My Yoga journey
Let’s get things clear to start with, I am no yoga expert. In fact I’m pretty much the opposite given I only started regularly doing it 1 month ago. By ‘it’ I mean following the first yoga video that comes up when I search ‘15 minute morning yoga’ into YouTube. Add my baby climbing all over me and my toddler lying next to me making loud over the top breathing noises and you’ll get a more realistic image of my daily yoga sessions.
Growing up I had previously dabbled in this 5000 year old ritual at different gyms. I even tried one class at sunrise on the beach in Brazil! In most, I felt uncomfortable as I failed to contort myself in the position others did so easily and in others I ended up laughing far too hard at awkward times. Like once when I was wafted with a blanket by the instructor in order to create the illusion of a breeze! I guess I didn’t benefit from it as I didn’t feel I needed it at that time in my life; times and seasons right? But right now, I need it. I crave it. I get excited to wake up to do it. Those simple 15 minutes of meditation and breathing with Brett Larkin are more important to me than any skincare routine, any lunch to be made or bag to be packed.
What are the benefits?
We all know that yoga can help us become more supple and flexible, it can help us relax and meditate. But did you also know that a 20 minute Hatha yoga routine has been proven to improve cognitive functions such as focus and information retention? And what about your skin? Yoga poses can help with circulation, oxygenation, and digestion. These 3 together are what you need to get that ‘glow’ ( and not just the sweaty ‘glow’ you may get from a Bikram class). When your blood flows efficiently it allows your skin to be filled up with the essential nutrients it needs. It also helps keep debris moving out of your system to avoid it from clogging up your pores.
The most relevant for me though and the reason I started doing yoga is the affect it can have on your digestive system, in particular for sufferers of gut disorders. I heard Dr Megan Rossi talk about this on the Delicously Ella podcast. When she mentioned that studies showed yoga to be just as effective as diet in controlling symptoms, I had to give it a go!
I’ve discovered the simple act of deep abdominal breathing (which is an essential part to yoga) has helped me feel calmer and more energised. My digestive system already appears to be working more efficiently and I have been sleeping so much better.
As a mum I almost laugh at the term self-care. I currently take what I can get and consider my(self care)d for if I’ve managed to successfully have a shower alone. However, despite my reluctance to carry on with yoga when I felt like I wasn’t fully getting the most from it, I now do it in relative peace most mornings. My daughter joins in every day now and the positive impact that it has on my day is huge.
One day I will get the luxury of attending yoga classes alone, but maybe then I won’t need them as much…