Adopted by many modern city dwellers, the ancient art of yoga remains at an all-time high and is especially effective in coping with the conflicts of modern life. People look to the 5000-year-old practice in a bid to boost both their physical and mental health because the benefits are manifest.
Benefits of yoga
The term ‘yoga’ is derived from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness. It connects the body and the mind and promotes alignment, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Yoga and mindfulness go hand-in-hand, with a fundamental focus on conscious breathing. Yogic breathing techniques, known as pranayama – a sanskrit word which translates to ‘the control of life force’- are techniques focused on slow, deep and intentional breaths. There is a direct relationship between our breath, mood, and autonomic nervous system and by learning to control our breath we can slow our heart rate and blood pressure, achieving a sense of ease and relaxation. Regular yoga practice fosters mental clarity and calmness while sharpening concentration.
The feeling of spaciousness is central to the practice; yoga creates space for the body, head and heart. “If I come to a class agitated by a situation or a person, I usually leave with a different perspective on the matter. The breath creates the space to allow a conscious response rather than an automatic reaction,” says Nadia Narain, holistic expert and yoga instructor to the stars.
Pre-natal yoga is equally an excellent practice for expectant mothers to connect with their baby.
A day in the annual calendar
In an effort to raise awareness of the many benefits of practicing yoga, the United Nations has proclaimed June 21st as The International Day of Yoga.
The idea was first introduced by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said, “Yoga is an invaluable gift from our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action … a holistic approach [that] is valuable to our health and our well-being. Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.”
The UN’s resolution notes “the importance of individuals and populations making healthier choices and follow lifestyle patterns that foster good health.” No matter how gentle or arduous your practice is, yoga builds muscle strength, improves posture, and increases blood circulation along with a host of other physical benefits.
As one of the most famous figures in yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar, once said, “Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”
Centered upon the same ethos of mindfulness, these Positive Luxury approved brands are ideal accompaniments to elevate your yoga practice.
The feeling of wholeness yoga leaves you with is precisely how you’ll feel wearing MICHI’s exceptionally crafted products. Aiming to fuel female confidence, MICHI understand that women have unique strengths and design collections that enhance performance and ignite self-expression. The MICHI woman does it all – they merely provide the armor so she can make it happen.
Sàpopa is all about being a positive force for good. From respecting the Italian Work National Contract that guarantees a minimum salary and no discrimination, to textiles that meet the Global Organic Textile Standards, Sàpopa is attuned to the influence each of us has on making the world a more positive place. As the brand also supports a children’s education initiative, you can simultaneously downward dog and give back.
Inspired by the power of nature and created with a superior design sensibility, NO KA‘OI’s vision is one that brings together wellness, art and beauty. Mixing technical fabrics with couture embroidery, the brand’s innovative approach never sacrifices performance and allows you to effortlessly flow through any sequence. As a complement to your own personal expansion, NO KA‘OI presents a new path for bridging the gap between ready-to-wear, activewear and streetwear.
Universal Soul Company
The Universal Soul Company is more than a business or a lifestyle brand. It’s a call to people – at a time when technology and social media dominate our lives – to value our senses and have the courage to share this unique experience of being human. Driven by the belief that we require a shared understanding and compassion towards both ourselves and others, The Universal Soul Company reminds us of the true value of connection. Finding harmony between our mind and body is key in recognising our unique spirituality.
Le Grand Bellevue
Combining mental wellbeing with a strong sense of environmental responsibility, Le Grand Bellevue offer a holistic approach to holidaying in Switzerland. Aiming to help you find inner balance and relieve stress, the luxury hotel provides incredible yoga experiences in breathtaking surroundings. Take your pick of classes ranging from slow and calm restorative yoga to their heli-yoga experience! Soar over the beautiful Swiss Alps in a private helicopter, followed by a mountain-top yoga class. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll leave feeling invigorated.
Written by - Alex Lilienfeld