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):
- Set an intention. Why do you want to start your yoga practice?
- 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.
- 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.
- Find an online teacher or YouTube videos. Yoga Greenbook provides information on Black yoga instructors.
- Remember it’s a practice. Be gentle with yourself. Do the best you can. Also remember: Yoga is for every body!
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