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YogaNZ relaunched by Exercise NZ


Yoga New Zealand (YogaNZ), the national yoga body for yoga in Aotearoa New Zealand, was relaunched yesterday.

First established by Yoga Australia three years ago, it is now operationally supported by ExerciseNZ.

With its own national yoga council guiding its operation, YogaNZ becomes 100 percent New Zealand run and operated, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

“We support all forms of movement and physical activity. We know hundreds of thousands of Kiwis regularly practice yoga and the numbers have more than doubled in the last 10 years. Twenty years ago, it would have been a small fraction of one percent.

“We are backing YogaNZ as part of the greater physical activity and movement space, and their annual event, the hauora yoga conference is now part of YogaNZ’s offering.

“YogaNZ also now links with global yoga networks and initiatives to pursue best practice and facilitate the two-way sharing of knowledge. This significantly helps to enhance the international standing of yoga in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Yoga is practised by more than 100,000 Kiwis at more than 500 yoga studios and classes around New Zealand, making it one of the fastest growing physical activities in the country.

Yoga is valuable as an activity in its own right, as well as being complementary to other exercise activities. It is common now for regular gym users to add yoga into their fitness regimes.

In addition to benefiting the physical body, yoga also has a profound effect on mental and emotional health, including our ability to maintain equanimity in a world constantly pulling us in so many different directions. Yoga creates a bridge of care, affecting all aspects of our health and bringing us to a place of optimal health.

“Studies show that yoga may help improve mental health, heart health, which is an essential component of overall health reduce several risk factors for heart disease and improve heart conditions alone or in combination with a healthy lifestyle,” Beddie says.

YogaNZ Council chair Heather Robinson says yoga therapy is now a growing activity where experienced yoga teachers with additional training as specialists teach yoga in a therapeutic setting, often as helpful support to medical and other complementary treatments.

“Yoga also improves quality of life. It is becoming increasingly common as an adjunct therapy to improve well-being for many individuals.

“Relief from stress is also a key factor. Yoga improves the body, calms the mind and helps bring balance into our lives.

“Stress is almost a given in a developed country and, as a result, the mindful component of yoga is so beneficial and desired. While yoga can vary in physical intensity, it always provides people with the best methods of being mindful, which is something that so many people benefit from and seek in today’s busy lifestyles,” Robinson says.

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