Woman doing yoga in front of a body of water

This article, ‘Time to Try Yoga?’, was originally published in the ‘Healthy Living’ column of enVoyage, The Inflight Magazine of Eva Air.

Time to Try Yoga?

If you are feeling the stresses and strains of a demanding lifestyle, then why not take up yoga?

Yoga techniques can help you let go of physical and mental tension, improve your general health and energy levels, and help you achieve a sense of calmness and inner peace you never thought possible.

Yoga was first practised in India around five thousand ago, to combine body, mind and spirit. Yoga leaders, or “yogis,” initially taught the ancient art to small groups of followers, but today yoga has millions of devotees worldwide.

Yoga Postures

Some yoga postures are believed to have originated from the observation of animals such as cats, which stretch and arch their backs to achieve increased alertness and energy.

It was thought that humans could achieve similar benefits by mimicking these movements.

Many other popular yoga poses are named after animals, including The Cobra, The Fish, The Rabbit and The Dog.

The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga releases tension and stress stored in the muscles and helps to maintain flexibility and healthy joints. It relieves anxiety and mood swings, improves self-confidence and promotes relaxation and restful sleep.

Yoga is also used to treat a variety of other disorders, such as backache, headaches, high blood pressure, premenstrual syndrome, bronchitis, asthma, acid reflux and depression. The reduced stress could even help you reduce your reliance on alcohol, cigarettes and junk food.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, many of the claimed benefits of yoga are supported by scientific research. In particular, studies have shown yoga to be beneficial for back pain.

One study of people with chronic lower back pain experienced significantly less pain, disability and depression after participating in Iyengar yoga for six months.

Another study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found yoga in the form of controlled breathing was more effective than listening to classical music or the sounds of nature for reducing stress-induced high blood pressure.

Where Can You Do Yoga?

If thoughts of pounding the pavement or going nowhere on a treadmill at your local gym do not motivate you to get fit, then easy-to-learn, gentle but effective yoga techniques just might.

You could attend yoga classes with a qualified instructor or learn yoga in the privacy of your hotel room with a DVD or instruction book.

Or, if you are feeling inspired, why not book a getaway at a yoga retreat in a beautiful location such as Portugal, Italy or India, and enjoy yoga classes run by some of the world’s most experienced yoga teachers?

Or check out Yoga in London. https://triyoga.co.uk/

Kirby, S. (2012). Time to Try Yoga? enVoyage The Inflight Magazine of Eva Air, 56–58.

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