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Yoga poses are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Imagine having more energy, mental focus, better sleep, being generally healthier, more relaxed, less stressed and happier. In time you'll build muscle strength, become more flexible and improve your circulation.
There’s no time like the present to get involved with yoga - women and men are welcome; yes, of course men do yoga too :).
Yoga is the science of wellbeing.
Hatha yoga is a physical and popular form of yoga practice that is also calming and great for de-stressing. It helps to tone the whole body, build strength, increase flexibility improve circulation and overall general health.
Hatha yoga is a sequence of poses to work opposing muscles, harmonised with even and controlled breathing. 'Hatha' originates from Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) words 'ha' meaning sun, and 'tha' meaning moon. You may find that classes are blended with other forms of yoga within a single practise session e.g. vinyasa flow, ashtanga or iyengar.
Dr Timothy McCall's article in Yoga Journal details 38 different benefits of yoga practise, and he goes on to say “Studies have found that regular yoga practice improves coordination, reaction time, memory, and even IQ scores.”
The NHS Guide to Yoga says "There's some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress."
The Sun Salutation or 'surya namaskar' is a fluid sequence of yoga poses suitable for a warm up.
The benefits of regular yoga practise help to:
- Increase fitness and energy
- Improve blood circulation
- Release stiffness in joints
- Increase flexibility in the spine
- Strengthen the back
- Strengthen abdominal muscles
- Strengthen legs and arms.
The complete sun salutation yoga sequence of moves can be repeated 4 or 6 times by alternating between the left and right leg during the lunge pose. Begin your yoga practice with the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher in order to learn correct alignment to help build evenly balanced body strength, flexibility and mental focus. Be careful; it is advisable that you do not practise Sun Salutations if you have high blood pressure or problems with your eyes, shoulders or lower back. If you have any health issues or concerns, consult with your doctor before doing any yoga.
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