YOGA……..from Practice to Presence
Life can be undoubtedly very busy. It can be a real challenge to find stillness in a world that is moving at an exponential rate. In a fast paced society falling into stillness either mentally or physically can be a real challenge. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years for exactly this purpose. There are three essential components in a yoga class; breath awareness and/or exercises, stretching and meditation. The breathing and stretching exercises of yoga help to settle the mind and open the tight spaces in the body in preparation for meditation.
Spiritual Care Providers also offers chair yoga and mindful yoga which is suitable for all regardless of age or level of ability and is particularly suitable for seniors and those with limited mobility as the exercises are performed in a gentle non-competitive way. Chair yoga makes the multitude of benefits of yoga available to everybody. The emphasis is on reinforcing what the participants can do in a positive mindful environment.
The gentle stretches and movements that we perform during the class bring each joint in the body through its full range of motion and each muscle into its full extension and contraction. All of the exercises are modified to suit the level of ability of each individual so that all participants gain mobility, strength and suppleness. What sets yoga apart from other forms of exercise is that even the physical movements are performed mindfully so that the entire practice is a moving meditation.
Whether one comes to yoga for the health benefits or as a retreat from the busyness of life there is an underlying spiritual benefit. Yoga is being practiced by millions of people worldwide across all ages and levels of mobility as it is engaging with people on a number of different levels.
The increasing number of studies carried out internationally on yoga in the last five years show that people report not just increased physical strength and flexibility but more importantly mental and emotional benefits. Yoga is more than a fad, it is a movement. A movement that is guiding millions of people all over the world towards stillness.