Fast-forward a few years and I enrolled onto a Hatha yoga basics course, which armed me with the fundamentals of yoga, and I soon realized that much of what yoga is all about doesn’t have anything to do with the physical element on a mat. The way that yoga differs from almost all physical activities is the depth and breadth of the practice.
From deep full breathing techniques, which can either reinvigorate you or ground you, to a holistic philosophy around nutrition, mind and spirit – yoga offers a fully complimentary system for those seeking support in areas often untouched in traditional education.
Since re-beginning my ‘proper’ yoga journey, my mind functions on a calmer and more effective level. With the discipline of a regular on-the-mat practice my body feels energised, toned, clearer of toxins, and I enjoy a much greater connection to the physical sensations of my organs and muscles. The coolest thing however is that I can stand on my head.
From a practical perspective the way in which yoga integrates itself into my daily and often hectic city life, is to offer me a selection of useful techniques and practical applications in different situations. If for example someone is confrontational during a business phone call, instead of reacting straight away I pause – take deep breath from the bottom of my stomache – and then reply in a much calmer and often more considered way than I used to in the past. Before I take to the ski slopes, 20 minutes is dedicated to spinal twists and other yogic stretches that will ensure my body will be supple and prepared for a thorough day of skiing, and will alleviate that lower-back tightness that used to dominate my body.
Whatever your fitness level, spiritual inclination, or mental condition, yoga is a wonderful tool to support you in living a healthier, more grounded lifestyle in the often stressful conundrum that is modern-day living. The best place to start is to find a beginners level course or class to ease yourself into what can be a life-enhancing practice.
Details of Adrian’s classes can be found here.