The Benefits of Yoga

9 reasons to take to the mat, plus a few tips to help get you there

I never used to be a massive fan of yoga. I was always one for high intensity, all the burpees, dripping in sweat kind of workouts. That said, I loved the idea of yoga – mainly because it’s been my life goal to do the splits – so when 2015 arrived, my New Year’s Resolution was to do yoga at least once a week. Somehow I managed to stick to my word (well, up until around September) and since then I have found a new love and appreciation for the discipline.

Fast forward five years and my yoga sessions are my favourite of the week. I am far from being an expert, I wouldn’t even say I’m that good, but I don’t care because it makes me feel amazing. And contrary to my previous perceptions, I definitely work my body hard, I definitely sweat, but it’s a different kind of workout that challenges my body and mind in a new way every time I step on the mat.

The Benefits (to name a few)

Yoga…

  • Improves circulation
  • Supports your spine 
  • Teaches discipline 
  • Improves posture
  • Relaxes the body and mind 
  • Improves balance 
  • Increases muscle strength 
  • Decreases stress 
  • Teaches you to breath better 

Your Yoga Starter Pack 

Find a teacher you like, it makes all the difference. Try out various classes at different studios. Yogarise in Peckham (now also with studios in Covent Garden and Streatham) is my absolute fave – on their timetable there is a practice for literally everyone.

Go to a class suited to you. If you don’t know your Downward Facing Dog from your Shavasana, it might be best to get yourself to a beginners class before joining in with the advanced yogis in their Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose. (No, I have no idea what this is.)

Go virtual. If you’re feeling a little self conscious about being surrounded by a room full of Lycra-clad yogis, try an online class. There are thousands of YouTube and Instagram options to choose from and you can practice in the comfort of your own home.

All the gear. Whether you are a total beginner or a yoga pro, having the right pair of leggings that don’t show off your entire thong when you forward fold or a high fashion yet supportive sports bra is guaranteed to give you a little extra comfort and confidence. My favourites include Sweaty Betty or the gorgeous eco friendly brand Filippa K.

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