Hello to my beautiful readers 🙂
How was your weekend? Get up to anything exciting and soul-nourishing?
Are you an avid (or newbie) yogi? Well, I spoke to Helen Garner who teaches Yoga and shared her amazing and interesting insight. Enjoy the read!
A bio on Helen Garner
“My name is Helen and I am a very happy yogi and passionate yoga instructor living at the bottom of Africa. I am 6 times South African ladies freediving champion, who loves water and my yoga mat and my family (not always in that order). I am married and have two extremely cute little people who call me Mum and 4 beautiful dogs.
I live in an old farmhouse on the east coast of Africa and am so grateful for this path I call life. Yoga completely changed my life and I am so excited to share this with you, and hopefully empower you to change too. Join me on this journey and connect whichever and however it works for you Namaste”
Where did Yoga originate from? Can you add in a bit of background history?
The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old.
The reason Yoga’s history has many places of obscurity and uncertainty is due to the fact that it was spread and shared orally and later on the early writings on yoga were transcribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed or lost.
The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas literally mean “The Science of….” and these are the oldest written ancient texts in the world.
Yoga is The Science of the Body. It literally means the yoking or joining of the body with the mind.
It is important to note here, that yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief system or community; it has always been approached as a technology for inner well-being. Anyone who practices yoga with involvement can reap its benefits, irrespective of one’s faith, ethnicity or culture.
What is so fascinating is that the sequence of the Sun Salutations is SO old, thousands and thousands of years old, and it has really not been tampered with at all. Sure, instructors might interpret it a bit differently and use a different action here and there, but pretty much it has remained untouched for millennia… and it has literally been called a “perfect” form of exercise or movement… where every muscle group and joint is being used, body pressure is being changed and awakened and we are breathing and oxygenating through the movements.
What are the top 5 health benefits of everyday yoga?
Yoga aims to achieve the joining of the body and the mind through a series of physical and mental exercises.
At the physical level, the methods comprise of various yoga postures or ‘asanas’ that aim to keep the body healthy.
The mental techniques include breathing exercises or ‘pranayama’ and Drishti (focus) leading to meditation or ‘dhyana’ to discipline the mind.
Everyone will know that yoga increases body strength and improves flexibility, but did you know that the practice can do more than help you twist your body into pretzel shapes? 🙂
Here are some very interesting and worthwhile benefits of practicing yoga
- Improves your posture. Protects your spine and prevents cartilage and joint breakage
- Boosts your immune system and balances blood pressure and endocrine system, increases blood flow, drains your lymph and improves cardiovascular conditioning.
- Yoga helps you to sleep better as it helps people to deal with stress a lot better and with more clarity.
It also reintroduces the parasympathetic nervous system into our lives again as this system takes over in a yoga class. Both the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems work to keep us stabilized in the face of stress. These systems are connected like a see-saw. When one goes up the other goes down. When the sympathetic nervous system is active, it usually means we are on ‘high-alert’ either responding to stress or trying to minimize it.
This is the part of our nervous systems that is most often triggered – from flashing lights, traffic noises, emails from our co-workers or boss, family responsibilities, etc. Yoga strengthens the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which is primarily responsible for the ‘relaxation response.’
Obviously, we don’t want to constantly “live” in the parasympathetic nervous system, but we need to take our foot off the gas in our lives and give our sympathetic nervous system a break every now and again.
Helps to fight food cravings. By causing breath awareness, regular yoga practice strengthens the mind-body connection. The awareness can help you tune in to emotions involved with certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when cravings strike
Yoga naturally reduces pain. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from fibromyalgia, arthritis, or migraine headaches, yoga has been proven to effectively reduce pain from all these ailments. And if you are one of the millions of people that suffer from back pain – yoga can reduce that suffering drastically.
The beauty of a yoga practice is that you don’t need much more than a mat and an open mind.
The best clothing advice given by Helen is to wear something comfortable that won’t lift or bother you during class. You don’t want to be focusing on pulling your shorts up or holding your top down. So, wear whatever you choose to class and leave your shoes at the door.
Helen recently just launched a new range of funky, quirky, inspiring or just plain funny slogans tops. This was her attempt at alleviating any boredom of wearing the SAME TOP every time she taught or practiced a class.
Helen Garner | yoga everywear is superior quality active wear with a bit of spunk and attitude 🙂
Check out http://www.helengarner.com/index.php/shop/ for the current range… with new styles and slogans, along with caps and sweatshirts, coming in the New Year!
If you are curious to learn the craft of Yoga and need help then contact Helen Garner via her website then click here for more info.
SOURCES: HELEN GARNER, SCIENCE DAILY, TUMBLR