Breathe in…breathe out…sounds simple, doesn’t it? Intuitive, right? Not necessarily.
Do you find yourself holding your breath? Perhaps you are anticipating the next big change as you navigate our new, pandemic-ridden world.
I've been an off-the-mat/on-the-mat kind of gal. When Quarantine hit, I needed some solo, body-moving and soul-nourishing time and I jumped right back on the mat. I found the space sometimes difficult to be in, sometimes serene, and almost always rewarding. Making the me time was hard. It sounds shallow, but having the right gear helped get me psyched about my zoom yoga classes - practicing on my new cool cork mat by Yolohayoga, my Athleta yoga comfies and my MAS Buddha necklace certainly get me in the right frame of mind.
I am lucky to live in an area of the country that has a number of awesome yoga studios. And during Covid I was able to check out online studios as well. Take a look at Alluem, Brassy Buddha, Satsang, AMP, Kim Ellner and Loyayoga or my personal (free!) online favorite Yoga With Adriene. Yoga International is also a great resource for access to yoga studios around the world.
So what did yoga do for me, that it can do for you? Now more than ever we are struggling to fight mounting anxiety at levels that even the calmest guru would find mentally challenging. We worry about our jobs, our families, our physical health, the constant flow of negative news and our isolation. Just sorting out the new school day requires a large coffee and a color coded spreadsheet - but don’t get too hung up on the details because the plan will change, and the goal is to go with the flow.
How can we keep our anxiety and mental health in check? We think Yoga is (one of the) answers! While yoga poses feel amazing at the time, their benefits extend way beyond the mat. Regular yoga practice has been associated with:
1. better body image
2. mindful eating
3. boosts in weight loss and maintenance
4. enhanced fitness
5. cardiovascular benefits
Anxiety or stress can trigger physical symptoms like increased blood pressure, tensed muscles, lack of concentration, rapid breathing. Yoga movements in combination with mindful breathing work to calm these symptoms, leading to better mental health and even improved sleep habits.
While there are many benefits to yoga, it is quite possibly one of the only practices that is good for everyone, and for every body. It fills the mind, body and heart. So whether it's your first time or you are a seasoned yogi, allow yourself to experience what this practice has to offer - and breathe a little easier.