Revealed: Yoga Is Not Just A Weird Activity Reserved For Hippies
Announcement posted by Seven Sundays Yoga 29 Jul 2021
Move over Australia there is a new fitness activity taking the country by storm. If you guessed soccer, cricket, tennis, or golf - you would be wrong. What is it?
Ever thought to yourself that yoga was religious and just for hippies? If so, then yoga has an image problem. Yoga as an ancient practice from India (and treated with some reverence) has taken on different forms depending on who you talk to:
Is it weird to do yoga? (Quora)
Does doing yoga make you a Hindu? (BBC News)
I just like stretching and stuff. Is this yoga? (Reddit)
Did you know that yoga is the fastest-growing sport in Australia? A 2016 study by Roy Morgan shows that yoga is the fastest-growing sporting or fitness activity, with over two million Australians now practice yoga. That means that one in 10 Australians now do yoga, making it more popular than soccer, cricket, tennis and golf.
Helena Knows, founder of mindful movement brand Seven Sundays Yoga is someone who has been on both sides of the debate: "At first, I thought yoga was mystical with the Sanskrit names for the postures and chanting and om-ing. Incense burning and wooden statues. It can feel a little hippyish, a little religious, as someone peering in from the outside."
She stayed away from yoga after her first experience almost 2 decades ago. She found it exhausting keeping up as a beginner, rather than what it is widely known for: a relaxing experience.
Yet 16 years after her first class, she found a yoga teacher who helped her discover how powerful the mind-body practice could be, particularly in worrying, uncertain times.
She is not the only one.
Ask any of the 2 million and growing Australians who practice yoga (Roy Morgan), and they will agree that it is more than physical fitness. It is a mind-body therapy.
Another survey shows that the typical yoga student is 41 years old, educated, and health-conscious female. What is enlightening is that most started practising yoga for health and fitness reasons but continued yoga to help manage stress.
If you're wondering why so many Australians are flocking to yoga. It's widely understood that regular yoga practice:
- teaches you how to focus the mind when you need to,
- tones and strengthens the muscles for an all-body workout,
- increases strength and flexibility through muscles and joints,
- improves body posture, coordination and balance,
- teaches you breathing and sensory techniques to help with feelings of stress and anxiety,
- and cultivates more awareness of your body (also known as proprioception).
Helena Knows summarises, "Yoga is a mind-body practice that improves overall fitness, flexibility and balance both on a mental and physical level. Let's not forget that yoga has ancient Indian roots and further research and study can transport you to another culture, another philosophy, an alternative to western thinking."
Confronting? Perhaps. Religious? No.
This gradual exploration of how the ancient art of yoga can benefit our modern way of life; compels Seven Sundays Yoga to share this practice, one new yoga student at a time. In their signature virtual yoga program, Helena Knows is helping new students build strength and flexibility, one yoga pose at a time.
Her approach is to keep it playful and curious rather than a strict choreography of movement. She created her step-by-step online program so yoga could help her students get where they want to be, and any place they are.
In a fit of irony, her awkward early experience helps her avoid making yoga awkward and weird.
Now that is a relief.
Enrolments are open now on the website.
Details of Seven Sundays Yoga program:
When: Starts Sunday, August 8th, 2021 for 7 weeks
Where: Online group sessions on Zoom