By Helena Lucas
My greatest sources of joy are spending time with my cats, living in the ever watching jungle, belly-dancing, ballet and rock-climbing. I studied Psychology at …
What qualities do you long to perceive in yourself? Do you feel that you can only change ‘that’ much of you? If this is so, you are not yet familiar with the fundamental truth of Yoga: “The body is the temple of the spirit, conceived in the image of its maker”. Through consistent yoga practice, students soon become aware of the infinite power and beauty of their own individual body. Indeed others around will be quick to perceive “something different” in you- be sure to share your secret with them. Yoga’s breathing, stretching and meditation exercises promote optimal physical and mental health that shows.
Yoga’s ingenious postures trigger positive changes in your metabolism and functioning of your endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems by direct stimulation of organs and glands. The Shoulder Stand stimulates your thyroid gland, having an important direct positive effect on weight regulation. Yoga breathing techniques (pranayama) are designed to trigger burning of excess body fat, to enhance detoxification processes and expulsion of toxins through our breath, and prove extremely effective for tension-relief, promoting a relaxed state and elevated awareness. Charismatic people transmit beauty through this irresistible combination of positivity, humility and self-confidence.
Positive changes in your mood and stability, and improved well-being, are essential factors contributing to your choice of foods that have a desirable effect on your organism and keep a healthy chemical balance in your brain. Awareness of your body’s response to different foods is crucial in unmasking food allergies that place an unnecessary burden on your organism.
Toning of your muscles from head to toes is achieved in yoga by holding poses for extended time durations (as with the Locust for firming your legs, the Bust Exercise for firming and developing your chest and bust, or the Bow for firming flabby areas of your back), by attaining postures in slow motion (as with the Slow Motion Firming for intensive firming of the abdomen and thighs), and by executing fast paced routines in a rhythmic flow to encourage flux and reposition of somatic energies (as with the Sun Salutations). Yoga breathing techniques are extremely powerful in developing your abdominal wall.
As well as working on your figure, yoga exercises promote beauty of your complexion, as does the Lion by firming the muscles of your face and neck, and healthy appearance of your hair, as does the Scalp Exercise. Still, yoga goes further to enhance your beauty. Its techniques, inspired to some degree by stretches seen in our feline friends, will impart unprecedented flexibility to your spine, and this you can maintain throughout your life. An ancient yogic adage claims “You are as young as your spine is flexible”. As you develop an erect posture and gain poise and balance in your movement through yoga exercises like Rishi’s Posture or the Dancer’s Posture, you will feel a youthful spring return beauty to your movements, this blended with growing confidence and stability.
In terms of evolutionary theory it makes perfect sense: healthy in and out is beautiful, the law of the fittest. It is no secret that a great part of admired personalities turn to yoga practice and meditation for health, beauty, inspiration and clarity and alertness of the mind. You too owe yourself to embarque on this journey to your unp