In my ten years of being qualified yoga teacher, there’s not a moment I wouldn’t take to preach the benefits – even today. It’s an absolute staple for practising a healthy mental and physical state and I truly believe we can all successfully incorporate it into our daily lives.
In 1948, the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” Despite the science constantly developing and updating, these words are still a fundamental belief and couldn’t be less true today. The thought of the gym may well be terrifying or even simply inaccessible, but hundreds of studies have shown we get better results from exercise we look forward to. There is truly something for everyone to kickstart the journey to physical well being!
Yoga is an ancient Indian art-form that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing. The health benefits of this type of exercise are endless, from increased flexibility and muscle tone to a reborn sense of energy and vitality. The best part is, anyone can do it and reap the benefits – no matter your weight, fitness or flexibility.
“The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection. Whether a couch potato or professional athlete, yoga is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self.”
1. Stress Less
Did you know stress is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain? Tense times can lead to a rise in the cortisol hormone. Stress is a slippery slope to emotional eating, the drop in blood sugar as a result is why we often find ourselves craving sugary, fatty foods.
Yoga is amazing for de-stressing the mind and body, lowering your cortisol levels in incredible ways. Not only is mental health reduced, but physical stress on your joints, skin, sleep, lungs and digestive system are completely transformed. Namaste!
2. Happy Days
Excessive amounts have been linked with major depression, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Consistent yoga practise is known to improve deteriorating mental health, due to a significant increase in serotonin levels.
3. Feel-Good Effect
Poor self esteem can quite often become self-destructive. We feel bad so we overeat, indulge, drink, work etc. Yoga practise provides time for inner thoughts, self reflection and mindfulness, allowing your personal self-care philosophy to flourish. Whilst it’s common to begin feeling a sense of gratitude, empathy and forgiveness, practising yoga and mindfulness with intentions and goals to improve your long term health can be incredibly transformative.
The International Journal of Yoga and The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine also found benefits in respiratory and cardiovascular function, addiction recovery, blood glucose support (important for diabetics), reduces stress, anxiety, chronic pain and most importantly, an overall well-being and quality of life.
The 7-day plan I have created for you starts your flow, by focusing on one pose a day. Each day comes with an integrative guide on how to master the pose as well as the benefits they can bring (with practise!).
Access the guide here.