Summer provides a great opportunity to spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Spending time with people you care about doesn’t mean you have to put your healthy lifestyle on hold. Have you thought of strengthening your bond with your loved ones through Yoga? One of the easiest ways to spend time together is to go to a Yoga class. With a choice of different Yoga styles, there is an option for everyone. How about taking your grandma to Restorative Yoga? Doing Yoga together can help you to get to know friends and family better in general. So how does this ancient practice help to bring people together?
OPEN YOUR HEART
There are many poses in Yoga that help to open your heart. When you open your heart to the world, feelings of not being good enough fall away. This allows you to see both yourself and others as they really are. You realise that other people have the same fears, anxieties and complexities as you. You don’t have to defend yourself anymore because you know that you’re good enough. When you open your heart to offering yourself love, you are also better able to give love to others.
When you practise Yoga with others, you inspire one another to flourish and thrive. This automatically allows you to do things you never expected you could. The ego falls away, providing a sense of relief. Through experience you discover that Yoga is a practice in the same way that life is a practice. And not only do you come face to face with yourself when you’re on the mat, but you’re working with the way you experience every moment, every emotion and every interaction.
Practising Yoga and pranayama regularly over time can make you more responsive to your environment and the people in it. You may feel more alive, enthusiastic and better able to go with the flow, which helps a lot in social situations. Taking a moment to breathe and tune in to what you’re feeling can prevent irritability, stave off conflict and promote harmony. Mindful breathing activates areas in the brain’s frontal lobes that heighten calm and concentration. Scientific studies indicate that to keep your nervous system balanced, short, regular bursts of Yoga (e.g one hour at a time) are better than longer but less-frequent sessions. And to put yourself in a more relaxed frame of mind before a first date or big social event, try to fit in a Yin or Restorative Yoga class, which will emphasise slow, deep, conscious breathing.
Practically speaking, practising Yoga increases social interaction because attending a Yoga class is an activity that you participate in with others. And some people find they enjoy it even more when they go with a partner, family member or friend. It is something you can do together no matter your age. Yoga practice at a dedicated studio has a particularly strong community aspect to it. But not only is Yoga an activity people do together, it is also a method of meeting new people, finding a sense of community and decreasing social isolation. Many people make new friends and acquaintances through practising Yoga and some even find their future spouse.