[Catie Allwright | Contributing Writer]
My resolution at the beginning of 2015 was to find a method of exercise that works for me and to stick to it. That is when I discovered yoga.
I’m by no means an expert but have recognised first-hand the benefits of yoga for the mind, body and soul. This is me encouraging you all to join me and reap those benefits!
1. It’s for everyone!
Yoga is personal to the individual. It is not competitive, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Yoga doesn’t discriminate on age, gender, body type or fitness level. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a couch potato, yoga covers a wide range of abilities and preferences. Whether you like to exercise alone or in a group, daily or monthly, or whether you are a dedicated athlete or are just starting out, yoga is for you.
Have you ever noticed that when you lie flat and relax, your fingers curl, your knees splay out to the sides and your jaw rests open? Yoga is incredibly introspective, helping you to focus on yourself. You’ll learn to work with your body, getting to know your breathing rhythms and personal limits. This meditative aspect means that yoga is great for easing stress and anxiety.
3. It’s low intensity
It is quiet, peaceful and feels a lot less like hard work than going out for a run or hitting the gym. But trust me, it is a work out.
Using your own weight for resistance training is essentially how yoga helps to build strength in all areas of your body.
With the combination of introspection and core strength comes stability and improved balance.
Yoga is amazing for flexibility. It wakes up all the little muscles in your body and, before you know it, you’ll be able to do the splits! Yoga helps you to discover the movement your body is capable of.
7. It’s affordable for students
You can pay for classes, DVDs and workout gear, but none of it is necessary as there’s a wealth of information online. Active Students run a free weekly class on campus, or you can do it yourself in the comfort of your own bedroom! I thoroughly recommend the Yoga Studio app. It is just a couple of pounds and contains an impressive range of pre-recorded classes.
8. You can do it anywhere
All you really need is a bit of floor space and something comfortable like a blanket or mat to stand on. A downward dog can be done in your bedroom, on the beach, in the park; it’s completely up to you. There are even Instagram accounts of people practising on floating surfboards. The only limit is your imagination!
9. Whenever you have time
You can make time for yoga whenever it’s convenient. It is a fantastic way to gently wake yourself up in the morning, and equally fantastic to wind down before bed. Whether it’s for ten minutes or two hours, time spent doing yoga is time well spent.