When we think of “yoga” many people often think of tropical retreats, the smell of burning incense and young women in colourful leggings. While this is the reality for a handful of people, yoga has become part of the everyday-routine for people from all walks of life, all age groups, genders and abilities.
Andy Murray, Ryan Giggs and the Welsh rugby team are just a few of the millions of people who are reaping the benefits of yoga but, you don’t have to be a pro sportsperson to take part. Yoga is a practice for everyone and can cost nothing – all you need is the will power to give it a try and a bit of guidance, which is where our FREE recommended online resources come in.
Yoga can benefit nearly all areas of your life. Studies have found that yoga helps ease stress, decreases symptoms of depression by influencing the production of stress hormones in the body, and enhances sleep quality and can ease back pain. Even if you don’t suffer from those problems, give yoga a try during the Challenge and you’ll quickly start to feel how a few minutes of calm each day can nourish your body and mind.
Resources to get you started:
Yoga with Adriene (https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene/playlists)
- 20 min Yoga for Beginners (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE)
- Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Relief (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SedzswEwpPw)
Do Yoga With Me (www.doyogawithme.com)
- Office Yoga (https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/office-yoga-i) – Release the tension that builds up after sitting at a desk and computer for a long period of time.
- Yoga with Kids (https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/yoga-kids-3-8) – If you struggle to get some time on your own, why not involve the kids.
Yoga Pose Dictionary (http://www.pocketyoga.com/Pose?sch=&cat=1&sub=1&dif=2)
- A helpful reference guide for when you’re unsure how a pose should look and feel.
Tips for newbies:
If you’re new to yoga, walking into your first class, or following a tutorial online, it can feel like an intimidating experience. Here are are a few tips to help you get off to the best start.
- Ease yourself in gently and start with beginner classes and routines.
- Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the moves at first – it’ll come with practice.
- Focus on your breathing – this is a huge part of yoga practice and will keep you calm and focused which will mean you get the best results.
- If you attend a class, stay in the back row for your first few visits so you can see what the people around you are doing.
- Most yoga studios offer discounted prices for beginners – it’s worth checking out the places local to you find a good deal.
- Be patient. It takes a time before you’ll start to feel the difference, but it will happen.
Note that that most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards your 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines.
If you have any existing injuries, consult your doctor before starting yoga.