Why you should consider yoga
What is yoga and is it really for me?
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, originating in India. Some of the core activities of yoga include breathing work, stretching in different positions and meditation. 
Over the last few decades, yoga has taken off as part of the global health and wellness movement. Most of us have grown used to a specific idea of ‘the kind of person who does yoga’. It’s time to let go of that limiting stereotype. Not everyone practising yoga will be clad in tight leggings with green smoothies in hand. Some practice for spiritual, or religious reasons while others practice because they need help getting out of their own heads.
Virtually anybody can practice yoga which is one of its biggest selling points. You’ll just need a dash of concentration and an open mind.
The benefits of yoga
1. It's a great choice for gentle exercise
Yoga is a great exercise for those who are new to exercise or have chronic pain conditions that make physical activity difficult. Focusing mostly on breathing work, stretching and meditation yoga is ideal for people who want to move their bodies without necessarily breaking a huge sweat. Through regular practice, yoga can help you improve your strength, balance, and coordination. 
2. It helps you to breathe better
One of the more recognisable physical symptoms of anxiety is difficulty regulating your breathing. Yoga actively focuses on improving breathing through pranayama (a specific yoga breathing technique).  Controlled breathing can help relax your muscles and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. A study conducted in 2019 found that 6 weeks of practising pranayama for 1 hour a day could have a significant effect on lung function.
3. It increases mindfulness
In society today, most of us lead extremely busy lives, and it can be difficult to find quiet moments to ourselves. Yoga is an effective way to slow down and recentre your thoughts and breathing to focus on the present, which is the foundation of mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.” More on this in our Hapi-life article: Getting Started with Mindfulness.
4. It helps to improve posture
Whether you’re sitting in a chair, bus or standing up all day – proper posture is important for your back and spinal health. Yoga teaches you how to move your body and stretch out your joints. To perform the positions correctly, proper posture is essential. Stretching the chest and strengthening the back muscles are some of the benefits of yoga. In addition, it can also help you become more aware of your body and posture, which will help you know how to self-correct throughout the day.