Harness Your Inner Yogi
With the stresses of day to day life, I think we would be hard pressed to find many people who say that they don’t experience any stress in their week. Whether it’s jobs, relationships, school, children, finances — there always seems to be something that pops up that causes worry or anxiety, even if hopefully temporary. With that said, do you feel like you have a good outlet for your stress? Do you have a positive way to release tension, frustration, and just do something that’s for YOU? While exercise has always been my outlet for anything stress related, I’ve found that as I get older, I needed something else. I needed something that would mellow me out, take my mind off of the daily stresses, and give me a place that was non-judgmental, welcoming, and positive. That place is yoga.
If you have ever gone to a class or if you’re a regular, you can likely relate to this feeling. While it varies from studio to studio, my takeaway is always that I feel relaxed, everyone is friendly and supportive (regardless of skill level), and that I have let go of whatever was bothering me from the day. Aside from the emotional benefit that one can gain from trying out a yoga class, there is so much more.
Benefits of Yoga
– Improved posture
– Muscular strength
– Decreased symptoms of depression
– Lower blood pressure
– Improved focus
– Improved flexibility
– Increased core strength
1. Studios often have “donation” classes that are free but suggest a small donation of some kind. This can be a great way to try it out without breaking the bank.
2. Many studios have their own mats that you can borrow until you decide that you want to buy your own. Call and check on this before you go.
3. If you want to try it in the comfort of your own home, there are lots of free videos on You Tube that you can try out. I would suggest starting with a Yin class, or other intro formats, that will lead you through slow stretches and movements that are gentle on your joints.
4. If having to twist into an upside down pretzel on your first day is your fear, don’t worry! Look for the descriptions on the webpage of the studio you are considering and look for classes labeled Yin, Ashtanga Lite, or Intro Flow. Plus, here’s a brochure
from the American College of Sports Medicine that outlines the practice of yoga, what to expect in your first class, proper clothing, and a description of many other types of classes to help you determine what is best for you. I hope that you have found this article useful and maybe it has encouraged you to seek out a yoga studio near you.
Good luck and Namaste!
– LAUREN ORMSBEE, CHC, CEP