It’s Yoga, Baby

How do you take your yoga?

I’ve dabbled with yoga for a long time now and always found it comforting and relaxing yet I never really ‘got’ it. Until recently. Since starting hot yoga I have come to look forward to the sweat, stretch and bend which comes with the 90 min class that I do and I can really feel the benefits, mentally and physically. It is intense for sure but also strangely meditative which is one of the great benefits of the practice that I didn’t expect. The atmosphere is utterly inclusive and non-judgemental, which for beginners can come as a great relief. And for those who think hot yoga is a bit of gentle stretching in a warm room, think again. Our instructor, Ben, is a true testament to the fact that yoga works both on the inside and most definitely on the outside too.

And once you’ve got into yoga, YouTube is a marvellous invention. Most yoga teachers have their own YouTube channel where you are able to practice in the comfort of your own home should getting to a studio prove inconvenient. One of my favorite teachers, Tara Stiles, is the founder of the famous Strala Yoga in New York and is a wonderful yogini. She pioneered yoga without the complications and rigour that used to be attached to the practice and her teachings have attracted a massive following. Her motto, do what makes the body feel good, has made her studios around the world super successful. She’s got her own YouTube channel filled with great yoga sequences and I’ve included one on how to de-stress in 10 minutes. What’s not to love?

Closer to home, at my friendly yoga studio Yoga Haven in Richmond south-west London, you are always greeted with a smile and a chat. Yoga Haven have studios dotted around London (Clapham, Richmond, Islington) as well as Brighton and Birmingham. Try them if you live close to one of their studios as the teaching is really great.

Women in particular can benefit from doing regular yoga – helping us deal with menopausal symptoms as well as depression and sleeplessness. It is gentle and natural and ought to be tried well before anti-depressants, sleep aids and HRT. And there are so many different types of yoga out there that we can all find the type that we like best. Saying that,Β  it is just as relevant for men.Β  According to Men’s Health there are many positive upsides of yoga that are as beneficial to men as to women. Judging by the studio that I go to, men have definitely taken note of how great it is to complement traditional sports such as tennis, running and weight lifting, with the stretching and bending that yoga offers.Β  Here are some of the key benefits:

Yoga benefits*

  • Lowers stress

  • Improves digestion

  • Fight food cravings

  • Improves brain function

  • Boosts immunity

  • Alleviates physical pain and discomfort

  • Hotter sex!!

  • Helps with sleeping difficulties

  • Deeper relaxation

  • Can relieve hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • 100% natural

  • Great for aching joints

(*mindbodygreen.com and Men’s fitness)

So go on. Try some yoga online, in a studio, outside or inside. Do it with friends and reap the rewards of the meditation and relaxation at the end, my favorite part of it all. It’s good for our souls and it’s good for our bodies.

Much love,

Birgitta xx

 

 

 

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