Almost five years ago, my mother dragged me to my first yoga class but I’m so glad she did. I didn’t expect much but as soon as the class started, I realized how great this form of movement really was. I felt relaxed, challenged and powerful all at once. Contrary to popular belief, yoga isn’t easy – it involves, both, strength and flexibility and, as you don’t need either to begin, you can vary the difficulty level according to your needs and preferences. To me, it’s the perfect blend of loosening, opening up, and working hard. After a long day of reading and typing away at my laptop, it’s the perfect way to look inward and get my blood flowing throughout my body.
I always wonder at the fact that everyone doesn’t practice it but then I’m reminded of my own apprehension five years ago so I’m going to convince you with its benefits. Here are just a few:
1. Lowering Stress Levels
At its core, yoga is restorative. It allows us to experience being in our bodies and to bring attention to the parts that are holding tension, that require loosening up. It is known to help treat stress levels, involves focusing on our breathing and includes a variety of postures that leave you feeling rejuvenated, especially savasana, or corpse pose, where we focus on the movement of our breath and the present moment.
2. Toning Up and Losing Weight
So many people practice yoga to tone up and, sometimes, even to lose weight in a gentle and adaptable way. It is known to strengthen and lengthen your muscles, and certain types of yoga like Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hot Yoga help you lose weight.
3. Beautiful Hair and Skin
It makes your hair and skin healthier and leaves you with a yoga glow on your face, I think probably from all that breathing and blood flow throughout your body from moving around and – sometimes – being upside down!
4. Healthy Body
It has even been found to improve digestion, immunity and sleep quality. For sleep, however, it is better to avoid certain asanas like sun salutations before bed-time as they give you a boost of energy which is best suited to the middle or start of the day. Furthermore, yoga increases balance, strength, agility and flexibility, the core aspects of injury prevention that also aid recovery.
5. Energy Boost
Yoga boosts your mood and energy levels so it encourages you to take care of yourself and to make healthier decisions.
Did that persuade you? Here are 5 amazing yoga poses to inspire you:
1. Camel Pose
2. Wheel Pose
3. Tiger Pose
4. Forward Fold
Growing in stillness.
5. Warrior Pose
Ready to conquer the day.
Convinced? Don’t know where to start? Here are some Youtube channels you can follow for free yoga classes:
1. Yoga With Adriene
I love this one! Ideal for complete beginners and a good one even if you are experienced.
2. Move With Nicole
Although she focuses on pilates, she has some yoga videos and some combined ones that I just love! Can be challenging but so fun.
3. Jessica Richburg
Nice and relaxing. Love her 2o Minute Morning Yoga Flow.
4. Five Parks Yoga w/ Erin Sampson
Fun, creative flows.
5. Alo Yoga
Just right. A nice variety of different levels and really enjoyable classes.
Excited to start your yoga journey? Already an experienced yogi? Let us know in the comments!
Cover image via @goodvibesgallery.com/ Pinterest