Just before we went into lockdown, I’d been considering taking up a yoga class. Having had back problems for years now and feeling exasperated by the differing opinions of chiropractors, I felt I needed to do something myself. But just as I was doing some searches of local classes, everything shut down due to covid and I was left really disheartened. But then I discovered Yoga with Adriene online and I began to attempt and actually really enjoy learning yoga at home. If you haven’t heard of Adriene, she is a truly fantastic yoga teacher. Not only is her voice calming and reassuring but she has a video for almost every possible ache, pain, bodily issue you have plus she has them at differing levels. It feels as though she really guides you through your yoga journey by offering alternative moves, telling you to ease off if needs be, explaining what your body should be feeling and what to do if it just doesn’t feel quite right to you. I have found her online sessions to be something I look forward to doing and now I try to regularly get yoga into my week. Home yoga has brought quite a few benefits to me which I thought I would quickly share with you today.
Time For Me
This has been a really important aspect for me, especially during lockdown. What with homeschooling, coming up with toddler activities, cleaning, tidying, working from home, being the go-to parent each and every day for months on end was exhausting and at times very stressful. My choir sessions had been put on hold as had other real-life activities and I was struggling with doing very little for myself. When I switched on that yoga for beginners video, I instantly felt as though I could just stop and breathe. It was as though I had given myself permission to be Emma. Not Mum. Not snack giver. Not cleaner. I was a person with needs and taking just 10, 20 or 30 minutes (depending on which video you choose) gave me that little piece of me back again.
Being constantly on the go isn’t good for anybody. Running around helping others all the time and not helping yourself will eventually have negative consequences and I had noticed that my brain didn’t ever seem to switch off. My mind would be racing with what I needed to do, I would make lists in my head and never write them down, I was working until 10/11pm as I didn’t have time in the day and then going to bed with my mind whirring away. Yoga is deeply calming and it changes all of the above for me. I find Adriene’s voice very relaxing and as I said above, it is like she is giving you permission to take that time which then allows you to give yourself that permission to. Breathing slowly and deeply, switching your brain off, meditating and calming yourself is such a great way of treating any mental health issues and stresses and as somebody who has struggled with this for years, I love how doing yoga makes me feel.
And with that shift in my mental state came a mood changer. On the mornings where I have done a yoga session, I feel more motivated, more positive and energised which has a good knock-on effect to the children’s moods as well.
You Can Do It Anywhere
What is great about doing home yoga is that you can do it anywhere you choose. I usually watch on my laptop which means I can use any room in the house or even go into the garden. When we went on holiday, I took my yoga mat plus my laptop with me and I made sure I made some time in the mornings to do a session.
Of course, the biggest benefit of home yoga is the change you see in your body. I have terribly tight muscles especially in my neck and shoulders (looking at my phone a lot doesn’t help) and as yoga focusses a lot of it’s moves on these areas I have found that it has worked wonders (look up her text neck video, I swear it will help). At one stage, I was trying to do a small session each day and I saw the most positives from this. The moves all become smoother and easier to do, my neck loosened up, my headaches reduced and I felt as though I stood up much straighter. Unfortunately, with two kids it isn’t possible to keep it up daily but I am trying my best to squeeze it in as much as I can. If I can strengthen up my problem areas and release more of these tight muscles I am sure that I can banish my aches for good!
If you think that yoga isn’t for you, I promise it is for anybody. I thought I wasn’t flexible enough or strong enough but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that you give a go, that you take that time for you and that you help both your mental and physical health. Plus, you can take it at any speed you like, you can adapt the moves, you can take a break when you need it or just do the parts that work on the areas that you feel you need the focus on. Yoga doesn’t come with rules, it is made up of so many aspects which could benefit everyone.
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