Despite more people than ever having a gym membership, owning sportswear and eating clean, there’s still a stereotype about yoga practitioners. Slim, self-disciplined, admirably calm and infinitely flexible – someone who has achieved near physical and spiritual perfection, a person easy to aspire to but near impossible to emulate.
The truth, though – and the reason why yoga continues to be so popular – is that it’s an activity that attracts (and arguably requires) imperfection. In its truest form, yoga should be inclusive, adaptable, and suitable for anyone who feels far from perfect. Yoga is not for people who have found peace and contentment, but for those willing to seek it.
The yoga postures you will learn are physically beneficial to all, whether you’re a desk-bound office worker or a marathon runner in training. You stretch, strengthen and tone every part of your body, building stamina, improving balance and surprising yourself along the way as you discover your existing abilities and learn new ones.
Beyond the physical are the emotional and mental benefits of regular yoga practice. How often do we have the opportunity to stand, sit or lay still? Yoga allows your mind to focus on a posture rather than the myriad of worries that so often course through our minds. You’re taught to focus on your breath and to listen to your body; to know yourself rather than be told what is right or wrong.
Yoga cannot cure physical or mental challenges, but it will give you the strength to cope. Your mat will become a safe place, a space reserved for peace and self-care. No matter where you are or what you are going through, you can ease yourself into a Warrior posture, or focus on your breathing, or simply lay on your mat, and just be. In an uncertain world, yoga can help us find our balance.