We all have busy lives. It’s a fact. We’re maxed out everyday. We could all benefit from a little down time, a little time to relax and unwind. Not only are our physical bodies feeling the strain, but also our mental wellbeing. Constantly moving from one thing to the next - work, play, family - our minds are going into overdrive. Taking just 10-15 minutes a day to escape the hustle and bustle and connect with your body and your breath on your mat can do wonders for both body and mind.
If it helps, treat yoga as another appointment. Put aside some time everyday and make it a non-negotiable. It doesn't have to be a 60-minute power class; it can be 10 minutes of stretching and breathing, but it all adds up and all makes a difference.
It’s about listening to your body and tuning into yourself to listen to your body and let it tell you where it needs to go on any given day. Yoga has so many benefits but here are some of the top reasons why it can benefit your life:
1)It relieves stress
Yoga is a mind-body practice, combining physical poses with controlled breathing. Yogic breath involves deep breathing, filling the lungs to their maximum. As you breathe deeply in and out through your nose, you are expanding and flattening your diaphragm and stomach and increasing your oxygen flow. Breathing like this for even 5 minutes will calm your mind and nervous system and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
2)It has amazing physical benefits
With more and more of us spending long hours sitting at a desk or hunched over a computer, we aren’t combatting this with physical exercise. Increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone are just a few of the physical benefits of yoga, but studies show that a regular yoga practice can be an alternative form of pain relief too. Back pain, arthritic pain and even migraines have proved to be greatly reduced when practicing restorative yoga. Yoga also strengthens the core muscles, which are imperative to everyday life, helping with our balance and stability and also to help prevent injury to our bodies when carrying out everyday tasks such as lifting and carrying.
There’s a common misconception that you need to be flexible to ‘do’ yoga, but there is no right or wrong about the physical practice. Go at your own pace and know your limits. Flexibility comes with time and consistency and later makes your practice easier. Yoga is about YOUR journey and over time you will achieve more than you ever thought was possible.
4)You don't need special equipment or an expensive gym membership
You can practice yoga from the comfort of your own living room without ever having to see a soul (although it’s highly recommend to attend a regular class for guidance and a sense of community). All you need is a mat or even a towel. There are so many websites and tutorials online that will teach you. Some even have live classes where a teacher will verbally correct your poses for a few dollars a month. A home practice can be wonderful, allowing you to practice whenever you like and for however long you like.
5) It’s time just for you, to be unapologetically you
Yoga is the perfect escape from everything and everyone except yourself and the moment. When you are practicing, you are in the present, concentrating on your breathing. Nothing else matters apart from the here and now. That thing that’s been nagging your mind doesn't matter, the to-do list that you have for tomorrow becomes irrelevant. All that matters is you and the space on your mat.
The list goes on! There are so many reasons to start a yoga practice but these are just a few essential ones. So go grab your mat and meet us in down dog. Namaste!
About the author
Zoe is a yogi, foodie, and lifestyle blogger. She is a mother of four and living life to the fullest.