With the new year well and truly underway and Christmas a very distant past, we’ve already forgotten that we promised ourselves we would take more time out this year to focus on us. Deadlines are looming, diaries are filling up quicker than you can keep up with and finding some downtime is more difficult than ever. In my experience, Yoga has been a great way to schedule in an hour for myself, to relax, take time to breath and get my body and mind stronger. Check out my reasons why I think Yoga might be for you too…
It’s great for detoxifying the body
Believe it or not yoga is a great, natural body detoxifier. Specific postures will help you to cleanse and improve the digestive system and also give your organs a gentle massage (it’s better than it sounds, promise). Ranging from beginner to difficult, I’ve listed below a few twisting postures to remove toxins from the body and to stimulate digestion and thyroid gland.
High lunge twist
It’s perfect for stress relief and mental health
Practicing yoga regularly can help to detoxify the mind and enable you to practice mindfulness; the art of focusing on whatever we are doing in the present moment and giving it our 100% attention. The benefits of practicing mindfulness are endless! For example, it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and memory and regulate our emotions. Throughout a yoga class, your teacher will remind you to ‘move with your breath’ and pay attention to the sensations as you flow. They will encourage you to be kind to yourself and appreciate what you are able to do at that moment in time. They will teach you to practice yoga without any expectations and without fear of judgement. All of these actions incorporate mindfulness and will leave you feeling positive for the days ahead.
It can help you to achieve a toned body
Whilst Yoga is primarily a practice for the mind, it’s pretty great at toning our bodies too (double win). It’s not all about chanting and meditating. Done properly practicing yoga will engage your core, strengthen and lengthen your muscles, increase your stability and get your heart rate racing. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to hold your body weight in an inverted (upside down) pose and no amount of weightlifting is going to get you there in one piece. Have a go at a few headstands, handstands and crow poses and see how you get on, but remember to have someone there to guide you!
It can be done anywhere!
Yoga classes are more accessible these days than ever, and a lot of them are free! If you are part of a gym club, check out its class timetable and see if it offers any yoga classes or if you don’t have a gym membership, check out YouTube for some great online yoga classes. When the weather improves and you’re feeling more confident, why not take your yoga outside? Grab your mat and a good mindset and head out into your garden or to the nearest park; you’ll be amazed at how great you feel afterwards.
It’s the perfect ‘You time’
If nothing else, Yoga is the perfect time to get that all important ‘you-time’ into your day. Scheduling in an hours class after work or school gives you the perfect excuse to turn off your phone and RELAX! As millennials, we do not schedule enough time into our diary’s to allow ourselves to focus on us, without the distractions of 21st century life. So forget about that important work deadline or that party you need to get ready for and practice your downward dogs!