“Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of wellbeing, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul.” This quote by Amit Ray, a spiritual master in the Himalayan Yoga and Vipassana tradition, hits the nail on the head as to what makes this ancient art so enticing. Not to mention the fact that maintaining a steady programme of yoga is amazing for the physical form and promotes general good health. Whether you relax with meditation videos or go on a wellbeing holiday, there are plenty of options nowadays for reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
When picturing the stereotypical image of a yogi, a Buddhist monk in an orange robe, seated serenely in the lotus position atop a mountain immediately springs to mind. Another popular image features a shadowed silhouette on the beach, looking out to sea in the tree pose as a burning sunset lights up the sky. The scene always epitomizes the ultimate in calmness and tranquility – a far cry from the surroundings most people have on a daily basis.
For those of us living in concrete jungles whose lives often feel like being on a constant treadmill, finding the time or space for such peacefulness may seem impossible. Where there is a will, though, there is a way and if you are prepared to bend over backwards (quite literally!) it is possible to practice yoga in a routine that best works for you.
Complete beginners might think they can pull off that advanced move, but if you do not ease yourself in and build up strength at a steady pace, you run the risk of injury. A lot of the yoga poses involve strong back and neck stretches and arching your back too much or twisting your neck in the wrong direction is all it takes to cause serious damage. It makes sense then for newbies to attend a yoga class to learn the basics in a safe setting. Nothing beats having a qualified instructor on hand to ensure you are doing everything correctly. Plus, you can ask them questions if you are unsure of anything – allowing you learn the ropes much faster than you would going it alone at home. Being in a group setting is likely to keep you extra motivated to continue and once you start seeing and feeling the incredible benefits, there will be no stopping you.
Working out in the comfort of your own home lets you completely relax in familiar surroundings. Not everybody enjoys exercising in public and with the vast amount of home yoga options currently on the market, you do not have to. Choose from the extensive selection of yoga DVDs out there or, for something more interactive that lets you know when a pose is wrong, try the Wii Fit. Some people may prefer a simpler approach to starting Yoga and may not necessarily be au fait with anything too technologically advanced or in depth. For them, using instructive Yoga Videos on simple to follow websites might be a real boon. Using yoga videos websites such as Yome could well be a great fit to start your home yoga practice.
If attending the odd class or home fitness is not enough, why not give yourself the health kick needed by taking a full-on yoga break somewhere fabulous. Sometimes, you need to get off the treadmill completely in order to gain much-needed perspective. Whether you decide to spend a couple of days at a spa, visit an idyllic retreat or take a sabbatical to get away from it all could be just what the doctor ordered. Another way to help your stress sail away is to sign up for a wellbeing cruise. As Iglu Cruise have pointed out, this kind of holiday will restore your inner balance and give you the opportunity to bathe in the lap of luxury. You will return with a new lease of life and be more determined to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are not familiar with the different types of yoga available, it is well worth doing your research before making a decision on where to go.