With strange (and often incomprehensible) pose names being thrown around left, right and centre, attending a yoga class can feel pretty daunting.
However, whether the language baffles you or you find touching your toes near-impossible, you shouldn’t rule yoga out.
Here's why you should give it a shot:
1). You can practice ANYWHERE.
We all know the drill when it comes to trying a new exercise class: turn up, position yourself at the back & then feel awkward and self-conscious for the duration of the session. But fear not!
Although classes offer guidance and are a great motivational boost, you can do yoga in the comfort of your own home. Whether you opt for the garden, living room or even the bottom of your bed, just grab a mat and you’re all set.
If you don’t feel confident guiding yourself, head to YouTube and search for 'Yoga With Adriene'.1 The successful YouTuber offers sessions for people of all abilities and for all occasions. So whether you’re after a yoga session for ‘neck and shoulder relief’, ‘anxiety’ or ‘tired legs’, this lady has got you covered.
2). It can help reduce anxiety / stress.
For those who suffer with anxiety, yoga can be a great coping mechanism. Forget worrying about holding that perfect Balasana (that's the Child’s Pose to most of us), just focus on some steady, conscious breathing and you’ll be reaping the benefits of yoga.
Not only does yoga help to release tension in the body, it also encourages relaxation and promotes concentration, focus and awareness. Since you’re so busy focusing on balance, yoga acts as a great distraction from intrinsic thoughts.
3). It can aid fat-loss.
Although yoga isn’t the typical go-to exercise for fat-loss, it’s mantra has the potential to help your journey.
In order to lose fat, you have to create a calorie deficit... and since many of us take to junk food when we’re feeling stressed or down, the calories begin to add up and our attempted calorie deficit soon becomes a calorie surplus.
This is where yoga comes in. Yoga encourages you to manage stress in a healthy, level-headed way, meaning you’ll be likely to curb your old comfort-eating habits, replacing them with the new coping mechanisms you’ve learnt.
What’s more? A typical session of yoga can burn between 100-300 calories. So do it several times a week and you’ll be increasing your flexibility, building muscle and waving goodbye to that body fat!
So go and give yoga a go this week and let us know how you got on in the comments below!