yoga is a practice i've wanted to start learning for a long time, i'm not much of an exercise person but i still enjoy health, fitness and a sense of wellbeing, so yoga is the happy medium for me. i've only recently started looking into it and have started attending classes and what i've discovered there are many types of yoga which all have their own benefits. the first class i attended was yin yoga. yin yoga is a more meditative approach to the practice which is what i really enjoyed, to understand it you really have to experience it (the same said for all types of yoga). i remember when i walked away after that first lesson i had an overall sense of calm and wellbeing, my body felt less tense and rather than waiting unil the next week to feel that again i started thinking of ways to incorporate this practice into my day to day routine.
So, i'm going to a list a few simple ways to get the benefits of yin yoga:
- being in the present moment - as i mentioned above, yin yoga has a more meditative approach, the teacher encouraged us all to not let our minds wander, not to think of a to do list in our head, but to simply focus on the ins and outs of our breath, to count slowly and breathe deeply. not paying attention to anything but breathing and counting. i think this is really important as many of us get wrapped up in the things we need to do later that day or week, often this would give me anxiety worrying about things which seem so important at the time but really can be broken down and made manageable. when you focus on the present, worries just melt away and you can really enjoy what it is that's in front of you or who you're with at that present time.
- breathing - it's one of those things that you don't need to think about, it's natural. but sometimes to get a little introspection and switch off our minds for a little bit, you need to focus on steady-ing your breath. breathe in deep for 5 seconds, hold it and release. after the first slow sigh outwards you can feel your whole body relax. when i feel a little stressed or worried, i remember this technique to calm myself down. or even if i'm feeling restless at night i focus on breathing deep, this always gets me to sleep.
- being conscious of our thoughts - i can't remember what the actual fact is for how many thoughts come into an average persons head per day but it's 1000's, there are so many things that cross our minds every single day, our minds are always on the go. a lot of the time they can be negative outcomes, irrational fears and worries which can over time build up in different parts of the body, to avoid this happening become conscious of those negative feelings and thoughts and try and dispel them before they become a physical problem.
- make time for meditation/yoga/creativity in your life - many of us may feel we don't have time to meditate or practice yoga which is why i'm writing this post (!), so you can take the essence of yoga and incorporate it into your hectic life.. but we're fortunate enough to live in a day where finding guides to mediation or short yoga practices can be accessed instantly online, so there really is no excuse! it's as simple as setting aside 15 minutes of your day somewhere quiet to release those worries and thoughts that build up throughout the day. i'm particularly loving the colouring books for adults, this is something that can be done at your desk or while you watch television. it's therapeutic, helps you switch off and inspires creativity even for the busiest souls.
i hope reading those pointers can help you incorporate the practices of (yin) yoga into your day or week and make a difference to your life. there are SO many articles online you can read about the benefits of yoga which i'd definitely recommend researching if yoga is something you'd like to take part in!
do you practice yoga? how do you make time for yoga in your life?
*written originally as a guest post for Health, Fitness and Beauty Blogger: Lucy Locket Loves. Click the link for more health and fitness inspiration.*
Labels: fitness, health, health benefits, yoga