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Does yoga work and can you really benefit from it?

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As a make-up artist, hair stylist and beauty photographer I usually write about different subjects, though for my clients who know me more, this blog shouldn’t come as a surprise. I believe that to maintain our beauty we need to work not only with creams, serums and exfoliation but also on our body as a whole.

I have been doing yoga for many years on and off. In the last year I finally committed to it and now I feel that I am starting to understand it. Either I am an extremely slow learner, or one needs to give oneself a bit of time to discover properly this ancient philosophy of being.

Throughout the last year I have had an opportunity to learn more about yoga from extremely good teachers, not only in the UK but also in Sri Lanka, Europe and Canada. The purpose of this blog is to share with you a few new things I learned, which may entice you to do yoga or may enrich the knowledge you already have.

Breathing is something we all tend to take for granted. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. Deep inhalations and exhalations as part of our daily exercises, can improve our quality of life, physically and mentally. We can be more productive as runners, yogis or on our weekly visits to the gym, and generally more grounded as human beings. As simple as it sounds, proper breathing is extremely powerful. Now when I am introduced to a new exercise in the gym, I usually get the breathing right. I have only begun to touch the surface and I already see an amazing improvement to my life as a whole. One of my teacher at the Iyengar Centre in Maida Vale, Orfa who I recently mentioned in my interview for ‘Farbic Magazine’, always says “the mouth is for eating and the nose is for breathing”. She couldn’t be more right!

Last summer while in British Colombia I was introduced to the Kundalini yoga practice, which is both spiritual and physical. I must say, I had never heard of this style of yoga before. Kundalini yoga is all about releasing the energy, which is said to be trapped or coiled in the lower spine. I am not gong to swap Iyengar yoga for Kundalini, but this practice just reassures me how important breathing is for invigorating our posture and energising our body.

In Sri Lanka, I met a very interesting Ayurvedic doctor and yoga master. Because I love learning new things and pushing my boundaries, I could not stop myself from having a consultation with him. The only thing that I found off-putting initially, was a picture in his studio of him with the current prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. Just to clarify, I dislike the values he represents. After all, I decided not to mix yoga with politics, as many people do nowadays. The doctor, more than anything, emphasised the importance of breathing when we practice yoga. He suggested to do breathing exercises every day to strengthen my body. He said that it doesn’t matter which style of yoga you practice but make sure you pay attention to the way you breath. You will become more aware of the postures you practice and you will also benefit more from them. He also emphasised to make sure we work equally on both the right and the left sides of our body.

yoga and breathing

I definitely use my right side more because of my work. I specially notice that every time I use my computer I strain one side more. This is why yoga is so important for me to keep everything in balance. I am sure many of you who use a computer on a daily basis, know exactly what I mean. My advice to you is; keep everything in balance and breath deeply. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what issues you have with your body, I am certain that this simple advice will be helpful. Keep practicing breathing exercises every day and you will see a difference in no time.

If you have any questions or want to share with me any other good points as to why we all can benefit from yoga, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at anita@anitawarszwska.com.