Tag: Yoga

The Amazing Benefits Of Yoga : How It Heals Mind, Body, and Spirit

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or are just starting with your practice, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed some of the health and wellness benefits of yoga.

Perhaps you’re sleeping better or feeling stronger or are just more relaxed and at ease in your daily life. Whatever the case may be, you know that something good is happening to your body–even though you may not be linking it to your practice quite yet.

To help you better understand the benefits of yoga, we have looked at the many ways your practice can heal the mind, body, and spirit. We included also links to scientific studies backing these claims.

Curious? Read on to find out the benefits of yoga on the mind, body, and spirit.

The Benefits Of Yoga On The Mind

benefits of yoga on mind

In recent years, scientific research has proven what ancient yogis knew centuries ago: that the mental benefits of yoga are infinite.

On a very basic level, people have known for years that yoga helps quiet the mind. By helping you focus on your breath and movements, it lowers the volume of the endless chatter in your brain during your practice and also helps increase focus and attention throughout the remainder of your day.

While these things are incredibly beneficial, scientists have recently proven that the mental benefits of yoga go beyond what was originally believed. According to studies reviewed by Harvard Medical School, practicing yoga helps reduce the symptoms associated with major mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

How?

The scientists discovered that a consistent practice of yoga helps reduce the quantity of cortisol – a hormone linked to stress and depression – in the body. What the researchers discovered was in fact astounding: that doing yoga could help people relieve stress and handle stressful situations in a much more positive way.

The Benefits Of Yoga On The Body

benefits of yoga on body

In addition to discovering the mental benefits of yoga, scientists around the world have also spent time researching the physical benefits associated with a consistent practice.

What they found out is something that yogis have known for a long time: that Yoga movements and asanas help the body develop strength, flexibility, and balance, as well as improve respiration, energy, circulation and cardiovascular health.

Based on this research, doctors, kinesiologists and physical therapists around the world recommend yoga as a way to ease into physical activity after an injury, and as a way to sustain physical stamina for people of all ages.

In addition to these benefits of yoga, researchers have also discovered that yoga postures can have some unsuspected benefits on our metabolism allowing one to improve body definition, and help with weight loss. And if that weren’t enough, symptoms of asthma, insomnia, chronic pain, and muscular tension are greatly improved with a regular practice allowing for enhanced daily function as well as better sleep at night.

The Benefits Of Yoga On The Spirit

benefits of yoga on spirit

The way the benefits of yoga on our spiritual wellbeing is a very individual process and is much harder to quantify for scientists.

While some efforts have gone into quantifying this impact, we must rely on anecdotal evidence provided by yogis to claim these benefits. According to this anecdotal evidence, yoga’s spiritual benefits are tied to the way it makes people feel a “happier life ‘in the moment'” while also allowing them to feel more connected to others.

In this respect, communal practice is said to have the biggest spiritual benefits for yogis. It allows people to exchange energy in a shared space, teaching them how to build our awareness of others and themselves, generally allowing them to feel part of a greater whole.

Start A Yoga Practice

The great thing about yoga is that you can start your practice at any time!

Not sure how? Try out this super short introductory video as you sit in your office. It will run through a minute long routine of basic poses that you can do right now (YES, RIGHT NOW!) to begin unlocking the healing potentials of yoga.

If you like what you see, consider setting some time aside every week to deepen your practice. You can check out routines on YouTube, download an app, or join a class in a studio or community centre near you!

Stretch your Mind, Body, and Spirit further with a Yoga Retreat in Southern India

If you want to unlock the full curative potential of yoga, join Naturopathic Physician, Yoga and Pilates teacher, and Energy Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Alexina Mehta for a restorative and replenishing 5 nights at the world-renowned Ayurvedagram.

The retreat offers a full immersion into the world of yoga and Ayurveda. As you take a deep dive into this world, Dr. Alexina will guide you through the teachings and initiations for your own internal transformation, giving you the tools to make this a truly life-changing experience.

Find out more about this magical retreat, which runs from March 7-12, by clicking here.

The Divine Love of India – Interview with Michele Labelle

I recently had the pleasure of sitting with Michele Labelle, my dear friend and yoga retreat leader, to discuss one of her favourite subjects – India! Over chai, we explored the topics of spirituality, healing, love, yoga, and Michele’s upcoming Sacred South India Yoga Adventure with Sacred Earth Journeys. Here’s just a fragment of our conversation, which fittingly took place on Valentine’s Day.

