If you’ve ever felt confused about what Yoga actually is, and why it’s so popular, you’ve come to the right place. Whereas most forms of exercise focus primarily on the strengthening and toning of muscle groups, Yoga has the added benefit of focusing on the deep connection between the mind and the body, meaning the benefits span way beyond just your physical form. Despite what social media tells you, the practice is less about looking like a hyper flexible gymnast, and more about cementing healthy mental and physical habits that will stay with you for life. Yoga is for everybody. And I mean, every BODY, and here’s why…..
You can practice anywhere… and I mean anywhere!
Yes, I’ll hold my hands up to rolling out my mat at airport departure gates, that little space between the bed and a wall in a small hotel room, and the kitchen floor happens to be surprisingly good without a mat. Unlike most forms of exercise, Yoga helps you build strength through a combination of gravity and your own body weight, so you need little to no equipment to get the benefits, just you and your amazing body!
It boosts confidence!
It’s been proven that Yoga is a cut above all forms of exercise when it comes to improving your state of mind. Linking movement to breath increases your ability to stay focused, which makes it an extremely powerful tool to calm our nervous systems. It gives us clarity in our internal worlds, so that when our external world’s throw something unexpected our way, we have the tools to face whatever life throws at us head on. As a result, we feel more resilient, we bring reason to our thought processes and day to day, we feel more confident.
It lowers your risk of injury, and makes you better at other work outs
Yoga strengthens your tendons and ligaments meaning they become less susceptible to break down, and of course improving your flexibility gives you more leeway, safeguarding your body when it comes to any other forms of movement you do in your day to day life, whether that’s picking up your little ones, dancing with your friends, or going for a run, Yoga gives you that extra layer of armour, as it releases and lengthens chronically tight regions of the body.
It can boost your creativity
Having a regular Yoga practice has been proven to boost alpha brainwaves, which are directly linked to happy and calm feelings. This state of mind makes us more conducive for creative thoughts, so if you hit a roadblock with writing, work, deadlines or just struggling to ride the highs of life’s everyday thrills, rolling out your mat could just be the answer.
It helps you sleep
Who isn’t looking to snag a bit more shut eye? Burning excess energy and calming the mind are two major components of Yoga that vastly improve the quality of your sleep. So, you can look forward to less sleep disturbances, deeper sleep, more sleep efficiency, and getting off to the land of nod becomes that little bit more effortless too.
It can boost your immune system and give you a natural high!
After practicing Yoga more frequently, you’ll start to experience a bit of a high from the practice, this is largely because it increases blood flow across the whole body, flushing out toxins and all together strengthening our body’s functions and systems. The stronger your blood flow, the more oxygen you receive, then throw in the endorphin hit from the fact that it’s a full body work out, it’s no wonder Yogis have a reputation for being a little free spirited!
There’s no reason to be fearful…
Remind yourself that fear is excitement with the breaks on, we’re conditioned to avoid or overcome fear, I say listen to it, it can be very directive! Start small, ten minutes a day is still something, and practice in an environment you feel safe in (like your bedroom floor!) Remember it’s about progress and not perfection, because absolutely nothing is perfect. Use any fear as your fuel, roll out your mat, and enjoy the ride!