What is Yoga?

The exact origin of yoga is not known. However, evidence suggests it emerged in Northern India around 2500 years ago. The word “yoga” originates from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means “to join” or “to yoke”. Yoga is not a religion – it is a practice that unites spiritual, mental and physical awareness, and in its fullest expression, is a way to live one’s life.

Hatha yoga, or the “yoga of postures”, is the most common form of yoga practised in Western countries, and an integrated practice incorporates asana (postures), pranayama (breathwork) and meditation/relaxation. Essentially yoga promotes wellbeing for both body AND mind, enabling you to live a more balanced lifestyle.

Downward Dog Pose - Yoga's Essential Stretch for Flexibility and Strength
Downward Dog Pose, A Foundational Yoga Asana

How Does Yoga Help You?

Yoga has many benefits. The most notable include:

  • improved flexibility
  • better sleep
  • improved core stability
  • enhanced stress management
  • improved overall body strength
  • better circulation
  • improved postural alignment
  • improved digestion
  • improved balance
  • enhanced body awareness
  • greater mental clarity

1. Bussing, A. et al. 2012. Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews. Evidence-Based Alternative Complementary Medicines. 13 (9), 2-10.

2. Ross, A., Thomas, S. 2010. The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: a review of comparison studies. Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 16(1), 3-12.

Can You Practise Yoga if You Aren’t Flexible?

Absolutely! Being flexible is not necessary to receive the benefits of yoga, and one of the beautiful benefits of regularly practising yoga is that your flexibility, slowly but surely, will improve.

At first you may need to take the base level poses, perhaps using props to assist with getting into ‘your’ pose – your instructor is there to help and guide you in finding the best way to begin your practice. Yoga is an excellent complimentary practice if you are a runner, cyclist, or regularly participate in other sports or physical training.

How Do You Know if Yoga is Suitable for You?

Yoga is great for nearly everyone, regardless of age, gender, shape, size and experience. Postures can be modified to suit different levels of experience and to accommodate (and not aggravate) other physical capabilities, injuries and health conditions. If you are unsure about your general health and whether it will cope with yoga, please consult your GP or other healthcare professionals in the first instance and contact your instructor to discuss your situation before attending a class.

What Should You Wear to Yoga Class?

You don’t need any special (or expensive) clothes to practise yoga. Choose clothing that you can move and stretch in, and which offers a level of modesty that you are comfortable with. Yoga is practised barefoot.

Give Yoga a Try – It’ll Change Your Life!

We look forward to meeting you and helping you discover and experience the many physical and psychological benefits that come with a regular yoga practice.

Related Articles

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  2. Balance and Falls Prevention – Enhance Stability: This article discusses the importance of balance, a key benefit of yoga, and offers advice on improving stability through physiotherapy and exercises​​.
  3. Deep Core Muscles: Your Foundation for Spinal Health: Highlights the importance of core strength for spinal health, a benefit yoga practices can contribute to significantly​​.
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  5. Core Exercises: This article is relevant for those looking to strengthen their core, a key aspect of many yoga practices, with guidance on exercises that support core stability​​.

Common Muscle Injuries

A Physiotherapist's Guide


Muscle injuries, presenting as muscle strain, pain or myalgia, are prevalent health issues affecting a wide range of individuals. This detailed guide, from a physiotherapist's perspective, delves into various muscle injuries, elaborating on their management, prevention, and the importance of professional advice. Explore the linked articles for an in-depth understanding of muscle injuries and their effective treatment.

Common Muscle Injuries

Neck & Back Muscle Injuries: Causes and Solutions

  1. Back Muscle Pain: This pain often results from prolonged poor posture or physical overuse. Key to relief is engaging in exercises that strengthen the core muscles and improve posture, thereby alleviating the strain on the back.
  2. Neck Sprain: Caused by sudden, awkward movements, a neck sprain can benefit from a combination of gentle stretches and targeted strengthening exercises to restore flexibility and strength.
  3. Text Neck: A modern ailment resulting from extended mobile device use, text neck can lead to chronic pain. Regular breaks, posture-awareness, and neck-strengthening exercises are essential for prevention.
  4. Whiplash: Commonly occurring in car accidents, whiplash requires a careful approach including neck stabilisation exercises and controlled movement to encourage healing and prevent further injury.

Lower Limb Muscle Injuries: Understanding and Treating

  1. Hamstring Strain: Particularly common among athletes, particularly runners, this strain demands rest initially, followed by a carefully structured rehabilitation program focusing on gradual strength building and flexibility.
  2. Thigh Strain: Often seen in sports involving sprinting and jumping, thigh strains need a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) in the initial stages, followed by carefully planned strengthening exercises.
  3. Groin Strain: This injury requires a nuanced approach, including sufficient rest and targeted exercises, to ensure a safe and effective recovery.
  4. Calf Muscle Tear: Key to recovery is a balance of rest, gentle stretching exercises, and a gradual return to full activity, ensuring the muscle heals correctly and strength is regained.

Upper Limb Muscle Injuries: Prevention and Care

  1. Golfer's Elbow and Tennis Elbow: Both these conditions involve inflammation of the tendons and require a rest period, followed by ice therapy and specific exercises tailored to strengthen the affected muscles.
  2. Corked Thigh: Resulting from direct impacts, these injuries demand immediate application of ice and a controlled, gradual exercise regime for recovery.
  3. DOMS, Fatigue-Related Cramps & Myalgia: Adequate rest, good hydration, and gentle stretching are crucial in alleviating these conditions.
  4. RSI: Regular stretching, ergonomic workplace adjustments, and taking breaks are key preventive measures for repetitive strain injury.

Systemic Causes of Muscle Pain: A Holistic View

  1. Fibromyalgia: This complex condition demands a holistic treatment approach, including exercise routines, stress management techniques, and sometimes medication.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Effective management combines medication, gentle exercise, and regular physiotherapy sessions.

Prevention and Management Strategies

  • Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity helps maintain muscle strength and flexibility, reducing the risk of muscle injuries.
  • Posture Improvement: Good posture, both in motion and at rest, is crucial for preventing muscle strain.
  • Proper Warm-up and Cool-down: Adequate warm-up before and cool-down after physical activity is vital in preventing muscle strains and injuries.
  • Ergonomic Adjustments: Making ergonomic adjustments at work and during daily activities can significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries and other muscle-related issues.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Keeping a healthy weight reduces the strain on muscles, particularly in weight-bearing joints.

What to Do? Seeking Professional Advice

Consult a physiotherapist or doctor for personalised advice and treatment plans. Remember, early intervention can significantly improve recovery outcomes and prevent chronic problems.


While muscle injuries are common, effective management and prevention are achievable with the right approach and knowledge. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and various treatments available empowers individuals to take proactive steps in their recovery and prevention. For the most tailored and effective treatment, always seek the guidance of a professional physiotherapist.

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