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Whether you’re a certified yogi or can’t manage more than Child’s Pose, there are plenty of reasons why you should give yoga a try. And what better time to chat to an expert about the benefits of the discipline than on the International Day of Yoga?

Before she started her travelling yoga business, Yoga Elixir, Sharon Harvey was working in a corporate role in Mumbai, India. It was there that her love for the tradition morphed from a fitness activity into a way to find serenity in her busy job and the bustling city – in her words, her elixir of life.

And if there’s one thing Sharon wants you to know about yoga, it’s that it really is for everyone.

“I started teaching yoga to share the benefits it delivers,” she says. “It’s strengthening, it’s energizing, it’s restorative and you always feel better at the end of a class than you did before you began.

yoga bio 1“Yoga has a myriad of benefits that are different for everyone. We are physical, mental and spiritual beings; yoga helps promote a balanced development of all the three.”

Physically, yoga cultivates strength, stamina, good posture and increased balance and flexibility. Mentally, it provides the tools to quiet the mind at will and, Sharon explains, teaches the dying skill of being able to ‘focus’ on one thing. It also offers the ability to connect within, developing a serene sense of calm and a connection of heart and soul.

“For our increasingly busy Western lifestyles, yoga aims to bring about ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’,” Sharon says. “It teaches strategies in controlling our stress responses, which make a world of difference to our health.”

And while the personal benefits are very appealing, the inner serenity and connectedness that it brings impacts the people around you, too.

“By bringing me into the present and enhancing the experiences of everyday life, yoga has helped me to ease the strains and stresses of daily life,” Sharon says. “I feel like I’m a better mum to my three young children, a better wife and friend. It reminds me to make the most of each moment thus creating wonderful memories.”

Through her teaching, Sharon hopes to inspire people to show up for themselves – to add self-care to their ‘to do’ list, to transform the way they think of their bodies, their minds and their spirits by awakening their inner wisdom, through yoga and mindful movement.

Still not convinced? Here are the key physical benefits of regular ‘Om’ time:

  • Improved flexibility and muscle strength, especially in the hips and spine
  • Aids digestion and increases blood flow
  • Perfects poor posture and protects the spine
  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
  • Improves bone health
  • Drains lymph glands and boosts immunity
  • Lowers the heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increases body awareness and encourages self-care
  • Improves stamina and develops injury-resistance for active sports people
  • Helps to repairing injuries
  • Supports healthy work/life balance

Visit www.yogaelixir.com.au

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