It’s a strange and uncertain time, with everyone facing their own challenges and concerns. Yoga can be an excellent way to build both our mental and physical strength, I highly recommend incorporating yoga practice into your weekly routine; here are my top 5 reasons why:
Time to Pause
In the whirlwind l call life, yoga gives me pockets of time to pause, after practice I’m able to reset and re-asses what is important. When teaching, I encourage students to practice without ego, move with their bodies, allowing an hour on the mat without judgement. Practising pranayama (controlling the breath) can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, calming us down after a busy, stressful day, helping us feel more relaxed.
Becoming more flexible is probably the most obvious benefit people associate with yoga, noticing change with consistent practice. The benefits of improved flexibility go much further than the ability to touch your toes. Relieving tight muscles can alleviate aches and pains in the body, and when connective tissues become more flexible this can help improve posture.
When busy, it can be easy to rush from one thing to another, feeling disconnected and overwhelmed. When I start to feel like this I know I need to roll out my mat and take time to ground myself by practising yoga. To some, this may seem trivial, but if like me, you’ve suffered from anxiety, you’ll know the relief that comes from bringing yourself into the present moment, and giving your mind respite from the constant chatter.
Having a strong body goes much further than the aesthetics. Being strong means that we can go about our daily lives with ease, it helps us to balance, and can protect from conditions such as back pain and arthritis.
There is no doubt that I sleep better after a yoga class, in particular after restorative or gentle yoga. Meditation can allow downtime for the nervous systems, preparing your body for a better nights sleep. With better sleep comes a number of benefits, including having more energy to start the day with.
If 5 reasons is not enough to convince you, Yoga Journal have documented 38 health benefits of yoga, take a look: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit
If you are new to yoga and don’t know where to start, join me next week for a Beginners Virtual Workshop with Balance the Countryside Gym on Tuesday 12th May, with an introductory session running from 15:30 – 17:00. Ongoing sessions will be held on Tuesday’s 16:00-17:00. The course consists of 6 sessions, total price £50. Or drop in price £9.
Hope to see you there.