Yoga isn’t just about being super-flexible and posing for idyllic, cliffside Instagram images wearing the latest in work-out gear. To any frazzled person managing the pressures and plate-spinning of day to day life, it has real benefits – both physical and mental.
Best of all, you don’t need to be in the greatest shape; yoga is all about the journey and the practice.
Yoga is free. That is, it can happen where and when you’d like it to. You don’t need posh kit or equipment or an £800 membership.
You can do it in the park, in your kitchen or at your desk.
(Saying that, we do recommend a decent sports mat to protect you, and classes from a professional to supplement your home workouts and ensure you’re doing things correctly.)
Strength and flexibility
From a physical perspective, yoga is a sport for most people. There’s a pose or a variation for most levels and capabilities. Can’t clasp your hands behind your back? Use a towel to make a connection. Can’t touch your toes when bending forward? Bend your knees until you can.
Whatever your starting point, yoga will build strength in all your muscle groups and increase flexibility, which will not only improve your overall health and fitness but will do wonders for your posture and your poor stiff muscles after a day in the car.
Mastering the meditation
Check out our post on meditation for beginners to get started.
Why should you do it? If you can control and calm your body’s reactions to stress through your breathing, you will in turn calm your mind and in time, improve your mental health.
Mindfulness – or the art of living in the moment instead of in the past or future – allows you to put your worries into perspective and see them for what they are – concepts, not physical things that cause a physical reaction in you. This, coupled with the joy you’ll find in waking up to the sights, sounds and smells around you at any point in time, will mean less stress, more happiness.
It takes practice and won’t come quickly, but with hard work, perseverance and patience, you might find you’re able to flick your calm switch on whenever you need to.