Fitness: Yoga for your body, mind and spirit

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In her latest fitness article Erika Brincat show you how move your body, calm your mind and nourish the spirit.

For those of you who live and work in the EU ‘bubble’, the reality is that despite the fact your work may be highly interesting and rewarding it may seem at times that life revolves around an endless stream of meetings and reports every waking hour of the day. Therefore, it is essential to find a few moments after a long day when one can relax and unwind and get back in touch with the body, mind and spirit.

Although yoga has been around for centuries, reaping its rewards doesn’t take long at all. Just a few minutes of practice at the end of a long day can help stretch and relax sore muscles. Practiced regularly yoga can be a powerful way to relieve anxiety and cope with everyday stress. Over time it can also transform your body by building stronger muscles while improving flexibility and joint mobility. Though many people think of yoga as a fitness exercise it is actually a comprehensive life philosophy that originated more than 5,000 years ago in India.

At its core yoga means to ‘unite’ and refers to the fusion of body, mind and spirit through meditation, breathing practices and physical postures. Yoga means the union of body, mind and spirit, and the union of the mundane and the divine. The yoga postures (asanas) were developed to strengthen the body, improve health and prepare for meditation. Many different styles of yoga exist, ranging from the gentler form of Hatha Yoga, to the faster-paced Ashtanga Yoga.

Practicing yoga can improve both your physical and mental health. Yoga can have emotional and spiritual benefits and performing the postures can also reduce your stress levels. Over time the inevitable pressures of life will have less of an impact on you and you will begin to respond in a more conscious manner. As we become more balanced and harmonious our interactions with people and situations become calmer and more relaxed. When our inner world begins to change, our outer world also shifts to reflect our new perspective.

The great gift of yoga is that it serves and nourishes us at every level of our being and spontaneously contributes to greater wellbeing in all domains of life. Yoga will help you discover gifts within yourself that have remained unopened since your childhood – the gifts of peace, harmony, laughter and love.

The good news is that you do not need to travel all the way to India to establish a weekly yoga practice. Surprisingly perhaps, Brussels has a wide selection of Yoga studios waiting to be discovered. But where does one start the search? I would suggest downloading the MIND BODY App which connects to your location to give you a number of interesting options within close proximity. Here I have selected a few choices for those of you who live in the centre of Brussels.