However, yoga is not some gymnastic performance or high-wire act; it is an ancient discipline from India that trains your body as much as your mind. Whether the yoga style is gentle, like in hatha, or more energetic, like in ashtanga, the benefits of regular practice have been known for decades: toned body, improved flexibility and stronger muscles.
A way to connect
Yoga is also about fostering a mind and body connection, or a peaceful moment of letting go. When was the last time you were able to clear your mind? Nothing is more calming than sitting in the lotus position (cross-legged) and quietly concentrating on your breathing, following the breath in and out. Even the more dynamic postures will help you feel more centred in your body. This feeling of connection and harmony is also achieved through practicing a sequence of movements.
The point is not to push yourself too hard, but to complete each movement with as much awareness as possible. The savasana pose, which involves lying on your back, fully relaxing your body and clearing your mind, can even help you have a much deeper sleep. By activating the production of GABA (the neurotransmitter for relaxation), this pose helps fight off stress and insomnia. By letting go of stress, both physical and mental, you will find that you can more fully appreciate life, especially the moments you spend with loved ones.