The Benefits of Yoga
When it comes to health and fitness I am probably one of the worst to start talking about it, especially when a number of the Fashion Visuals members actually enjoy going to the gym. I will not be one to sit here and say ‘I love exercise and eat salad and fruit all day long’ – because I would be lying! However I recently decided that I wanted to go to a class of some sort or do something to become a little bit fitter.
I went to the gym twice and it is just not the place for me. I was out of breath after five minutes (more like two) on the cross trainer and ended up taking a steady walk on the treadmill talking away to my friend for half an hour, a bit of a waste of money and I could just take a walk outside. So one day myself and my brothers’ girlfriend decided that we would give yoga a go. It is not a strenuous form of exercise plus is great for the mind as well as the body.
I signed up to a 10 week class which was all paid for upfront, this definitely makes for the perfect incentive on days when you feel like you can’t be bothered. I have to say I am actually really enjoying it, and even though it is on a Monday night and I usually feel too tired to go, once I am there I am always glad that I went. If you have suffered from an injury or want a gentle way to stretch your muscles then it is a must do class.
All you need to take is a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing; I usually opt for leggings, a long t-shirt and take a pair of socks as your feet tend to stick to the mat otherwise! The calm atmosphere of the room plus tranquil music that plays really sets the tone. I felt comfortable being a beginner, even when you could tell others in the room had done yoga before.
The class lasts an hour and a half and you start off with a simple breathing technique and then move onto a number of positions (I am still unfamiliar of the names), which increase slightly in difficulty as the week’s progress. One of the poses which we carry out each week is the triangle pose as seen in the image below. This pose is meant to improve your sense of balance, strengthen and stretch your legs and can also help relieve mild back pain too. The last half an hour the lights are turned off and you lay flat on your back with your eyes shut, giving your muscles a chance to relax as well as your mind.
I do feel as though my flexibility is increasing, the back of my legs always ache after the class for a couple of days. Another benefit is that my stress levels are none existent after the class; it is a brilliant way to empty your mind and just chill out.
Is yoga something you would give a go?