“Yoga is not only a process of the integration of the soul, mind, and body for self-improvement, it is a process of self -realization and self -acceptance.”
If someone had told me two years ago that I would become a person who looked forward to taking time out of my day to practice yoga, I would probably have told them that they had mistaken me for someone else and walked away. But, ever since I decided to go along to a complimentary class on my summer holiday, I have completely changed my mindset about this ancient form of exercise.
I usually practice yoga after a long, tiring day when I can’t face the intensity of a HIIT workout or when I am feeling particularly stressed. If the rain is pouring, instead of a run, I always grab my yoga mat. I am able to focus entirely on my breathing and my movement rather than the issue that is causing me to worry. Vinyasa flow, one of the most popular contemporary styles of yoga, is able to send me into an almost dream-like trance, escaping the anxieties that are nagging at my brain. The flow is smooth and continuous with a variety of different poses that ensure your full concentration.
According to scientific reports, yoga has a great effect on melatonin. This is not only essential to healthy cell growth but also reduces levels of cortisol, the hormone that increases stress. High melatonin levels help us sleep better at night, increase our intuition and awareness, strengthen the immune system and ensure that we heal faster. No wonder yoga makes us feel so fantastic!
What I also love about this form of exercise is the fact that I am able to relax but also build up my strength, balance and flexibility. It improves my posture and makes me a more positive person. It is a challenge but there is certainly no pressure or competitive aspect attached. I am definitely not going to be able to do a headstand any time soon but that doesn’t matter. It is all about personal growth.
If you are considering trying out yoga, I would recommend these videos on youtube:
Do you practice yoga? What are your favourite poses/moves? Let me know in the comments!