Guest post by Sarah Brager, certified yoga instructor at Harmony Fitness and Village Yoga.
It’s approaching that dreadful time of year again- saying goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. Shifting from season to season is a lot like shedding a layer of your earth’s suit. Its time to let go of the past (Summer) and look forward to the future (Fall), but ALWAYS remember to stay focused in the present. One way you can honour your self during this time of transition is to practice yoga.
Read below to learn the top 10 reasons why you should continue to and/or begin practicing yoga!
1. Boost Those Energy Levels: A simple way to flush out fatigue is to practice inversions! When you invert the body you increase blood flow to your thyroid glands, and this stimulates energy. Try getting upside down in a Supported Headstand (Salamba Sarvangasana). Hold for 1 minute.
2. Reduce Stress: Familial, personal, professional, and health related demands can become increasingly difficult to cope with and juggle.
- Yoga practice combines physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dhyan).
- In class, draw your attention inward (away from your daily life) and connect to your inner-self.
- Establishing a mind-body connection allows you to practice stress management skills.
- If you spend one hour a week letting go of the external world, and bring your full awareness inward your mind will surely benefit.
- Try: The ultimate relaxation of Corpse Pose (Savasana). Hold for 5-10 minutes. Feel free to add blankets and pillows for extra comfort!
3. Decrease Anxiety And Depression: Headaches, muscle tension, dizziness, nausea, sleeping problems, sweating, fidgeting, helplessness, loneliness, lack of focus, loss and/or increase of appetite, irritability, and increased blood pressure oh my! If you experience any of these symptoms of anxiety and depression, hurry up and get to a yoga class!
- Therapeutic and restorative yoga is gaining popularity among the inner-peace seekers of the world.
- The physical postures (asanas) in yoga will reduce your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and increase your mood.
- The breathing techniques (pranayama) in yoga will help you to slow down your thoughts.
- Try: A gentle backbend like Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). Hold for 5-10 breaths. Repeat 3 times.
4. Improve Sleep Patterns: There is nothing more aggravating than watching each hour on the clock pass during the night, and dreading the consequences of exhaustion.
- Sleep patterns are often disturbed with an overactive mind.
- Lucky for you, this problem can be eliminated if you practice yogic breathing techniques.
- Meditation is also a fantastic way to get your mind into a calm and relaxed state, especially before bed.
- Try: Slip into an unconscious state with Victorious Breathing (Ujjayi Pranayama). Dedicate 10 minutes first thing in the morning and/or 10 minutes before bedtime.
5. Tone Your Body: When you establish a regular yoga practice you will strengthen your body and increase your flexibility.
- Every yoga pose is physically challenging and requires enormous amounts of core stability and endurance.
- During a yoga class, all of the major and minor muscles of the body are targeted as you lift your own body weight in an arm balance, and increase your stamina by holding poses.
- A traditional Ashtanga yoga class is fast paced and considered a serious cardio work out.
- Try: Holding plank and/or side plank position for 10 breaths or 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.
Check back here next week for 5 more fabulous reasons to practice yoga!
Question Of The Day: How has your yoga practice helped you?
Sarah Brager is a certified yoga instructor working in the GTA. She provides private/semi-private/group/corporate/pre & post-natal yoga in your home or office. She also teaches two public classes a week at Village Yoga (www.villageyoga.ca) and Harmony Fitness (www.harmonyfitness.ca). Sarah is starting an 8 week pre-natal session in the Fall, to register please call or email. Contact Sarah at your earliest convenience to learn more or to book your first session. 416 721 2445. firstname.lastname@example.org