From decreasing stress to improving flexibility and giving you a better sleep quality, the benefits of regularly undertaking a session of yoga is quite lengthy. Increased immunity, increased strength, and stamina, improved blood flow. It almost seems that there is no reason why everyone shouldn’t be doing it! Indeed I’m not sure that I know anyone who has a bad word to say about it. I’m also not sure I know anyone who actually does it. I’m often found to be giving it praise, however. Especially for someone who no longer does it.
Around two years ago after I had lost a bit of weight I decided I wasn’t flexible enough. It was difficult to reach things on the floor without straining. Don’t get me started on any attempt to touch my toes. Maybe my knees? I thought at the time I had to do something about it. And I did. Or, I tried, at least. I think I managed to go for about 7 days of a 30-day program which I found on YouTube aimed at beginners.
I really enjoyed it. It was much more physically demanding than I was expecting. Not only that but it really highlighted my inability to bend like you see yoga practitioners do in all those pictures. Even after a few days, I began to notice a change.
Yoga is considered one of the oldest known forms of exercise and can trace its origins back some 5,000 years or more. Early practitioners focused primarily on the mental benefits that yoga could have and this is another aspect that appealed to me. As someone who is always looking to expand my spiritual knowledge base, another tool under my belt is not something to be sniffed at. The ancient use of yoga to aid in mindfulness is something I wanted to explore and still do.
So why did I stop it? Partly because of the length of time it took for each session. Because I was following along on a YouTube video each session, whilst varying in length, they were mostly pretty long. I found it difficult to fit yoga in before work. Granted I could have just found shorter routines or made my own but my knowledge was extremely limited at the time. Also, I simply burnt out.
Despite not doing it for long it ended up becoming more a chore than something I looked forward to because I had to fit it into my schedule, which was tight at the time. Moreover, as I took it on so quickly it never formed into a habit which I could stick to. And I kind of regret that.
That’s why I want to make it a habit now. I want to go about it in a slightly different way so that I can make an attempt to make it a semi-regular thing (like most of my fitness excursions currently are). I have a bit more free time now which should make it easier to fit in and I can shop around a bit more for a program that is more manageable timewise.
Also, I’m not scared to try and put together my own one now. Ideally, I would want to watch a few more videos and learn a bit more but all of the most successful fitness regimes I have ever tried have all been ones I’ve put together myself. Often using knowledge drawn from a variety of sources. Refined from a bit of trial and error.
There are many different types of yoga. Vinyasa being one of the most common. Others include Ashtanga, Bikram (“hot yoga”), Sivananda, Iyengar, and Integral. Most of these styles of yoga are appropriate for anyone to do. Some are more challenging, however, including Bikram which is commonly referred to as hot yoga in the west. I don’t really know much about how they differ so picking one type would seem like folly. Instead, I’ll just move between them for a while until I can find a type I can settle with. Obviously, Bikram is something I can’t try due to environmental limitations. Others probably too. I want to do these in my house, not in a potentially expensive studio!
I think I’ll schedule in the first yoga session for tomorrow morning and see what happens. I’m sure I’ve still got my mat around here somewhere…
What are your experiences with yoga? Let me know below!
Thanks for reading,