Fitness & workouts

5 reasons absolutely anyone can do yoga

Discover how yoga offers something for every body.

According to yoga specialist and master practitioner Donna Noble, yoga isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It can be, and should be, adapted to all body types. There is a basic outline and alignment for each posture, but it’s also about listening to your own body and adjusting for your unique body without judgement, bringing about self-acceptance.

Yoga also makes no judgements about size, ability or gender. You don't have to be flexible before you venture onto a yoga mat, and you don't have to be tall and slim. In fact, larger-bodied people are just as capable of moving as freely as a smaller-bodied person - just take a look at @Dana Falsetti if you need convincing. 

Yoga has so many transformational benefits as a healing, empowering, calming and strengthening practice. Plus, it's evolving all the time so you'll always be able to find a style of yoga that suits you.  

Donna shares 5 reasons why yoga is for every body:

 

1. Yoga helps to relieve stress

 

Yoga is able to relieve stress, which benefits people from all walks of life. Learning how to pay attention to the body and the breath changes our mindset and our emotional and physical states, as well as leading to many health benefits.

The practice of yoga has allowed me to reduce the level of stress in my own life. Yoga helped me in my daily life in a stressful city job, so much so that I was then inspired to leave that world and become a yoga teacher, something I absolutely love that carries a lot less stress.

 

2. Yoga is an incredible way to strengthen the body and mind

 

Yoga truly helps us develop strength and flexibility of both the mind and body. By practising yoga, I was able to become stronger mentally to deal with all the challenges I have encountered in my life, including illness. It has also helped me to heal an ongoing knee issue, enabling me to avoid the surgery that was recommended by the doctors.

 

3. Yoga helps connect mind and body

 

Yoga is a sanctuary, and a time to tune into your own inner voice. It brings you home to yourself. This is so true for me as it allowed me to change my career and discover what I love in life. Before yoga, there was no connection between what my body was doing and where my mind was, and this led to me feeling stressed, unhappy, exhausted and questioning what I wanted from life.

Now, by consciously connecting my mind and body through the breath and through poses, I am more mindful and focused, and make decisions with a lot more clarity. I tune into my intuition more, something that was completely alien to me before I discovered yoga.

 

4. Yoga is completely adaptable

 

I teach so many body types of all ages, sizes, gender and ethnicity. To help my students to embrace the true essence of yoga, I have had to evolve my teaching to incorporate chair yoga for example, modifying the postures to accommodate the different bodies that come to my classes. I modify postures for myself too in my own practice, so that my unique body can get the most out of the experience.

 

5. Yoga is transformational

 

Yoga has literally changed my life, and I’ve seen it happen for others too. In fact, I’ve seen it and experienced it enough to know that yoga can transform any life. So if you start practising now, beware! You may discover something so transformative that you’ll never return to the way you used to be before yoga came into your life. Yoga literally took me from the city onto the mat. It has healed me and provided me with numerous opportunities that I could only have dreamed of. Most importantly, it has allowed me to discover who I really am.

As you can see, there is so much more to yoga than the poses; it’s about self-acceptance and self-love when you do venture onto the mat. Even if all you do is breathe for the duration of your first session, this indeed is yoga too.  

Read the full article 'Yoga is for every body!' on the Yogamatters blog.