5 Days to More Calm: Yoga

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

Today’s topic for 5 Days to More Calm is yoga!

Yoga literally means “union” and can be defined as a “physical, mental and spiritual practice.” (Yogapedia). Although some say it originated in ancient India, some of yoga’s earliest manifestations were found in ancient Egypt (aka Kemet).

I first heard about yoga back in 2007 during an internship, but I didn’t start practicing consistently until 2014. I initially began as a way to snap back after having Nailah, but it eventually became so much more. I started feeling more grounded and centered; I noticed I was in the present moment more often, and I had a sense of inner peace, all of which made me fall in love with it. Yoga is now a tool I use almost daily for my inner peace and to also connect with myself and Spirit.

Some other benefits of yoga:

  • Improves flexibility and strength.
  • Can decrease stress levels and anxiety.
  • Helps you become more mindful (i.e., more present).
  • Increases your energy levels.
  • Improves heart health.

A few types of yoga you can try are:

  • Hatha (more gentle and good for beginners)
  • Vinyasa (generally faster than hatha with more movement)
  • Hot yoga (practiced in a heated room; encourages detoxification and enhances flexibility)
  • Restorative (holding supported poses for 5+ minutes for deep relaxation)
  • Kemetic (the ancient Egyptian system of yoga enlightenment)

Of course, you can find a local studio or gym that offers yoga classes, but if you feel more comfortable practicing at home (due to COVID-19 or just because that’s your preference), here are some tips to get started (you can read the entire blog post here):

  1. Set an intention. Why do you want to start your yoga practice?
  2. Create space. You don’t need a room of your own or a she-shed (but if you have one, use it!), just enough space for a yoga mat and maybe some calming tools like incense, candles or crystals.
  3. Make time for it. If you need to, put a reminder in your phone, put it in your planner or on your schedule. Consistency (however that looks for you) is key.
  4. Find an online teacher or YouTube videos. Yoga Greenbook provides information on Black yoga instructors.
  5. Remember it’s a practice. Be gentle with yourself. Do the best you can. Also remember: Yoga is for every body!

Want to get monthly Yoga PDFs and discounts on upcoming classes? Learn more about how you can join the subscription service on Patreon!

 

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