One of the best things about Yoga is it gets us connected to our body again. Most people have lost this connection thanks to the busy, modern world we live in.
We lose ourselves in our mobiles and iPads, PCs and TVs, iPods and computer games. We spend our days sedentary at a desk, or in the car commuting to and from our jobs, on the school run ferrying the family.
We’re not moving enough and even when we are, we’re not fully aware of our body and how it feels to move.
When I teach yoga I try and encourage my students to bring their awareness to how each pose feels. If we stretch one leg, for example, I’ll tell them go back to notice how it feels compared to the leg they haven’t stretched yet. If we're in a twist I ask them experience the sensations and feelings that arrive in their body breath by breath.
This “noticing” is so important as it really helps us to become more connected to our body and if a student wants to pause a little longer or more often, I make sure that they know that they can. It's not boot camp they must listen to what their body needs and then simply join in again with the rest of the class when they're ready. It's important not to rush through the poses without giving ourselves time to connect with our body and notice how it feels.
This enables us to begin to appreciate our body and become happier with how it looks and feels. Not just because yoga can help us to lose weight, sometimes that’s not enough. It's important for us just to feel happy about our body to learn to love our body.
When we're connected to our bodies we learn to love our body. We want to do things to nourish and take care of it. Without realising it, we start to eat better, rejecting foods that make us feel bad and choosing foods that make us feel healthy and good.
Yoga helps us to become more tuned in to what our body needs and can affect our appetite and how much we eat. That’s why as we practice yoga more often, we can begin to make healthier eating choices without a second thought. This in turn can lead to easier weight loss without the need to diet or count calories,
Elisa Williams is a London based yoga teacher and mum with over 25 years of practice in both. She teaches private and public yoga classes, yoga holidays and retreats. Her interests include family, people , sunshine, sailing and holidays. http://www.elisawilliamsyoga.com