Yoga: Mind and Body Fitness


The practice of yoga not only disciplines your body, but also helps to discipline your mind.

Yoga is more than just another form of fitness; the practice transcends the physicality of its postures. Yoga is a mental and spiritual practice, in the sense that the work that goes into aligning the body can also be used to align the mind.

In yoga, we are trying to calm the fluctuations of the mind. Our minds have a tendency to think in past and future tenses. In yoga, we have to concentrate on keeping our thoughts in the present moment. You will find, by practicing this technique, that you are more fully present on a daily basis.

Over the summer, I will share some yoga, build some well-balanced, flowing sequences. You will build strength and flexibility, while improving your concentration and willpower. You will learn to control your body with your mind and come to understand that, as in life, with time and patience you can overcome many obstacles.

Easy Pose (Sukhasana )

If your hamstrings, lower back or hips are tight - then this will not be so easy! Sit on a block or cushion perhaps. As you continue to practice, you will find the pose becoming more comfortable.

Benefits: Reduces stress; calms the brain; good for spinal health; good for nervous system; depression.

This pose stretches and extends the spine, improving body posture. It stretches your hips, ankles and knees. It massages the calf muscles and your thighs.

How to: (1 ) Sit on the floor (sitting on a block or blanket to elevate hips above knees ), spine extended, shoulders down away from ears, broaden across collar bones; (2 ) Place your hands on your thighs with your palms either facing up or down; (3 ) Close your eyes and draw your focus inward. Lengthen your inhalation and exhalation, aiming for equal length. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths.

Contraindications: Arthritis in Knees, knee Surgery, spine issues, sciatica.

Niamh Heverin qualified as a 200 hours RYT in 2012, in India, and before that, she received her credentials as a face yoga and pilates instructor.

After a decade of increasing proficiency as a student of both disciplines (yoga and pilates ), she is now over ten years teaching. Pre-covid - she taught predominately in Thailand at The sanctuary on Ko Phangan, and in Greece, at the Tao’s centre on Paros island; she has also led classes at home in Mayo at Ashford Castle.

These days you can train with Niamh in the comfort of your home, via Zoom. To find out more,, Instagram @niamhyogapilates and you can get in touch via email, [email protected].


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