.
Do yoga and meditation every evening in a beautiful bushland setting two kilometres from the centre of Eltham.
5.30pm cups of tea, conversation, borrow from a spiritual library of books and magazines, spend time in nature
6.30pm – 8.00pm hatha slow-flow vinyasa yoga and guided meditation
Pay $40 for the whole week before 20 December (Come to as many of the sessions as you like) or pay a casual rate for any of the classes of $17/$15 concession
Cash or bank transfer
Surname: KUO Name:Yong Kooi BSB:082–360 Acc:473148507
Or on the 42 Yoga website.