"I'm not bendy enough". Wish I had a £1 for every time I've heard this 🤭
Yoga isn't about being bendy; it's about understanding how your body connects with your mind. For that reason I now often talk about "movement" rather than "yoga". It resonates more with those who think they will never strike a yoga pose.
When trying to "sell" yoga as a holistic practice, I start by eliminating the idea that you need a lot of time. A 15 minute session can do wonders. In an ideal world it would be fantastic if you had 2 hours to spare every day but let's be honest, life get's in the way. So, let's start with 15 minutes every other day. You will see the benefits within the first 2 weeks. You will also start to benefit from this time to focus and you will start to connect your brain with your body. It is extremely uplifting. Trust me!
Here's the key - yoga can be done ANYWHERE! You don't need a mat. You don't need fancy yoga clothes. You don't need lots of props.
Do you work at a desk? Sitting with feet firmly on the ground, hips back in the chair and shoulders back with neck slightly titled forward can do wonders for your posture. Really think about your spine; what do you think it would look like if you could see it when you sit at your desk and what do you need to do to help it serve you better? Remember - shoulders back!
Spend a lot of time driving? Shuffle back in your chair, adjust it so your back is fairly straight and shoulders are pulled back. Imagine you have an invisible thread from the top of you head and someone is pulling it to lengthen your neck. Feel the difference in your posture. Be mindful of relaxing your buttocks and think about your shoulders and lower back as your drive. Relax your jaw - tension creeps into the jaw when we are behind the wheel.
Frustrated in the supermarket queue? Great place to practice your breathing exercises; breathing in for 3, hold for 3, out for 3. Stand straight (no slouching) and just be in your own little "breath bubble" until it's your turn to be served. This is wonderful if you're the kind of person who becomes agitated whilst waiting.
Have a dog? Easy one - simply clench your buttocks, thighs and tummy on an in-breath (count of 3), release on the out-breath (count of 3). Repeat during your whole dog walk - you will be shattered! If you don't have a dog, do it anyway when you go for a walk! Try not to clench your teeth or facial muscles - although them to be relaxed.
Favourite TV program but back aches? Lie face down on the floor, come up with arms bent so you are held up with your elbows. You may recall lying like this in front of the TV as a child? As simple as that...stay here for the duration of your program and see how the tension leaves you. When you want to get out of the pose, take you head to the floor (using your hands on top of one another as a pillow), lift your lower legs off the floor and gently rock your legs from left to right (like windscreen wipers) then bring yourself to sitting. This is wonderful if you have any back aches and pains as lying on your front brings a gentle spine extension.
Tuesday 8 March 2022, International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange