Find inner peace in 2014!

2013December26_YogaGeneral_AYou don’t need to have had the biggest party of the festive season to end 2013 feeling a bit frazzled and in need of some R & R. Work and family life demands tend to ratchet up a notch or two as well, leaving most people feeling as if they are on the final leg of a rather exhausting end to a pretty eventful year. But unless a holiday in some far-flung exotic location is on the calendar in the next week or two, you might want to give your body and mind a relaxing tonic with some yoga instead.

With a new year comes a new beginning and one of the best ways to inspire a feeling of calm, inner peace and oneness, is through yoga. Here we take a look at what yoga can do for you this January, and beyond.

  • Quiet headspace: Whether it’s been people buzzing around at work or the incessant sounds of festive songs on a loop as you shop, eat, walk or pretty much do anything in a public space, years rarely end quietly. And the hoopla of New Year is just the icing on the cake. If what you want is the sweet sound of silence, or at least more of a tolerable murmuring, then yoga can promise a moment of quiet before you get on with the rest of 2014.

  • Relieving stress: You don’t need to be a die-hard yogi to know that yoga is renowned not just for the wondrous effects it has on how you feel but also on the whole nervous system and mental stress levels. One yoga session releases neurotransmitters that do battle with anxiety in the body. You might have had a fantastic festive season, but even a good time can be regarded as ‘stressful’ to the body and mind. On whatever level, most people regard the end of the year as being stress-inducing.

  • Grounding and regrouping: Yoga practice centers you and instills a real sense of being anchored and grounded. After a year of inevitable ups and downs, this coming together and feeling of stability can be most welcoming. This also allows you to relax and regroup within yourself, so that you can arrange your thoughts and feelings.

  • Stretching out sofa time: Late nights, big dinners, and lots of time sat around, as well as potentially long drives to visit your nearest and dearest, all take their toll on you physically. Yoga postures really focus on flexibility and stretching, so that you instantly feel less constricted. This experience of opening out, along with breathing techniques, can brush away any stagnant feelings left over from 2013.

  • Reflecting for closure: Unlike many other types of activities, yoga really emphasizes the connection between the body and mind and this can be helpful when trying to reflect and move on. Allowing for the ebb and flow of thoughts is soothing to your inner being The focus on individual movements allows the mind to consider where it is at in the present moment, before moving into the year ahead.

  • Inspiring ideas for the future: Because of this free-flow feeling in the mind, yoga can really boost creative ideas. While much of yoga practice is centred on the present moment, this awareness actually feeds into the future too. Your subconscious can be fuelled by yoga practices that focus on the conscious mind.

Start 2014 with a robust sense of self and place in the world through yoga practice. It may end up being the catalyst for some positive changes this year.

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