Yoga has always felt like one of those novelty exercises that celebrities rave about, but none of us normal folk have a clue why. I’ve always found Yoga laughable when they do it on TV- can inhaling and exhaling whilst in a tree pose really count as exercise? And you’re posing as a tree. That’s pretty funny.
So, after deciding that running was just not happening this morning I decided today would be the perfect time to find out what all the fuss about Yoga was about. According to Google, there’s a lot of fuss- ads for hundreds of Yoga classes near me and news stories about celebrities, such as Gabby Logan and Nicole Scherzinger, who “swear by it” popped up. Hey, if Yoga will make me look like Nicole, I’m down for anything. Yoga, according to Wikipedia (a notoriously reliable source) was initially the physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines which aim at transforming body and mind. It was until the 1980s that the Yoga we know today became popular as a system of physical exercise, known as Hatha Yoga. Who Knew? According to Ann Pizer, the about.com guide to Yoga author, benefits include increasing flexibility and balance as well as reducing high blood pressure, aches and pains and stress and depression (pay attention all those needing to recover from A-Level stress/trauma)
Needing to learn the basics of yoga in one day, YouTube seemed a safe bet. There are tons of Yoga videos, ranging from the beginner (i.e. me) to the advanced (i.e. not me.) If like me, you giggle at the term “downward dog,” be warned- some of the poses will have you in hysterics, which really just makes it all the more enjoyable. My yoga teacher for the day, Esther, talks me through a 15 minute morning Yoga routine. “Do you wake up feeling tired?” she asks. Yes. “Do you struggle to get going in the mornings?” Hell yeah. This woman clearly knew I wasn’t a morning person. We started with a few stretches and then a warrior pose, stretching your arms and legs out like, well, a warrior. After a good 5 minutes sticking my legs out at awkward angles that should not be possible for the human body thinking “sorry, what is the point in this?” I actually started to enjoy it a bit. During the meditation section, after having your limbs pulled every which way, I actually felt better for it. I would definitely agree that, even after one session, my stress levels had decreased and I felt generally happier. This is because, according to Ann Pizer, “the concentration required [for Yoga], your daily troubles, both large and small, seem to melt away on the mat.” Although the metaphor is pretty extreme, this does seem on the whole true.
So, would I try Yoga again? Not unless I have fifteen minutes to kill, and if I do, it is usually spent watching Netflix, looking at cat memes on Twitter or eating. As for the physical benefits, I didn’t really notice any. But like with all exercise, I suppose you don’t get to see the physical benefits for a while. Although it’s a great way to relax, I don’t think Yoga is my bag. I found it all a bit hippie dippie and I didn’t come away from it feeling like I had done any exercise, making me feel all the more guilty for missing my run this morning. But I felt a lot better when I found a slab of dairy milk chocolate in the fridge…
Love Georgia x
If you fancy giving Yoga a try, there are tons of tutorials on YouTube, though I found this channel (Ekhart Yoga) particularly helpful:
For information about Yoga and its benefits, the NHS website gives some good basic information, but for more in depth info, Ann Pizer’s article on about.com is also good:
Interested in health, fitness and wellbeing? Check out the blogs ‘Black Girls Run’ and ’20 nothing’ on my blog list to the right hand side.