Detoxify The Mind Body For Great Health
You already know lots about good nutrition and effective workouts by now, but what do you actually do to relax and restore your energy? After all, this is just as important! But before we get into that, let me tell you a little bit more about my background. I'm Meya, originally from Germany. I've completed a six-year degree in Clinical and Educational Psychology & during my years at Uni, I worked as a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. This has more recently lead me on travels to India, to stay at an Ashram, and complete Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Intensive. When I tell people that I am a Yoga teacher, almost everyone says "Wow, that's so cool!" When I took my first Hatha Yoga class at age 15, my friends didn't really think it was cool, in fact none of them really knew what Yoga actually was. Today however, you'll find Yoga everywhere and new forms of Yoga are emerging. So why is yoga so popular? People know that Yoga is very good for them, it can be relaxing and it stretches the muscles, But hardly anyone knows about the astonishing effects of Yoga that go beyond that.
The term Yoga means "union" and refers to the union of body, mind and spirit. The aim is to increase your overall energy levels (prana), which will allow you to go through everyday life more alert and at the same time more relaxed. The word Prana means life force and is often compared to the Chinese Chi. In our western culture, the above mentioned balance is often skewed, the Mind having taken over the reins. The practice of Yoga will help to quiet the mind and restore the innate balance that got lost long the way in our busy life. If you are truly and completely absorbed in a Yoga pose, there is no space for thought, like meditation-in-action.
Also, and almost more importantly, Yoga will regulate bodily processes, taking direct effects on the glands and organs. It is very closely related to Ayurveda and has been used in India to treat medical conditions for thousands of years. There are certain poses (Asanas) that target specific hormonal systems and common problems like a sluggish metabolism or poor blood circulation can be improved dramatically and entirely without the use of medication. This is also the case for everyday nuisances like headaches and menstrual problems. Yoga can provide help. For example, poses where your legs are elevated above heart level, the Inversion, are extremely beneficial as they take pressure off the heart and drain "old" out off the legs.
Apart from the Asanas, Yoga is devoted to the detoxification of the body. There are several processes, like Yogic enemas, the flushing of the nostrils or swallowing a cloth. Whilst these procedures are only to be undertaken under professional supervision, the Asanas themselves bear a detoxifying aspect. By compressing and bodily tissue, toxins are pushed out and released into the bloodstream where they are filtered out by the kidneys and the liver.
For me as a Psychologist, it was especially interesting to learn that Yoga can help with depression and anxiety disorders, as it regulates Neurotransmitter levels in your brain. In a nutshell, Yoga brings everything in your body back to normal. In fact, pose has a plethora of positive effects on your body, which is really motivating especially while you are in certain difficult poses.
Speaking of which, a thing I love about Yoga is that there is no competition, no "absolutely correct" pose. The practice is about getting to know your body and working in alignment with your body. It may be challenging sometimes, but Yoga is never supposed to hurt and it is not exercise. It is the opposite of exercise, if done correctly, because once you're in a certain pose and you start to relax into the pose, the heartbeat decreases. So Yoga is a perfect counterbalance to your regular workout, stretching your muscles, relaxing your mind and bringing you back into contact with your body. Even though it is hard sometimes, I always encourage my students not to compare themselves to others around them and try to leave their expectations of themselves at the door. Yoga is not about superseding anyone, including yourself. It teaches is persistence & patience with yourself.
Regular Yoga practice allows you to go through your daily life in a more balanced and relaxed manner. It changes your perspective on what is really important in life and what is really worth stressing about, or what is not worth it. There is a plethora of Yoga Types to choose from, whether you go for very traditional Hatha, Kundalini or hot Bikram Yoga classes. Also I find it important to choose your teacher wisely. The energy between you and your teacher is tremendously important. Ideally, you find someone you trust and love as sometimes, emotions may come up during class. You see, Yoga is overall detoxifying, not only chemically, but also spiritually and emotionally.