3 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Life

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1. Breath & Awareness

Breath is the foundation to any yoga class. Often, you’ll see a class start with everyone sitting, observing their breath. This allows us to connect with the breath and pay attention to the stress that we may be carrying in our body. This is a great tool to carry out into everyday life. Do you notice how stress starts to build in your body? Constriction in the breath? Tight muscles? Yoga builds awareness and connection.

2. Practice & Commitment

Showing up: Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing to do. If your goals focus on simply moving through many postures, or becoming as flexible as possible in a short time, you may never get there. Your body needs time to change and adapt. Yoga is about committing to consistent and mindful movement. You’ll gain flexibility and strength from a regular practice. Commitment is the key to unlocking the benefits of yoga. Comparison and perfectionism results in unhappiness. By choosing to show up and observe your breath and movement, you’ll gain what yoga has to offer.

3. Flow & Meditation

In flow, we link every movement from the beginning of the class to the end of the class with breath. Often, in daily life, we live in our heads. I, like many others, sit in front of a computer for 7+ hours a day at a desk job. I live in my mind. Taking time out to practice yoga gets you out of your head and into your body. You don’t have to sit still to meditate – flowing with yoga is a great way to find power that is much deeper than a set of postures on your mat.

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3 Ways Yoga Can Improve Your Life

Meet Sarah, our new yoga instructor

Have you had a chance to try our new Yoga for strength series and meet Sarah Kozlowski? If not why not take a moment to find out why Sarah practices Yoga. Who knows maybe it will inspire you to practice as well.

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Why I practice:

I have been practicing yoga on and off throughout my life. In the last few years, I have taken my practice more seriously. This eventually resulted in me receiving my teaching certification from Karma Teachers.

 

At first, yoga was something to help with relaxation. Dealing with the stresses of school and a full-time job left me feeling worn out, anxious, and overworked. At first, I started practicing at home following Youtube videos. Then I started attending classes regularly, and now I have a consistent Ashtanga practice. It’s something that has been slowly built over time.
I love how yoga helps connect your mind with your body. Right now, we are constantly connected online via our phones, computer, tablets, fitbits and a million other devices. Yoga is a way to disconnect from all of that and turn inward. I love yoga because it helps me observe my thoughts, turn off my mind, and find a connection with my body. I teach Yoga because I want to help you do the same.

Meet Sarah, our new yoga instructor

Yoga and healthy knees

Do you have knee, hip, shoulder or lower back pain? Would you like to drastically reduce your sensation of pain and increase your ability to enjoy movement and exercise? Then keep reading…

Karate Kneeskyle

In 2009 I hurt my knee at a Karate class. I was standing in an inward tension stance practicing basic punching. The rotation of the hip and the forced tension of my stance caused me to aggravate an old injury that had not bothered me for years.

I had to stop training the style of Karate I was practicing at the time as well as stop my training in Capoeira, my knee simply could not handle the demand placed upon it by kicking exercises. I didn’t want to stop exercising but I knew I had to take a break from my regular modes of exercise so I did it, I took a dive and gave Yoga a shot.

For four months I stretched, balanced and breathed my way to happy, healthier knees. Since then I have been back to a regular schedule of punching and kicking with few issues. Yes my knee flares up every once and awhile but generally I am able to keep it in check through three principles I learnt in Yoga.

— Kyle Duske

So how does Yoga help you keep your knees happy and healthy?

  1. Stretch

A lot of joint and muscular pain can be the result of overly tense muscles. Tight calves can instigate a whole slew of problems from knee pain to plantar fasciitis. Taking the time to stretch your muscles helps keep them limber and loose. Making sure you take time after every workout to stretch and including at least one extended session of stretching a week will help you decrease your recovery time and prevent injury.

  1. Balance

Yoga includes many balancing postures. One legged balancing postures are incredibly important for the health of your feet, ankles, hips and knees. As you struggle to balance you learn to activate your stabilizer muscles (these are not actually special muscles just for stability but we can talk about that later). It also forces you to work unilaterally which helps reduce muscle imbalances that can cause muscular instability and pain.

  1. Breath

Focusing on your breath will help you do two simple things, that many people struggle with in all of our classes, which are both very important for recovery and injury prevention. Connecting deep breathing to your movement helps you to both relax and tune in. By relaxing you allow your body to stretch and release both physical and mental tension. Deep breathing also helps you tune in, by this we mean it helps you to deepen your mind muscle connection. Learning to be more mindful and aware of how your body feels and moves will help you expedite your recovery from injury and fatigue, as well as prevent you from moving in potentially damaging ways.

Click here to learn more about Yoga at VANCOUVER MIND-BODY CENTRE

 

Yoga and healthy knees