GO TO YOGA
Updated: Apr 30, 2019
Introduction to Olivia Monk (OM) Yoga
Whether you're new to yoga, have been practicing for years, are looking for meditation, healthy living or a toned body, Olivia Monk (OM) Yoga has something to offer you.
The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, and yoga has evolved and expanded greatly since then. Clearly, with this many practitioners, there is some wisdom and truth to the practice - and we call have something to gain.
Some may not be aware, but there are many different forms of yoga. It's not all stretching postures, and it's not all the handstands and scorpion poses that we see on Instagram. You don't have to do the same yoga practice everyday, you just need to decide what is right for YOUR body, mind, and soul that day and you can benefit.
So, what are some of the benefits of yoga?
1. Physicality: There is no denying that there is a physical component of yoga. The movement of our bodies, whether it's stretching postures or posture that are strength based (or a combination of both!) yoga can get the blood flowing through our bodies. As a result, yoga increases our overall health, including cardiovascular health, digestive health, and increases the mobility/hydration of joints.
2. Better Sleep: Because our bodies often get tired from physical activity, it improves our sleep quality and sleep duration. Yoga has also been shown to significantly reduce stress, which in turn can lead to a better rest. Moreover, yoga can teach you breathing practices which often help clear our minds, allowing us to fall asleep. In turn, this can lead to more energy during the day and clear our minds for more efficiency.
3. Less pain: I have not only experienced this in myself but also witnessed the transformation in family and friends who have tried yoga. As a traditionally office based worker, I spend a fair amount of time sitting at my computer and have experienced back pain for years. I would get massages (which I always found had a short term benefit - but not long term), I tried chiropractic medicine but would still be in pain. It was not until I began practicing yoga regularly that I really understood how sometimes - motion is the lotion!
4. Stillness: Often times we are so busy with work and our lives, we forget (or don't feel that we have time) to practice stillness and peace within our bodies and minds. Whether it's a 10 minute shavasana at the beginning and/or end of class, or practicing meditation or breathing techniques, yoga can give us an outlet to concentrate on our breathing, and actually strengthen our mind and the control we are able to exert over our thoughts to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.
5. A chance to play!: In almost every yoga class that I have been in, modifications have been offered, whether you want to challenge yourself or nurture where your body is physically (which is different than others), yoga gives you a chance to experiment and try something new that works best for you.
6. Gratitude: Often times in yoga classes, teachers at the beginning and/or end of a practice during meditation will suggest offerings of gratitude and to recognize those people or things in our life that we are grateful for. As a result, we can deepen our spirituality to the universe and our connection to others, which is shown to lead to a more wholehearted life and joyful spirit.
7. Digital Distance: I mentioned in No.4 that we are so busy with work and social lives that we often overlook time quiet for ourselves. Sometimes, this also means giving our minds a break from what we see, hear, and read on social media. There is no denying that cell-phones and social media have their positive impacts and contributions, however, yoga gives us a chance to put that aside, without temptation, and disconnect from others. Not only is this healthy for your eyes, and neck, so that we are not constantly looking down, but our most precious commodity is time. How much time are we spending on our phones daily instead of the ones we love? Are we missing powerful and joyful moments as a result?
There is an endless list of benefits from yoga, and as a teacher and student, I am always learning. Yoga is just one step on the road to self-mastery, understanding, and transformation. No matter where you are in your yoga practice, from a daily power vinyasa yogi, to occasional meditating, to never having entered the realm of yoga, yoga has something to offer you, and I would be honored to share that journey with you.
*If you have never done yoga before - have a leap of faith and courage to come out and try out a class or private session, you never know how much your life may positively change!