With the New Year comes the influx of ‘new year, new me’ resolutions. Gym memberships increase, and everybody focuses on exercise and fitness regimes. With our busy schedules, we often don’t have a huge amount of time to spend, so it’s highly likely Yoga stays at the bottom of your list and instead you favour weight lifting programmes and cardiovascular exercise.
With the winter weather slowly creeping in and the stress of everyday commitments, Yoga is probably much closer to what you need right now and includes benefits such as: improved health and fitness, energy and mental health. Here, we round up five of the top reasons you should take up Yoga in 2019.
Yoga can help your mental health…
The practice of Yoga helps us work with the nature of the mind and better understand how emotions live within our bodies and how they affect our behaviour. During Yoga, we are moved from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest and digest’. Simply, as soon as you start breathing deeply your anxiety and stresses leave you, you slow down and enter a more relaxed state. The mind is brought back to the present moment where it can stay happy and focussed. In the long term, you will start to feel calmer and more relaxed, with less stress and anxiety playing on your mind.
Yoga also helps you become more confident and feel more rooted in your sense of self where you have nothing to prove and nothing to hide. You spend more time looking after ‘you’ because you start to believe you are worthy of the time and effort it takes to improve yourself. Over time, you will even start to experience higher levels of energy, enthusiasm, self-confidence and self-acceptance.
Yoga can help to improve strength, flexibility and posture…
Regular yoga practice can help improve your overall fitness as holding yourself in various positions can simultaneously work on strengthening your arms, legs and abs.
The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be flexible to be good at it and it can be practiced at all levels of ability. After a short while, you’ll really feel the difference in your flexibility no matter how ‘bendy’ you are to start off with.
Weekly, or even daily, yoga sessions help improve your posture allowing you to walk taller and sit up straighter.
Yoga can help to increase your energy…
Whether you practice yoga daily or not, with its unique synergy of body and breath work, it’s a great way of providing a much-needed energy boost in our hectic lives.
Practicing Yoga awakens the main energy centres, called Chakras, in our body. The process of stretching and strengthening the muscles and massaging the internal organs releases toxins from your body. Poses that extend the spine are effective ways of allowing more energy to circulate throughout the body.
During yoga practice, it is important to focus on your breathing. Practicing specific Pranayama (breathing) you learn to take deeper breaths, which results in your blood receiving a fresh wave of oxygen. This is key to increasing energy levels and revitalising your system.
Yoga can help you lose weight…
When it comes to weight loss, most people think the only way to be successful is to lift weights or focus on your cardio. Whilst these are great methods of shifting the pounds, yoga can help too, but not in the traditional sense. There are numerous levels of yoga that can help you lose weight to varying degrees.
Regular yoga practice can improve your mindfulness making you seem happier and more focussed on your weight loss goals. You are more likely to avoid foods that make you feel sluggish and opt for something lighter that is more filling and gives you energy. Not only this, but regular yoga sessions can also improve your strength, flexibility and posture, making physical workouts seem easier.
Yoga can make you happier…
Adding a few yoga poses to your daily routine can make you an emotionally stronger and happier person. A recent study has shown that practicing regular yoga and meditation results inhigher serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).
Studies suggest long term practitioners of yoga have more mass in the areas of the brain associated with contentment (NetDoctor.co.uk).
As we have identified, regular yoga practice can help you to increase your levels of fitness, regulate your heart rate, reduce stress and anxiety and make you a happier person. Whether you can practice daily, weekly or monthly, what other excuses do you need for starting yoga? Tranquillité offer a range of Yoga workshops and retreats, throughout the year, which are great ways of meeting like-minded people, developing your yoga ability and taking time out for yourself, no matter what level you’re at. For more information, or to book a retreat check out our retreats page or email firstname.lastname@example.org .