Is it me or does everyone seem to have aches and pains these days? It’s as if a generation who was the first to spend long hours in front of a computer is now paying the price. There’s no doubt, for example, that back problems are on the rise. Back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK and the NHS in England spends £200m a year on spinal surgery.
But is there something we can do to help offset the damaging effects of desk, screen and keyboard? Well, yes there is – yoga. It may seem preserve of lycra-clad yummy mummies, backpackers and old hippies. But, if you can get past this, then I can personally testify that yoga is the perfect antidote to modern day living.
I rediscovered yoga after having back and shoulder problems a few years ago. I tried Pilates on the advice of physios, but there’s something about yoga that just touches the parts other things cannot reach. I can tell you, (along with any other ‘yogini’ you ask) that the effects are awesome. Not only do all those nasty aches and pains fade away but you feel fitter, healthier – and most importantly – happier.
Because the ancient practice of yoga isn’t about putting your body in impossible positions. It’s a whole way of being that puts things back into perspective and makes you at one with your body and yourself. And the science backs this up. A study in the UK found that people got better pain relief doing yoga than physiotherapy.
Sounds too good to be true? Just try it. The best teachers now are well-informed and grounded in the latest thinking about muscles, bones, nervous and endochrine systems and our body’s responses to stress. And yoga offers the extra dimensions of meditation and relaxation that Pilates and physiotherapy doesn’t
I like yoga so much that I’m part-way through training to be a yoga teacher myself now. I’m also setting up a charity project to do yoga with disabled people in Nepal where I taught English and still have family. It would be great if you’d like to help or support.
So, if you want to try spending less time on the keyboard and more on the mat just drop me a line I can point you towards some really good classes. Or, if you’re feeling brave, I’m looking for people to practise teaching on….. get in touch