Yoga to me is finding balance among the chaos, finding peace within myself and joy in the seemingly small things in life. It makes me stop and watch the sunrise, allow the beauty of our surroundings to diffuse into every cell of my being and to appreciate the journey which we call life. Technology and fast pace living leaves us all with a constant list of things to do, places to go and deadlines to meet. We are often thinking of 15 things whilst trying to do one. No wonder we can't concentrate, no wonder we can't relax and no wonder our stress levels and anxiety are rising along with conditions such as insomnia, auto immune dysfunction and adrenal fatigue.
Yoga has recently become very popular as a form of physical exercise and there seems to be an abundance of classes available. Unfortunately some of these are being conducted by people with great intention, yet limited physical knowledge and this can lead to injury or scare people off returning to class. Yoga seems to have become a new "fad" exercise where people feel that unless they have the correct "yoga clothes" or can bend themselves in half then they are not able to attend. This is such a shame as the whole idea of yoga is to come to peace within our own bodies and not to compare ourselves to others. The actual word "yoga" means to unite/to yolk the mind, body and breath.
Yoga is for anyone. Any size. Any shape. Any fitness. Any flexibility. I hear so often people saying "I can't do yoga as I am not flexible/strong/young enough and I would love to dispel this myth. We do not have to fit any "mold" in our yoga practice. We just need to come with the intention to want to make ourselves feel better.
As we are all individuals and not all postures are suited to everyone. In fact the majority of them were designed for Indian boys to perform so no wonder we can't all do them. Traditional poses can be easily modified to suit each individual to enable you to gain the most you can from your practice. If you can't do a one armed handstand or wrap you feet behind your head (I know I can't) your "yoga" journey will not be restricted. You can find bliss and allow your brain to kick into neutral much easier in a seated pose than hanging upside down!
I am Sarah Reid, Physio. Yoga Therapist, Yoga & Pilates Teacher and mother to two beautiful girls.