Yoga journal: Yoga for fitness

Yoga for Fitness
You may remember that almost two month ago I posted about me starting yoga for the very first time. You can read everything about how I felt, why I started and what really helped me to get through the first couple of days when I went from doing absolutely nothing to getting up half an hour earlier every day and doing a fair lot - the post is here. Today I thought I'd give you an update on how I'm getting on and what I've discovered on my yoga journey so far.

I have been doing yoga religiously every single day for about 10 weeks now. The duration of my sessions vary from 20 minutes to an hour, an hour and half on the weekends when I have more time in the morning. I have not skipped a single day (touch wood!) - this is something that I've never accomplished before with any kind of exercise. When I started I had to always consciously make the effort to get up earlier and roll out the mat. Now it's an essential part of my morning routine, just like a morning wee or brushing my teeth. I don't even think about it anymore - I roll out of bed, take a few deep breaths and go straight into the downward facing dog.

What are the benefits so far?
✓ I feel much more energised - the old me would normally nod off on the train to work, now I feel more awake I can even go through some study materials - a much better use of my time!  
✓ How did I not know how to breathe properly?! It's shocking how much difference you can feel when you take a proper breathe as opposed your standard huffing & puffing. 
✓ I've never thought that I would say this - but I carry myself much better. I walk straighter and get less tired. 
✓ Breathing can take you through rough patches of your day. When I start losing my shit or feel under the weather I take a few breaths where on inhale I expand my belly and on exhale I contract it as much as possible. I do this a couple of times and my mind is instantly much calmer. 
✓ Doing my morning yoga practice makes me feel more disciplined - doing something regularly is definitely good for your mind and gives you a certain feeling of stability. 
✓ I'm so much more flexible than I used to be, it's incredible. I can do handstands and crows and bend my legs and arms in a funny way. It will take me years to become as good as the yogis you can see on Instagram and Youtube but the progress I've been making already is ridiculous! 
✓ I feel like I have less aches and general physical tiredness - this is probably linked to a change of my heating habits too but yoga definitely does contribute to it. 

If you're unsure where to start I found this magazine - Yoga for Fitness by Health & Fitness (click here). It's silly expensive (a tenner, I think) but it gives you 50+ poses which you can easily do at home and it also introduces you to the basics of yoga - why to start yoga, what kinds of yoga are the best for you, when to avoid doing yoga... It's such a good introduction magazine, I really do recommend you at least flick through it next time you're at your local W H Smith. 

Are you a yogi?
What are the benefits you've noticed from practising yoga?

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