The perfect balance of physical and spiritual, Yoga is an exercise that has lasted the test of time and is here to stay.
Written by guest Bondi Beauty Contributor Ben Lucas from Flow Athletic.
Practicing yoga is beneficial in times like these because it uses breathing techniques and meditation to make you feel relaxed and exercise which releases endorphins.
Endorphins are natural mood elevators which trigger a positive feeling in the body according to Harvard Health.
Reams of celebrities regularly practice yoga including Gisele Bündchen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon.
Madonna says “Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can’t rush. You can’t skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can’t judge yourself. You just have to breathe and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.” And she’s right, the mental health benefits of yoga are just as important as the physical benefits.
A type of meditation, mindfulness focuses on being acutely aware of how you are feeling without interpretation or judgment.
In yoga, mindfulness can be cultivated when movement is coordinated with the breath and body sensations are accepted as reality.
Self-awareness is all about learning to understand your feelings and behaviours.
Inner Melbourne Psychology reports “self-awareness is the key to taking care of your mental health and wellbeing,” defining self-awareness as, “a form of stepping back and observing your thoughts and feelings as they unfold.”
A regular yoga practice can build habit awareness during breathing, asana’s (poses) or stillness, allowing us to ‘see ourselves’ more clearly.
Holding postures for extended periods is a test of physical and mental endurance. Yoga can build resilience and confidence in all areas of your life, both on and off the mat.
Flow Athletic is running online Yin Yoga classes online during lockdown. Yin Yoga is perfect for building mental endurance as it is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses that are held for longer periods of time.
Meditation is the training of your thoughts and attention to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state of mind and body. Yoga is a form of meditation.
Mayo Clinic reports the emotional benefits of meditation include, “gaining a new perspective on stressful situations, building skills to manage your stress, increasing self-awareness, focusing on the present, reducing negative emotions, increasing imagination and creativity and increasing patience and tolerance.”
Flow Athletic is running online vinyasa flow classes that will increase your strength and improve flexibility. But it’s more than physical. They will help you slow down and relax, to live a more conscious and connected life.
Ben is the owner and co- founder of Flow Athletic, a successful yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington.
Ben came up with the innovative Flow After Dark silent yoga disco concept in 2016, which has now held 9 sold out events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. He has also created the Nightclub Spin, Sofa 2 Surf and 30 Days Clean concepts which are always huge hits and generate a lot of interest within the media.
In 2015 Flow Athletic won the Telstra Small Business of the Year Award and last year he was also profiled in the Optus business feature
Prior to getting into the fitness industry, Ben was a professional NRL player for the Cronulla Sharks and a number of other teams. In the space of 5 years, he ran 35 marathons and 5 ultra marathons all over the world. Due to his interest in running, he then went on to train up 101 non- runners to run and complete their first marathon. A challenge he said he probably won’t take on again, however as a result Sofa2Surf was born.