Michele doing cobra...with a cobra!
Michele doing cobra…with a cobra!

AA: What does India represent to you?  

ML: India is like a melting pot. Of course there is the spiritual aspect; that’s what has always attracted me. When I think of India, I think of the colours, I think of the people…and the children’s smiles. When the kids come up to you, you see their soul through their eyes. There’s a rawness there that wakes something up deep, deep inside of me.

And then you have the dichotomy of modernization. The young women in their jeans, the older women in their full traditional dress. And being able to still walk on dirt roads, with the cows and tuk-tuks everywhere. It’s starting to blend the modern with the old.
India can be a shock to the system for the first-time traveller. What words of wisdom would you give? 

Coming on this journey with us, there is the opportunity to feel safe, to be in a group setting. You sleep in a comfortable bed, and you are fed well. And you know, South Indian food, with all the different coconut curries — every single bite is so delicious! So that security, and having a tour guide who speaks the language, makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

Every single person has their own experience. So wherever you are in life, whatever meditation practices you have or not, whether you have your own spiritual guru or not…India wakes something up in every person I’ve ever met who has a calling to go.

And because I love India so much, I just want to share that love. It’s an invitation, like coming to a movie. It’s a whole different movie than you’ve ever seen in your life. And you’re a player in that movie.

Continue reading

India: Embracing my Discomfort Zone

For most of my life, the idea of travelling to India scared me. Though I am of Indian ancestry, I was born in Canada and had little desire to visit my mother country. India felt too uncomfortable and strange, and many questions plagued me: What if I got sick? What would the bathroom situation be like? What if the crowds and poverty were too confronting?

But a few years ago, something shifted. I began to practice Yoga and learn more about the Vedas, the spiritual texts of India. I started to appreciate aspects of my culture that I long took for granted and, for the first time, felt the inclination to just go.

India_sunrise-2Byoga
Practicing yoga on the beach at sunrise…ahhh

I believe that when one desires to visit India, there is an irresistible, magnetic pull to the country. Previous doubts and fears lose their grip, and circumstances seem to line up to make the journey happen. It’s as if Mother India knows we are coming!

Continue reading

Want to Extend that Summer Feeling? Book Yourself a Tropical Fall Yoga Retreat!

It’s nearing the end of summer. The days are getting shorter and there’s a crispness to the early mornings that reminds us Fall is just around the corner. As much as I love autumn with its intense colours and opportunities for peaceful walks in the ever-changing forest, I know that by November I’m yearning for the warm sun again.

November is the perfect month for a yoga getaway, and even better if it’s a retreat where the sun’s rays will re-energize your soul, and the beauty of the natural surroundings will help you ease into a week of calm, focused, fun practice.

We are very excited this year to be offering bookings for 2 yoga retreats in November: “Bali Bliss Retreat with Michele Labelle” is a Transformational Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Magical Bali on November 9 – 18, 2014, and “Practice, Breathe and Surf CostaRica with Chris Duggan & Natalie Rousseau” is a seven-day adventure and yoga retreat in idyllic Mal Pais, Costa Rica, taking place November 22 – 29, 2014.

What will these Fall retreats offer you?

Continue reading

De-stress & Find Adventure on a Yoga Retreat to Costa Rica

Interview with Chris Duggan & Natalie Rousseau
 
Do you dream of practicing yoga on a covered deck with nothing but the sounds of the birds and ocean waves to accompany your own pure breath? Do you see yourself immersed in fun activities with new-found friends as you explore surfing, horse back riding, hiking or just strolling along miles of sandy beach? Do you crave a week of delicious healthy food, where you can focus on reconnecting with yourself in some of the most beautiful natural surroundings on our planet, far removed from the stresses and distractions of modern daily life?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Sacred Earth Journeys is happy to announce that we’re now taking bookings for: “Practice, Breathe and Surf Costa Rica with Chris Duggan& Natalie Rousseau :A seven-day adventure and yoga retreat in idyllic Mal Pais, Costa Rica, November 22 – 29, 2014.

To learn more about this action-packed, rejuvenating retreat I caught up with the Retreat Leaders, Chris Duggan and Natalie Rousseau…

Continue reading