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Are you looking to enhance you physical and mental wellbeing? Yoga might be just what you need!

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

“Like the lotus, a yogi lives in the midst of the samsara and blooms.”

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a comprehensive practice that includes breath control, meditation, physical postures, and mantra. Although often thought of as a purely physical practice of postures, there is much more to Yoga. What’s more, Patanjali, the Father of Modern Yoga, only mentions asana (the physical postures that we associate with Yoga) as the third of Eight Limbs of Yoga and describes it merely as a “comfortable seat” that allows one to meditate! Originating in the north of India over 5,000 years ago, Yoga is now practiced throughout the world for health and relaxation.

Figure: The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga; The Five Yamas; The Five Niyamas (Photos by

Why practice Yoga?

There are many physical, emotional, and mental benefits of practicing Yoga. Here is how you can benefit from its regular practice!

1. Increase flexibility, balance, and strength

By adopting and holding postures that are otherwise absent from your day-to-day life, and by stretching your muscles in a slow and controlled way, Yoga improves flexibility, balance and overall strength.

2. Relieve back pain and joint problems

Many aches and pains result from muscle tightness and imbalances, and stretching areas that are “tight” and emphasizing symmetry counteracts this problem. Additionally, movement increases the flowing of the lymphatic system, boosting immunity and eliminating toxins from the body.

Back pain complaints can often be alleviated by moving, strengthening, and stretching the back body. And did you know that Yoga can alleviate hip pain and improve physical function of the hips including in populations with osteoarthritis? This has considerable implications on movement and balance and also on quality of life.

3. Benefit heart health

Yoga strengthens the heart muscle and decreases blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol level, and cytokine expression amongst other physiological changes. Specifically forward bends and inversions reduce blood pressure, and so can Pranayama techniques such as Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing). Markers associated with diabetes such as cholesterol and triglyceride levels may also be lowered.

4. Improve respiration, energy, and vitality

Yoga may invigorate mental and physical energy levels. Pranayama, in particular, exercises our control of the breath, or the life force. Pranayama practice improves respiration and influences energy and vitality (try Kapalbhati for an energising practice by following my Youtube tutorial).

5. Protect from injuries and rehabilitates existing injuries

By relaxing problematic muscle knots and strengthening joints and the core, injury risk is reduced. The low impact weight-bearing aspect of Yoga asana strengthens bones, relieves arthritis symptoms, and improves spinal alignment. Additionally, improved focus, concentration, and mental tension institutes safer sports involvement.

6. Improve athletic performance

Strength and flexibility increase, and injury risk, in turn, decreases, keeping the body healthy and ready to train and compete. Additionally, meditation and breathwork benefit concentration, relaxation, and visualisation, which are essential when maintaining calmness and confidence during an event or competition!

7. Increase mental clarity and concentration

Yoga clears the mind from distractions, thereby increasing focus. This benefit can persist and increase mental clarity when engaging in other tasks and activities. The so-called “monkey mind” is calmed.

Increased mindfulness improves mental attributes of memory, perception, understanding, reason and intuitive senses. Emotional attributes are also improved: stillness, balance, peacefulness and contentment are increased.

8. Increase calmness and help manage stress

Pranayama, meditation, and asana practice all increase calmness and stress management. Try Bhramari (or “humming bee” breathing) to feel the calming effects of this pranayama practice, which lends itself to starting your day off stress-free or calming you down before bed.

9. Increase body awareness

Asana practice encourages the adaption of unaccustomed postures, improving proprioception and body awareness as well as posture and balance. The physical aspects of Yoga practice challenges your awareness to maintain stability and clarity under physical pressure and empowers you to hold onto your meditative mind. An experienced Yoga

practitioner becomes better attuned to the body to know at first sign if something is not functioning properly.

10. Increase relaxation and aids sleep

As calmness is increased, stress hormones are lowered, allowing you to more easily fall and stay asleep.

11. Brighten mood

Subcortical regions of the brain are associated with wellbeing, and Yoga is thought to dominate this area of the brain. Long-term practice can reduce anxiety, anger, and fatigue, and it may increase positive mood.

In populations experiencing depressive symptoms, Yoga significantly decreases depression and trait anxiety. Additionally, it decreases negative mood and fatigue.

Yoga strengthens the mind-body connection and creates a healthier body and inward focus. Yoga is a search of the self, based on an inner practice and detachment. You gain compassion for yourself and others, you gain peace, and you gain joy.

12. It allows you to experience more

Yoga impacts positively on all the internal organs, nerves, muscles, glands, and joints. It purifies the central nervous system, stimulating visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile senses. You can experience yourself and the world around you in a more intimate and rewarding way.

13. Promote better self-care

Taking daily time for yourself is incredibly important for your wellbeing. Indulge in this self-care because you deserve it!

Eager to embark on your Yoga journey? Sign up to my email subscription list to receive regular videos and offer. Are you ready to fully immerse yourself in Yoga? Why not join any of my regular classes? More information can be found on my website.


Evelien Arts,

Founder of Tanzanite Hearts

+44 796734139067

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