During the month of November, I set myself a challenge of practicing yoga daily. Yoga in translation is union, a form of exercise focusing on strength, flexibility and breathing in order to boost both physical and mental well-being.
Here are a few things I’ve learnt in my month of practice;
Yes there are many modern day ‘yogis’ out there which can stand on their heads with such an elegant effortless flare. This is definitely not as easy as it looks. I’m often leaving a class breaking a sweat but still feeling much better for it!
You don’t have to be flexible.
Seriously. This is a common misconception with yoga. If anything a lack of flexibility is more of a reason to give yoga a go.
Breathe, breathe, breathe and breathe again. Sounds silly but yoga has taught me how to breathe properly. I mean how often do we just stop and breathe?
Savasana? Tadasana? Bitilasana? I quickly learnt yoga has it owns terminology, granted I don’t know each and every term involved, but it’s clear each of these link to different postures and poses.
What I’ve loved about this month is that yoga can be for anyone, literally anyone. I would often find myself in a class surrounded by people of various ages, different genders all with varying capabilities in their practice. I found this truly inspiring (my personal favourite being the elderly generation doing the splits. One word: wow).
Although yoga is argued not to be strenuous enough to be included in the government’s recommended 150 hours of moderate physical activity each week. It does count as a strength exercise.
Strengthening the muscles is essential in order to:
- Aid daily movement;
- Help build and maintain strong bones;
- Regulate blood sugar and blood pressure,
- Help maintain a healthy weight.
Research suggests this can be particularly beneficial for individuals with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains (including the lower back pain), depression and stress.
But don’t just take my word for it!
There are many famous faces who take time out on the mat including Madonna, Tom Hanks, The Beckhams, Beyonce.
In fact Ryan Giggs credits the longevity of his football career down to yoga and Jennifer Anniston notably said in an interview that “It kind of prepares you for everything, honestly.”
Why not try something new and give yoga a try?
You can find a local class here.
If you liked this post you should also read: “A Simple Guide To Mindfulness For Beginners.”