Take the path back to normality with some self-reflection with yoga
The popularity of yoga grows each year, yoga itself is a path, a practice, or simply an exercise. And, Yoga simply means ‘that which brings you to reality..’ which is something the pandemic has taught us is essential.
Yoga is well known as the magical ‘go to’ for stretching, relaxing and it simply doesn’t care about your age or size (which is much welcomed after all that isolation and treats!).
According to Erin Lecky, a Canadian-based Yoga and Meditation instructor “yoga is healthy and the wonderful thing about it is that it can be for everyone!”
“ I always say, if you’re breathing, you can do yoga.”
Yoga is well known for its health benefits and will certainly help you calm down after what has been a bumpy year or so. A Healthline article highlights a study of 131 people that showed that in just 10 weeks, yoga reduced stress and anxiety. Other research showed that reduction of inflammation, heart health, depression, and quality of life also benefit from some yoga.
Erin knows well that “yoga is most often seen as only the asanas (postures) or poses and many people feel that if they’re not flexible or don’t have great mobility then yoga is not for them”.
But believes that, “the truth is that simple breathing exercises and meditation can be yoga” she adds. Erin went on to explain that “mindful movement in a chair can be yoga”.
“Yoga is about linking the breath, the body and movement and even simple practices can bring about great transformation, both for the mind and body’, Erin said.
Due to COVID-19 and like many other parts of life, yoga teachers are actively offering online yoga courses for members of their community.
The well-known, Sophie Gregorie Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister’s wife recently started offering hour-long free yoga sessions in the hope of reducing stress from the pandemic.
There are many options, so take time to explore YouTube and research your ideal pick of an instructor to get started with yoga.
One trending online yoga instructor is Tim Sensei (and frequently his dog Ollie) who had suffered from weight issues, self-confidence, and self-image problems until he found yoga. Tim runs a 30-day yoga challenge that has given his YouTube the attention and over 4 million views.
“I’d recommend looking into online beginner or all-level classes that teachers in your area are offering. YouTube or sites such as Yoga International or Gaia also have an abundance of classes for beginners where you can test the yoga waters” suggests Erin.
Beyond yoga, there are many alternatives, Erin suggests “swimming, hiking, walking, biking, surfing tennis are all great options. In addition, there is a wide range of online activities offered. The famous AllBlancTV on YouTube offers a good range of home training videos, challenges, and much more. Alongside a more fun dance sport blended with Zumba and pilate-inspired channel, Sunny Funny Fitness.
“Spending time connecting to nature and your body and just simply being outdoors getting some vitamin D is always a great idea (just be sure to wear sunscreen when necessary” she stressed.
Like many people, Erin emphasized that the pandemic did have a big impact on her emotions. “I lost all motivation for working on my business or delving into courses and certifications that I had wanted to pursue prior,” she said.
“Instead of being angry at myself for losing steam on the things I had been building, I allowed myself the time to just be with whatever emotions were coming up”. She went on to conclude, only then did she recognize “that we were going through a collective grieving and we all work through that differently”
She went on to explain that during the pandemic she “still had my daily yoga practice which probably helped more than I’m aware of, but the truth was, I didn’t want to do much else more than that. And that was ok.”
“Fighting with what’s present doesn’t help the situation and instead learning to welcome your feelings, no matter what they are, helps you understand yourself and move through those emotions more quickly’ she believes.
Like many entrepreneurs who struggled during the pandemic’s hiatus “about a month, I had my business back up and running and now a year later, I’ve completed the meditation teacher course I’d been wanting to take. The grief process took time, but it does always come to an end. If you’re able to accept the feeling of grief you move through it even faster.
Going forward, we are looking towards a healthy summer and she offers some suggestions on the food front.
“Make meals with whole, unprocessed foods — plant-based when possible! There’s this misconception that healthy food takes a long time to prepare and is expensive.”
“In reality, there are many simple and healthy recipes out there, you just have to find them’ Erin said.
Take the risk and open that door to your own enlightenment.