There are many benefits to regular yoga practice, from stress management and better focus, to joint strength, flexibility and improved sleep. Follow these 5 easy ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life.
Yoga has been practiced around the world for centuries and is well-known for its recreational as well as relaxation benefits. You don't need to be a pro to gain; the good news about yoga is that you can progress at your own pace and still feel an overall difference.
Yogi extraordinaire Amanda Bisk shares 5 easy ways to incorporate yoga into your daily life.
1. Start early
Setting your alarm clock for some early morning yoga will not only encourage you to hit the hay early and encourage better sleep patterns, but practicing first thing in the morning helps set a positive tone for your day ahead. The calm mind you achieve from your yoga practice can be carried with you throughout the day; keeping you more productive and less stressed.
2. Keep it simple
The health benefits of yoga can be gained from the simplest of postures, so don’t be deterred by pictures of fit-looking, lycra wearing yogis in complex positions. Anyone can practice yoga. The 'Forward Fold' is a simple posture, and easy to do, and is one of Amanda’s favourite poses to practice. It can have an amazing effect on your mood and is a great way to relieve stress. “Because you are inverted, there is an increase in blood flow to the brain, giving you a mental boost," says Amanda. Physically, it's also a wonderful release for your hamstrings and lower back, and can help with back pain.
Amanda’s tips for the 'Forward Fold': Focus on folding from the hips and trying to pull your belly button to your thighs. Let your head relax and feel like the crown of your head is being pulled down to the ground.
While many of us lead increasingly busy lives; often rushing from A to B, worrying about what we left behind on the kitchen bench, or what’s the first thing we need to do when we arrive at our desk, it’s easy to forget to stop, breathe and take care of our own wellbeing. Breathing is an intrinsic part of any yoga practice and slow, deep breathing can help you reconnect to your body. Try and take some conscious, measured breaths throughout your day; whether you’re waiting for the lift up to work, before you eat your lunch or in the car on the way home.
4. Get outdoors
One of the best things about yoga is that it can be practiced just about anywhere. Don’t be afraid to try some poses outside; by the pool, at the beach, or in your back yard. Take your shoes off, enjoy the Autumn sunshine and feel the earth beneath your feet.
5. Just add it on
Not 100 per cent sure if yoga is for you yet? Just add a few yoga poses to the end of your regular exercise or training routine and let your practice evolve from there. Even 15 minutes of yoga after your morning run, swim or spin class could help with stress relief, flexibility and joint strength. Once you start to feel the benefits, you might want to explore the yoga studios in your area and see what sorts of different classes they have on offer. There are so many! Yin, Bikram, Vinyasa, Align, Hatha… be patient and find the yoga practise that suits you.
For other health and wellbeing advice, visit blackmores.com.au