Yoga has been in my life since I left University. I discovered it during my “gym membership” years of my early London life. I started going to Yoga classes as I wanted another form of fitness to off-set my cardio-junkie-focused fitness diet. I realised it was great to do a high intensity workout and then compliment my regime with a more mindful class.
It’s been with me ever since, popping up when I needed it most. Giving me an oasis of calm after busy days, supporting my confidence and decision to hypnobirth my children, helping me recover from injury, and, most recently, supporting my path back to health since living with long Covid. I truly love it and, as my practice has come into the focus of my life since starting my training to be an instructor, it has hit me hard how much. My speculation about my passion has led to this list which I want to share with you.
So, yoga, my love, here are some of the many infinite reasons I love you and I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
- Yoga connects me to myself, how I am feeling and what I really need in any one day or moment.
- Yoga calms my soul, however crazy my reality is.
- Yoga empowers me through movement and mindfulness.
- Yoga is the best kula – my kula and the yogi community of the universe are simply awesome.
- Yoga is always personal – it is always a personal practice, just for you.
- Yoga is location-less – you can do yoga at home, or at a studio, in the wild, on a beach. Yoga stays with you and is where you centre yourself in the now.
- Yoga doesn’t mind who. You can do it with a group of friends, or by yourself.
- Yoga allows you to focus on your breath and be present in the moment with it.
- Yoga is diary-less and timeless – no matter what time of day it is, there’s always room for some yoga.
- Yoga helps centre me when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I love not having to think about anything else when I am on the mat, everything else is secondary to what’s happening within yourself at that very moment.
- Yoga is relaxation – yoga is a mindful practice that can keep emotions in check and make you feel more peaceful.
- Yoga can help support our mental health – It’s easy to feel anxious, depressed or overwhelmed. Anxious feelings are often associated with an overactive mind and a lack of focus on the present moment. Depression is also characterized by dwelling in the past or future—it’s often referred to as “rumination,” which means constantly thinking about things in your head without letting them go. The goal of yoga isn’t just relaxation; it’s also self-awareness: being aware enough to notice when thoughts start running wild so that you can bring yourself back into the present moment by focusing on the now. My practice not only helps me when I am on the mat, over time I have found I can access this feeling more often when I need it.
- Yoga is for people of all ages, sizes and fitness levels. One of the most important things I’ve learned during my yoga journey is that it’s for everyone, regardless of age, size or fitness level. In fact, it can always be adapted to suit your needs, and level of health and fitness. This is what brought me home to yoga again, knowing that I could do it from today, in spite of my health challenges. I could still yoga, even 5 minutes on the mat, or through chair yoga, which made a huge difference to me.
- Yoga can be adapted to every stage of our journey to Swellness. If you're looking to improve strength and flexibility, or are simply hoping to stay active in an enjoyable way, yoga could help you meet those goals. If you want to focus on spiritual, mental or emotional goals, the right yoga teacher and class can help you. The adaptability of yoga is so inspiring!
- Yoga can help with pain management and rehabilitation. A growing body of research suggests that yoga may be an effective treatment for chronic pain conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and even lower back pain. A highly qualified practitioner will be able to support your medical team and provide guidance in the right practice for you.
- Yoga helps my sleep. Yoga has been shown to improve sleep and boost overall wellbeing by helping us feel more in control of our health.
- Yoga helps us feel good about our bodies. It brings us more awareness of our bodies. Yoga has helped me focus on what I have, rather than what I lack – the amazing healing power of our bodies and its ability to be strong enough to carry us through whatever life throws at us. Yoga helps us appreciate our bodies and be kinder to our bodies. Our bodies are a wonder, and I love that yoga helps me muse more on that and take care of it.
- Yoga teaches us that we are capable of doing more than we think we are capable of doing. Of all of yoga's gifts, this one often surprises me still as we progress every day, week and month in our practice. We are all stronger than we think, and so much more flexible! If you think about it, I think we probably feel a tiny bit of this every class.
- Yoga was a healing force for me. Yoga teaches us that, as human beings, our bodies—and our minds—are extraordinary in their ability to heal themselves; that when faced with challenges in life, or on the mat, there is always light at the end of the tunnel; and that we have infinite potential inside ourselves if only we try hard enough to reach it. There were many days in my experience and frustration with covid, I couldn’t see that light. I felt I had lost all control over my health. And yet, yoga has given it back to me, shone the light, and encouraged me forward towards it every day.
- Yoga helps us improve our balance. By practising yoga regularly, you can improve your balance and gain better control over your muscles.
- Yoga is easy – when you really break it down, the good thing about yoga is that it’s really easy to do. You just have to follow a few simple yoga poses and you will be able to strengthen or stretch whichever part of your body you want.
- Yoga can help us all with positive growth and ageing. It’s important for everyone to stay healthy by working out regularly because, when we don’t exercise, our body gets weaker as we age. Practising yoga also helps us maintain good health by improving digestion, circulation and respiration as well as reducing stress levels which helps us stay healthy.
- Yoga is accessible - You don't need an expensive gym membership or lot of money to get started with yoga; you don’t need special kit, nor shoes. You can find a class for free; you can buy a yoga mat which will last you a lifetime of yoga for £50 or less. Our SWELL HUB will have pay what you can Yoga sessions as well as free taster sessions. We are always thinking and innovating, coming up with new, fun and easy ways to help people on their path to swellness so watch this space. There will always be a special place for Yoga at SWELL Fitness.
- Yoga is a community. Yoga is a great way to connect with individuals and your community. I love it because it brings me in touch with others that practise yoga, many of whom are my friends who inspire me every day. Yoga helps us build connections and it reminds us of how much we have in common, despite our apparent differences at a surface level.
- Yoga is oneness. It brings me to myself; it brings me to the connection with others and the universe. It brings me home to the wonder of our time here on earth together. Yoga reconnects me with nature on a deeper level and helps me to appreciate all that we have in a profound, yet really simple way. Wherever I find my place for wild yoga - meditating outside under trees as they sway overhead or spending time away from urban environments through nature-based retreats, or just pulling my mat out in a car park because that’s all I’ve got that day —yoga always helps connect me to myself, the very nature of our human existence and the planet we share. I am so grateful for it and that feeling, every day.
I suspect I will continually update this list. The list does really feel infinite… right now, I am writing and looking forward to sunrise wild yoga on Cleethorpes beach next week - I can’t wait to go home for that. I hope to see you out there somewhere too, and I would love to hear your reasons, which I know would inspire me. I also hope to see you on the SWELL HUB doing yoga with us very soon.
Our firstname.lastname@example.org are always here for your questions and ideas. Namaste lovelies. Nel x