chill with yoga - where to start?
If I asked you, "What do you do to keep yourself healthy?" What would your answer be? Many of us think being healthy is eating well and exercising and that's certainly part of it. But one aspect often forgotten about is relaxation.
AT VTV we feel it's so important it deserves it's own section on the site - Chill. Because in order to achieve health we need to Eat, Move, Think and Chill.
Come the evening many of us feel the stresses and strains of the day's events starting to build up. Before I joined Vitality TV I used to think relaxing was sitting down in front of the TV with my feet up and if I was particularly stressed I would have a glass of wine! This can certainly help sometimes and we should all take time to do the things we enjoy. But taking time out of your day to do some planned relaxation really helps your body recover from the everyday stress we encounter. Even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes it can really make a difference.
And yoga is one of the most common and effective forms of relaxation and it's something we thought our viewers could do easily at home in their spare time.
Why do yoga?
There are many health benefits to yoga but today we'll stick to relaxation. Yoga helps to calm and focus the mind, which helps to lower stress levels (as well as relax our muscles and stretch our spine).
Maybe you work full time, have young kids to care for or you're a university student sitting exams. I'm sure there's part of your day that causes you stress.
We all suffer with stress on some level. Stress is a normal physical response and is good in small doses. In many cases stress helps to keep us on our toes and helps us focus on the task at hand. But too much stress can damage our health and affect our mood and quality of life.
This is why it's so important to take time out of our day to relax properly and yoga can be the perfect antidote.
On top of this it can help improve your posture, shape and tone and increase stamina, strength and flexibility. Why wouldn't you want to do it?!
Who can do yoga?
One of the most common questions we get is who can benefit from yoga? The answer is simple - Everyone can benefit from yoga!
As Jeff says, "Yoga is for everyone, you're never too stiff or too old, it's about the attitude you bring to your efforts".
Where to Start?
If you're new to yoga then it's best to start with the basics. Check out the "Why do yoga" video, where Jeff talks in more depth about the benefits.
Before you dive into the postures you'll need to learn how to breathe correctly. Pranayama is a special breathing technique that helps balance the mind and nervous system as you go through your postures. Breathing is a very important part of yoga, so make sure you watch the Pranayama video before getting started.
Once you've learned the breathing technique it's time to get stuck into the different postures. We currently have eight exercises for you to try and choose from as part of a routine:
In each video Jeff will talk you through and demonstrate the posture. Once you've got to grips with each one you can start developing your own routine.
How many postures should I do at one time?
This is entirely up to you. Personally I like to use the series as if I was actually in a yoga class. I put on some relaxing music and go through each of the postures one by one.
When should I do yoga?
Certain postures you can do at specific times of the day. Savasana you can do in bed at night as it's a really restful and calming posture that can help you to fall asleep. Uttanasana is great to do first thing in the morning to wake up the body. Or if you spend hours of your day hunched up over a desk Bhujangasana (Cobra), helps to compensate by stretching out the spine so you can do this one when you get home from a day at the office.
The best thing is to experiment and find out what works for you.
How long should I hold each posture?
If you're new to yoga you may find the postures quite difficult to hold for a long period of time at first. So start by trying to hold each pose for five breaths, roughly 30 seconds.
Over time you will begin to find it easier and you'll find you can hold the postures for longer. So just increase the length of the hold gradually over time, as you feel more comfortable.
How often should I do yoga?
Some people like to do yoga once a week whilst others may do it everyday. Personally I like to do my routine three times a week but there's no limit to how much you can and should do. Just do what feels right for you!
Please check out the example yoga routine at the bottom of this article. Any other questions you have about yoga feel free to contact us and we'd be glad to help.
Good luck and enjoy!
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