Classes at Warrior Yoga Sligo are starting up again in the coming weeks and for those of you who are thinking of taking up Yoga for the first time or perhaps after a break away and are teetering on the edge of the great Yoga abyss, I thought I would put a few words together to explain what I think are the top benefits of a Yoga practice. Perhaps this will ignite something in you- something to help you take that final leap or push yourself into the unknown…

Yoga for me has been a long and arduous personal journey, sometimes emotionally challenging and other times inspirational but it always gives me a sense of coming home to my “self” and the nurturing so sorely needed to grow resilience to the onslaught of life’s challenges.

Reason No. 1 Connect to your “self” – you know, Yourself?

The word Yoga translates as “bond”, “yoke” or “connection” and I like to think of it as a way to connect body and mind and through this connection, a change in consciousness occurs over time, a realisation that you have the choice to be the master of your destiny, the creator of your reality… I like to think of the self as the light of consciousness that dwells in the heart space, and it’s through the connection to the “self” that we can begin to evolve truly as spirit beings. You know you have found your “self” when you express and act from the heart. Being in this space allows you to plug in to something greater than just ourselves, to all beings around you and surround yourself with like minds and a reality of your choosing.

Reason No. 2 Learn how to slow down the mind by developing focus & concentration

I originally began my practice in my early teens when I needed to quieten the incessant mental processing and allow me to focus. Breathing techniques we use are key to learning how to focus the mind and it’s so simple really just SLOW down & focus on the breath…and that’s how we begin …

Reason No. 3 Reduce stress & develop a cosmic forcefield of resilience!!

Now you have the simplest of breath practices, the breath soothes the body as you move through poses either dynamically or holding statically, a sense of calm begins to pervade and this calm allows you develop a buffer between you and what’s going on around you, just enough space to choose to react in whatever way you see fit. The longer you practice the more this sense of buffering like a cosmic forcefield is prolonged.

Reason No. 4 Develop a refined body awareness, strength, flexibility and balance

You only get one body at a time and you have a responsibility to maintain it and the good news is it’s never too late to start. Yoga helps the body begin to unwind and release tension held in the tissues and can relieve pain. Long holds increase hydration in the joints and encourage mobility, whereas dynamic sequences build strength. Yoga can help with postural alignment and this has knock-on effects on the ability to breath fully, to oxygenate the tissues and ensure a vital, healthy body going forward.

Reason No. 5 Just FEEL….. BETTER

There is no two ways about it, each time you step onto that mat, you can leave all your troubles at the door and begin afresh, re-connect and use the practice of breath, movement and stillness as a salve to soothe, to nurture, to heal, to feel…BETTER. Yoga time is time for your Self.

Classes begin week of 17th September.

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