Starting a yoga practice is the perfect way to start your morning or wind down at the end of the day. Yoga has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years. You do not need to be at peak physical fitness to start a practice. There are plenty of poses in every range of difficulty allowing you to slowly build your practice over time.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a mindfulness-based physical exercise that combines stretches and poses with breathing techniques. The practice of yoga started in India 5,000 years ago and has been practiced all over the world since. There are many different poses and yoga flows, which are a series of poses, that vary in difficulty and physical intensity. There are plenty of benefits to starting a yoga practice and you do not need to be an athlete to start. In fact, yoga is often recommended if you have limited mobility due to arthritis or osteoporosis.
How Does it Help the Body?
There are many ways that yoga can help the body as well as the mind. When practicing yoga, your brain and body are completely engaged as you focus on your breathing and posture. This allows you to slow down and stay grounded in the moment. Other physical benefits include:
Lowers blood pressure
The Benefits of Yoga
A Great Way to Wind Down or Start Your Day
The versatility of yoga makes it an excellent practice. Since it does not require equipment other than a yoga mat and each session can be as short as ten minutes to as long as an hour, it makes it easy to fit a session into even a particularly busy schedule. Yoga can be a way for you to stretch out stiff joints at the beginning of the day, take a quick break, or wind down after a stressful day. There are many different yoga flows that can help with everything from stress reduction to lower back pain.
A Physical Mindfulness Activity
You might dislike meditation, especially if you are not great at sitting still. Yoga works both as a form of physical exercise as well as a mindfulness exercise. If you tend to get restless, or you simply find meditation boring, you might enjoy how yoga combines movement with mindfulness and breathing.
A Gentle Form of Exercise
One thing that can keep you from exercising might be an injury or a health condition that limits what your body can safely do. Yoga does not require high-impact movement that might be rough on joints or muscles. It is also an easy exercise to start that does not require a high level of physical activity and can be a great start if you cannot move a lot but would like to remain active.
Yoga is sometimes recommended even before walking or dancing. There is also a lower risk of injury because you can control the amount of stress you put on your body. Over time, as you improve in your practice, you can become stronger and more flexible overall.
Creates a Mind and Body Connection
When struggling with your mental health, it is common to not feel connected to your body, mind, or both. Yoga allows your mind and body to make that connection. Through the practice, you are able to see how stress affects your body and how to release the tension you are holding. That connection does become vital when you are learning how to detect stress or emotional changes. When you are able to feel in your body how your mind impacts it, you can have better control over your mental wellbeing, as well as keep yourself physically safe and healthy.
How to Incorporate Yoga Daily
Join a Class in Your Community
Yoga has become an increasingly popular form of exercise and many gyms and studios offer sessions. Joining a class allows you to interact with your community and meet other people with a shared interest in wellness. A class can also ensure that you commit to regular sessions, allowing you to grow your yoga practice.
Start a Daily Practice in Your Living Room
If you cannot afford a class or are not interested in trying the exercise around new people, it is easy to start a daily practice at home. All you need is a yoga mat and some easy poses to try out. There are plenty of videos online that you can watch for free, allowing you to mirror the positions and follow their flow just like any regular yoga class. Practicing at home also allows you to choose when you practice, depending on your schedule.
Start With Short, Easy Exercises
When first beginning yoga, it is important to start simple. This can help you stay safe from any injuries or overstretching, as well as avoid any frustrations that might discourage you from continuing your practice. As you become stronger and more aware of your body, you can move to more complicated poses. For most people, the easiest poses to try are downward-facing dog and tree pose.
Listen to Your Body
If a yoga pose is painful, then it is important to get out of that pose safely to avoid injury. It is common to over-exert yourself if you are new to physical exercise. The best way to continue a daily practice is to avoid getting hurt. Listen to how these poses make you feel. If it feels good, hold the pose, if it does not, then it is better to switch to a pose that causes less stress on the body.