I was recently given the gift of yoga. Literally. For my birthday, I was given 10 yoga classes at a yoga studio, along with a yoga mat, yoga mat cleaner, and a box of salt (yes, you read that right) to condition the mat prior to using it for the first time. Sounds like a great gift, huh? It probably is, but I’m not a yoga person.
Yoga retreats are becoming quite popular these days, as they provide amazing benefits and experience to the people who go there. It is not only about bettering your physical health, but yoga retreats can also help you better your mental health, relax, and calm your inner demons. With deep relaxation, you enter the world again with better enthusiasm and gist for life.
If you practice yoga, then you already know that spending money isn’t necessarily going to be helping you live your yoga off the mat, but that, neither, is making money, or having money. But, if you’re looking to start your yoga practice, or even if you’re a regular practitioner, you know that the ways in which you spend your money will impact the way you live your yoga off the mat; and that in this current society, in this day and age, the right yoga mat, prop, or outfit can really help your physical practice of the asana.
Yoga is a physical activity that helps create mindfulness and relieves stress when you feel like you need a break from the stressful activities you encounter throughout the day. There are many different ways that you can fit yoga into your busy schedule. The first way to do this is by changing your attitude and knowing that it is possible to fit yoga into your schedule.
Since I was a child, I have been dealing with depression and anxiety. For many years I have been trying to find ways to improve my own mental health. I have tried many different types of therapy and techniques, and I came across Yoga about 8 years ago, a few months before I moved to Australia. Last year I completed my first Yoga Training course, and since then, I began to be more consistent with my personal practice. I started to notice a significant improvement in all symptoms. This is the reason I became more interested in this topic.
Yoga is more than a workout and pretzel postures. I started going to "yoga" classes to bring balance to the distance running I was doing and to learn how to properly stretch my tight hips. What I found was way more than a stretch. Between 2013 and 2015, I went intermittently to studios around Phoenix, Arizona. In summer 2016, I met Carlyn Sikes, certified Iyengar Intermediate Jr II Yoga Teacher who made me feel welcome on the first visit. The Iyengar Center of Scottsdale at Scottsdale Community Collegequickly became my home away from home yoga retreat while I learned how to build confidence in a home practice. They featured yoga asana (posture) classes, while in contrast to other studios in the area, no two class sequences were alike and my wrists were relieved when I learned how to practice a sun salutation without dumping weight into the wrists, shoulders, or lower back. I learned how to properly extend my legs and how my inner thighs had more to do with my core strength than I originally thought. It's not solely about perfection in any posture or movement, but how you show up and how you support the postures given with a steady intelligent action from the outer body inwards. They weave the philosophy of yoga and the eight limbs into each piece of the process. Every time I practice with the incredible yoga teachers here, I discover facets of myself that have become buried and covered in mental cobwebs.
At the start of this year, I decided I wanted to try yoga. My reasoning was nothing but shallow. I wanted to improve my flexibility and shed a few kilos, and that was it. What I didn't expect was the transformation it will have on my well-being. Here’s a list of all the lessons I learned from yoga that has seeped into my daily life.
Here are the benefits of Yoga and how it can affect you positively (physically and mentally).
How would you like to create an affordable home yoga space and treat yourself to a beautiful at-home sanctuary?
Today is my dad's birthday, so as a gift to him (but mostly to me), I went out and got us donuts. Thus, for breakfast, I had two sausage rolls and two donuts. Not Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and not remotely healthy. And it made me feel like crap. To top this off, I took a 21 oz. Swell bottle of chocolate milk with me to church, because apparently I hate myself and want to have a stomachache every waking moment.
Yoga is one of the most ancient practices of discipline, and has a history of more than 5,000 years old according to Yoga Alliance. It's origin began in India and ever since has been implemented by millions of people all around the world. It is a technique that has brought many benefits to people's lives, but some people, in the beginning, find it very challenging to start. This is because yoga can teach you, your body, and your mind to be more disciplined, but it also takes previous self-discipline and control to begin and keep yoga a routine. If you are a person that feels that being disciplined is very hard for you to do, then it might take longer than normal to see the benefits of yoga. One thing to always keep in mind is that learning something new almost always takes trial and error, so it's important to keep going when you fail at yoga. Even some of the most expert people that have practiced yoga for many years can relate to a time where they struggled with the practice of yoga. The good news is that all beginners are not alone, and they're are plenty of tips and tricks to help them begin on the right path:
“Tug on anything at all and you’ll find it connected to everything else in the universe.” John Muir