Ya I see those eye rolls, but hear me out.
Like a duck out of water
Most of us have probably tried yoga at some point. Growing up my dad could often be found in our living room, standing on his head or practicing stomach vacuums. Not surprising that those are the movements which stick in my mind, as the rest of it - the traditional postures and poses - seemed pretty darn boring. Downward dog never really held the same allure as kicking a football or going a few rounds with a punch bag.
Yet years later, after one too many injuries, I joined the bandwagon. I didn't take to it, I practiced for a bit, let if fall by the wayside but eventually gave it a go, yet again. To say I was like a duck out of water is the understatement of the century! A forward fold, where you bend over to touch your toes, well my back refused to go past a 90 degree angle!
Flash forward to 2 years later...well I can bend past 90 but I'm generally still one of the most inflexible bodies in a class.
So why am I trying to convince you to give it a go (possibly for the second or third time)?
Yoga doesn't discriminate
It is one of the few 'activities' that everyone can partake in, regardless of your size, age, gender, fitness level, you can do it and with zero equipment if needs be. Now for the important bit. I think absolutely EVERYONE (yes even you, the person scoffing, pulling the face) can get something from yoga.
- Want to improve your reaction speed on the football pitch - improved mobility & flexibility from yoga will give you that.
- Struggling to switch off after a shite day or suffering from a general sense of anxiety with all the madness going on right now...yoga, particularly with its focus on deep breathing, is one of the most effective ways to gain a sense of calm and ease.
- Or if you simply want to look good in your bikini/trunks (for when we're all allowed rebook our summer holidays to sunny, exotic lands again), yoga utilises more muscles than you or I can name, just holding some poses is a workout in itself!
Do something, just for you
For me, I mainly practice to help keep chronic pain at bay but also so much more.
A gentle 20-30 minutes at the end of the day, forces me to slow down. Helps me be that little bit more aware of how I'm feeling (stressed, pissed off, anxious, or content, excited, grateful) and either let those feelings go or embrace them more.
And I'm doing something small, just for me. Which I think is even more important during these times.
So maybe give yoga a go (again)!
Find a class/instructor you genuinely like (Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube is great) or pop on some relaxing music (Trevor Hall-Green Mountain State is my go to) and make up your own stretches/sequence!
Remember, it's not about some complicated, ridiculous, foot behind your head-esque pose, it’s genuinely about all the things you gain (or lose) in the working towards it.