So it’s been around 6 or 7 days since I started following a yoga routine that I do daily. I’ve been very fond of yoga poses for two years now and have used many of them to give me a quick fix with any tension I had in my body. I never could say though that I had practiced yoga. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Yoga is not a joke. I consider myself to be in very good shape, and I’d like to think of myself as flexible in a practical way. After practicing yoga daily for around a week or so- I can’t say I’m flexible. A flexibility routine winds me. The deep stretches burn (in the good way) and when I’m through with the routine, I’m a sweaty mess. Albeit a very happy sweaty mess. There’s something about stretching your body to the point of total relaxation that deepens your connection with yourself. When you’re in the final corpse pose of the session you feel tired, but euphoric and refreshed. The fun starts when we get into strength and balance routines. Somehow I have not yet managed to fall flat onto my face during these routines, but boy do my muscles burn. A 30 minute intermediate strength session really takes a toll on the body and you feel like you had a proper work out.
Yoga is deeply relaxing. This is usually obvious to some people before the actually do a proper routine. Even during high intensity yoga sessions you come out relaxed. So doing a routine built on a low-intensity relaxation scheme should be deeply relaxing, right? I can give that a definite yes. I do two sessions a day. One workout session sometime during the day (I make sure it’s been at least two hours since I last ate before I start) and one during the night to stretch out and relax. I’ve been sleeping better every night. The tension we build up in our bodies during daily life is something we need to get rid of before we crawl up into bed and drift of to dream land. It usually takes me two hours to fall asleep, but now I knock out much earlier and wake up more refreshed and in a better mood. Even a 10 minute session works wonders for your physical and mental health.
Yoga teaches you to listen to your body. A vital part of yoga is listening to your body whilst you’re going through a routine. A friend of mine said that if you’re in a certain pose and you can’t breathe down into your belly- you’re over-stretching. If you don’t listen to what your body is telling you when you’re practicing yoga, you will definitely end up hurting yourself in the process. Here’s the beautiful part though. The poses are perfect. They are made for our bodies and help us align ourselves so we can reach balance. If you listen to your body rather than your ego whilst practicing yoga then you will never do harm to yourself. An added bonus of this is that your body starts to tell you what food you need during the day. I’ve found that my body all of a sudden wants more fruit in its diet and that’s not a problem anymore. I happily eat more fruit now and less junk (junk food is definitely still in my diet though, this is a slow process).
Yoga teaches you self-discipline and patience. Have you even tried to hold a half-moon pose fora minute? If you have and succeeded then give yourself a huge hug. Some of these poses and routines require so much self discipline to hold. If you don’t have patience, you sure as hell will get some with yoga practice. Medidative yoga helps a lot here. Laying down in corpse and watching your thoughts from a distance for 20 minutes without a single body movement requires discipline. You can bring this into every day life and I promise you will be a better person afterwards.
Everyone should practice yoga. From age 0 until age dead. Either for a good workout or just even a few low intensity poses will do wonders for your physical and mental health. Your days will be better. You will be happier. You’ll eat better and you’ll be more thankful for everything that happens to you. The more good you do to yourself, the better you will be to others and that’s just another way to spread out any positive energy that we can muster into a world that can seem rather grey every now and then. Don’t buy a mat. You don’t have to buy anything other than a yoga book, an app or classes with a guru. Use your bed covers if you have to and use old clothes if you have to. Do yoga naked if that makes you feel good. Yoga is so readily accessible now and days that you can even start right now.
Yes right now. Go on, I’ll watch.
I’ll just go and do a routine now, feel free to join.