We all carry a certain amount of physical tension around in our bodies, it’s not unusual that stresses and strains of life and sitting for long periods create tightness (especially around the shoulders and hips).
Due to the habitual positions we take with our bodies, certain muscles and tissues naturally become tight, short and overused, while others can be weak and require training to regain tone and recovery. Overall we can start to feel physically imbalanced, which has a knock on effect to our mental and emotional states too.
Yoga postures (or asana) have been used for centuries to regain flexibility, strength and overall physical vitality. These ancient positions (which ironically were originally designed to allow the body to sit in long periods of meditation without too much degradation) have now been adapted for the modern day world into the forms of yoga you can find practiced today.
One such system is vinyasa flow yoga, where breathing is linked to a continual chain or ‘flow’ of movement throughout each class to promote all over body strength, coherence of the body to the brain to the breath (which in turn leads to internal coherence), increase mobility and refine or redefine existing movement patterns.
Another yoga system I also use to complement flow yoga is yin yoga, a collection of more passive, longer held, floor based poses said to work on the connective tissues (fascia), meridians (energy channels of the body) and promote stillness and physical receptivity. I like to weave this in with restorative yoga poses which allow for an even more calm, relaxed and regenerative state where the body can rest for up to 10 minutes in soft poses using props for comfort.
Benefits of yoga asana:
Overall coherence between body, brain and breath leading to a feeling of complete wellbeing
Stimulates internal organs and systems such as digestion