As part of Functional Rehabilitation, Yoga allows you to gain flexibility and strength and improve your posture and balance.
History of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost your physical and mental well-being. It is essentially made up of breathing techniques and postures, a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. The practice originated in India over 5,000 years ago and has since been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways.
8 Limbs of Yoga
Over 2,000 years ago, the practice of yoga was compiled into the Yoga Sutra, a collection of 195 statements that acts as a philosophical guidebook for yoga. It outlines the 8 limbs of yoga: yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).
Today, most yogis around the world are engaged in asana, a programme of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
The Om Mantra
Om is a mantra or vibration that’s traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is simply an acknowledgement that everything in the universe pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration, similar to the sound om.
Chanting Om enables you to recognise your breath, awareness and physical energy, allowing you to consciously sense a bigger connection in your mind and body that is both uplifting and soothing.
Health Benefits of Yoga
There have been numerous scientific trials of varying quality published on yoga. The majority suggest yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. It has also been reported that regular yoga practice benefits people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains, depression and stress.
Yoga for Arthritis
Yoga is a popular way of promoting flexibility and strength in people with arthritis. Some research suggests yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems in people with knee osteoarthritis.
However, some yoga moves may not be suitable for certain clients, especially if you have replacement joints. Our yoga instructors are trained to understand arthritis and adapt postures and movements for your individual needs.
Yoga Prevents Falls
Several studies have suggested that yoga could help lower the risk of falls happening in elderly. As yoga promotes balance and muscle strength, it prevents falls and lowers injury rates, particularly for the most severe fall-related injuries such as fractured bones.
As part of helping you prevent future falls, our yoga instructors will recreate sequences that offer upper body strengthening and balance work. Part of the aim is to allow you to remain relatively agile as you age.
Yoga for Back Pain
We often encourage clients with back pains to incorporate yoga in their daily activities for the physical and mental benefits they receive from the practice.
Yoga encourages the strengthening of targeted muscle groups, which help with spinal movement and stability, reducing the risk of injury. When you holding a pose, certain muscles flex, allowing the antagonistic muscles to stretch and relax. Stretching also improves circulation and drives much needed healing nutrients to your damaged tissues.
Yoga for Athletes
The key aspect of yoga that boosts athletes’ performance is pranayama (breathing). The quality of the breath and where you breathe from are important – many people suck in when inhaling instead of expanding the diaphragm.
Lateral expansion breathing exercises work the transverse abdominis on both the inhale and the exhale, promoting trunk stability. A longer inhale also helps with tension release, especially if you’re training with an injury.