(Post written by Robert Nguyen) There is no doubt that yoga is great for health. It is physically challenging and my body has become stronger and more flexible as I improved. The conscious breathing that is the focal point of yoga helps improve blood flow in the body and brain, there is an increase in energy level, the body becomes less prone to injury. However, I noticed it’s not nearly as effective for me to only do yoga every once in a while. In my experience, I have learned the way to get the most benefit from yoga is consistency.
By practicing yoga regularly, I have developed the good habits that contribute to the health of my soul. With the chaotic lifestyles we live as Americans, we are often overworked, overwhelmed and disconnected with ourselves. Our schedules are typically busy and we are so rushed that our minds never have a chance to get a break.
That’s where yoga comes in. I see yoga as my chance to ground myself. When I am on the mat I can clear my head from all the clutter that fogs my mind that prevents me from thinking clearly and being fully engaged in life. Yoga can be such a valuable tool to help us reset but it’s not a resource we utilize enough. The average person only does yoga once a week but a lot can happen in a week.
I was no different. Wednesday was my day I set aside for class. If something stressful occurred in between it was a long time to wait until the next yoga class. After class I would feel great but after a couple days my mind was wired again. That is, until I found ways to work more yoga into my life.
Now I space it out so that I make sure I can do yoga at least three times a week. It’s done wonders for my mind and spirit. The results have shown in my energy, the quality of my work and my ability to manage my emotions. I would say yoga every other day is enough to maximize these benefits and I want to challenge all the beginners to try doing yoga at least three times this week.
But who has time to fit in three hours of yoga classes each week? On top of that, when I was a beginner I could barely survive an hour-long class. I want to offer up a few tips for the beginners to help them beat the challenge:
- Yoga can be done anywhere. It doesn’t have to be done exclusively in class.
- Don’t force yourself beyond your ability. When you’re starting out don’t put the pressure on yourself to do a whole hour of yoga each time. A 15-minute session can go a long way in helping you improve. The following is the format I followed when I started to get serious about my practice. If 15 minutes is too much, fit in 10. The important thing is not to force yourself to do the whole hour or you may be discouraged by the difficulty give up altogether. Be kind to yourself.
|Rest||15 minutes at home||Rest||CLASS||Rest||Rest||15 minutes at home|
- Remember 1 or 2 of your favorite poses. The yoga teacher is there to lead you through the flow and help correct your poses. Take that knowledge home and you can incorporate your favorite poses into your practice outside of the class.
- The internet if your friend! If there’s a pose you want to learn more about there are tons of resources online. Be sure to ask your teacher for the name of the pose so you can look it up later!
How often do you take the time to reset?