Yoga blends physical movement and breathing practices with mindful awareness. While yoga may have ancient roots, the practice has continued to evolve and adapt to suit the modern world.
Do I need to be flexible or fit?
Some styles will challenge your stamina, strength and flexibility while others are more gentle and relaxing. Some yoga can even be done sitting on a chair or lying down. There are lots of different approaches so you can find one that suits you even if you can't touch your toes or stand on one leg.
Do I need special equipment?
Yoga mats have a 'sticky' surface so they can be helpful to keep your feet steady in standing positions and provide a clean space when you lie down, but in reality, you can just as effectively use a blanket, towel or your carpet with socks or bare feet.
Proven benefits from the latest studies show that yoga:
- Reduces stress measured by level of the stress hormone cortisol
- Lowers anxiety
- Reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Reduces chronic pain - including back pain
- Improves flexibility
- Improves balance
- Improves breathing capacity
- Can relieve migraines
- Increases strength
- Improves sleep quality
- May help to fight depression
- Reduces chronic inflammation - which has been linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Improves heart health
How to get started
Our article Yoga in practice provides a yoga sequence that you can practice at home. You can practice the whole sequence or just pick one or two movements.
Written by: Jayne Hill
As well as working in the communications team at CABA, Jayne teaches practical yoga and for over 15 years her gentle approach to yoga has encouraged people lead more peaceful and healthier lives. She gained her diploma after 500 hours study with the British Wheel of Yoga. Jayne specialises in therapeutic yoga postures, breathing practices and deep relaxation techniques. She’s a teacher for the yoga for healthy lower backs programme and a Level 3 member of the Register of Exercise Professionals.