Adding yoga to your fitness routine can help you stay calm and centered as you deal with stress and anxiety navigating this unusual holiday season.
By Sheila Johnson
Yoga might sound like a New Age practice, but rest assured this ancient form of fitness is much more than a passing trend. And if you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, and overall feelings of blah as we approach the holidays, pandemic style, you’ll want to add yoga to your daily to-do list. The Thrive33 fitness blog offers tips on how to start and maintain a yoga routine to stave off stress.
Recognize the need for stress relief.
In our busy world, it’s not always easy to acknowledge stress. Take a minute right now to feel. Feel your fingers, your toes, your back. Are you stiff or relaxed? Do you feel tense? Feel your heartbeat and listen to your breath. Once you accept that your mind and body aren’t carefree, you can do something about it.
Meditation is the peanut butter to yoga’s jelly. It complements your yoga routine by helping you prepare your mind and body for the experience. When you meditate each day, you can even build happiness like you build muscles.
Motivation comes in many different forms. When it comes to fitness, some people track their progress casually using the scale or by timing a rigorous workout. Others may want to try a more calculated approach by using gadgets to track their activity levels each day.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is a popular option that tracks your movements, oxygen levels, and can even show you, in real time, your ECG (or your heart activity). If you’re looking to spend around the $200 mark, consider a smart scale like the Fitbit Aria 2. Or you can opt for a blood pressure monitor to give you valuable health info for less than $30.
Choose your teacher wisely.
Getting started with yoga doesn’t require a teacher. You can easily look online and find videos and classes with minimal effort. But when you need motivation, a yoga teacher can offer that and more.
With many areas have yet to resume in-person classes, you’ll need to find a teacher offering online lessons. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Remember, not all teachers are alike, and anyone can post videos online, claim to be an expert, and collect your hard-earned money. Make sure your teacher is certified and has the availability to speak with you one-on-one if needed.
Break through your comfort zone.
The pandemic has pushed us all outside of our comfort zones. However, this has taken on a negative connotation in most of our lives. If you want to truly experience change, whether in yoga or life in general, you have to step outside of your comfort zone.
Hartstein Psychological asserts that doing so will help you develop personally, boost your self-confidence, encourage creativity, and give you what you need mentally to become a stronger person. Each of these traits will help you get through the pandemic with your sanity intact.
Set goals intentionally.
Think about your yoga practice. Do you feel as though you are getting everything out of it that you deserve? If not – and even if you do – it’s wise to set goals, which will also help you track your progress. Take photos of yourself in certain poses, keep a journal, or use a smartphone app to monitor your progress weekly or monthly.
Before you begin tracking, write down exactly what you wish to accomplish. When you meet this achievement, you’ll be more confident to move onto the next.
Work within your budget.
The truth is, you do not have to channel your money into special equipment or services to do yoga. But that does not mean that a few pieces of clothing or equipment won’t enhance the experience.
It’s entirely possible to outfit a yoga space on a tight budget. If you want to spend less than $100, for example, purchase a yoga mat, a block, a pair of leggings or comfortable athletic pants, and a sports bra. Your greatest expense will be your ongoing class fees, so confirm pricing before committing to a teacher online or in person.
When it is all said and done, your goal is to find a way to relieve stress. Yoga is an excellent way to do just that, and the tips above will help you take your yoga practice to a whole new level. And if you are just starting out, this advice can help you lay a solid foundation for your mental and physical health with yoga as a starting point.
Sheila left the corporate world and long hours behind to start her own business. She’s looking, feeling, and working better than she has in years. She’s seen so much personal success with her health and wellness routine that she wanted to share it with others. By creating her website, she hopes that sharing her story will help you, too. She can be found at wellsheila.net.
Thrive33 is your virtual library of information to help you navigate the bumpy ride we call life. Visit often for more great posts.