The beauty of yoga is that everybody can benefit from it. Regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity or race, you can hit the yoga mat to better your health. Communities all over the globe are now using the practice to bring people together and reap the benefits as a whole, allowing people of all ages to benefit from asanas, pranayamas and meditation. In this article, we explore the topic in more detail and discuss the question: why is yoga needed in all communities?
First things first, yoga brings people together. Not only does the practice have health benefits, but it’s also a group activity that people in the community can enjoy together. This allows people to unite and work towards the same goal. This creates a sense of community and friendship, allowing people to meet likeminded individuals to practice alongside. Often, yoga partnerships develop into strong friendships, with groups meeting outside of the studio for coffee, lunch or afternoon drinks to catch up.
Yoga is great for people of all ages, meaning that every member of the family can join in. Obviously, you’ll be best off attending a family class if you’ve got small children. However, teenagers are usually welcome in standard yoga sessions. If you’re all relative beginners, start with a beginner’s class. This way, the instructor can teach you the basics and help you improve from there. If you’ve got a mixture of abilities, this can be a little trickier. To avoid unnecessary injury, it’s best to stick to a basic class if you’re new to yoga instead of pushing yourself too far. This can be frustrating if the rest of your family are seasoned yogis, as they will need to attend an advanced session. However, don’t panic too much – you can still practice together as a family. Allow everyone to attend their suitable class, then come together after the session to practice together. This could mean setting up a yoga space at home or practising in the local park if weather permits. If you’ve struggled with something during the class, ask your family for their advice on how to improve. You never know, they may be able to walk you through the technique and help you get to grips with it.
As mentioned above, yoga is beneficial for all ages. With so many yoga classes available, people of all ages can reap the benefits of the practice – even infants! If you’ve got a young child, look for a family yoga class in your community. Not only will this allow you both to enjoy yoga, but you’ll also meet other parents in a similar position to you. This can help you to meet likeminded individuals who are at a similar stage in life. Often, having a baby can put a strain on your pre-pregnancy friendships. Many people find that their friends are at a different stage to them so find it difficult to understand the emotions that come with being a new parent. Thankfully, family yoga classes are a great place to meet other parents who are in the same situation.
In the busyness of modern life, we forget to take time to slow down. Whether you’re working two jobs to save for a mortgage or you’re trying to juggle work and family life, it can feel like there’s no time for yourself. However, self-care is vital if you want to prevent burn out. If a spa weekend isn’t feasible, you’ll need to find an alternative way to relax. Thankfully, relaxation can be achieved through yoga. A weekly yoga class is a great way to escape from the stresses of life and take an hour for yourself. If you attend the same class each week, you can book it into your schedule and fit your other commitments around it. Of course, this isn’t always possible. If you cannot attend your session, try taking half an hour to practice at home instead. This way, you can reap the benefits of yoga without taking up too much time.
When practised regularly, yoga brings a host of physical health benefits. Whether you suffer from a long-term health condition or you’re feeling a little fatigued, yoga can be used to treat your symptoms. The relaxation techniques used in yoga can reduce chronic pain such as arthritis, lower back pain and headaches. It can also reduce insomnia, lower blood pressure, improve respiration, vitality and energy, maintain a balanced metabolism, improve athletic performance, protect you from injury, improve cardio and circulatory health, increase muscle strength and tone and help you to lose weight.
As well as the physical benefits, yoga has mental health benefits too, including stress management. Stress is known to have a devastating effect on the body and mind, including sleeping problems, back and neck pain, headaches and the inability to concentrate. Thankfully, yoga can be used to reduce these symptoms and reach a positive outlook on life. In addition to asana practice, meditation and breathing can improve mental well-being. Regular yoga practice increases body awareness, creates mental calmness and clarity, relieves chronic stress patterns, centres attention and sharpens concentration.
So, why is yoga needed in all communities? The simple answer is because it’s awesome. People of all ages and genders can use the practice to better their health, making it a necessity for all communities. If you want to reap the benefits of the practice, invest in a decent yoga top and find a local class. It won’t be long before you notice a difference!