I have always loved to be active. As a child I would climb trees, go for long hikes, and explore the woods + ravines. I thought some sports were fun but I really loved nature and swimming in lakes, and all of that good stuff. For most of us, working out is a chore. The trick is to find something you actually like to do that is good for you! For example doing cardio at the gym doesn’t excite me, but I love going for a run outside.
One of my favourite forms of exercise is yoga. Yoga makes me feel strong and calm. I come out of a session energized yet relaxed; it really is something special. It is especially good for my mental health and has helped me to get through some pretty difficult times.
I like Ashtanga (sometimes called Core Flow or Power Yoga), a form ofyoga involving constant movement and core activation. I think this is because I like to push myself, and I like to sweat! Sweating is an amazing opportunity for your body to release toxins. Make sure to replenish with lots of water or detox water (water infused with lemon, herbs or vegetables). Detox water enables your body to actually absorb the water, as opposed to going through your system too quickly, leaving you still thirsty and dehydrated. A good instructor is also essential. They should know exactly what they’re doing, and feel confident enough to coach and adjust their students throughout the class. I don’t think I could push myself as far as I do without proper instruction. I get easily distracted and usually end up in the kitchen making some food if I’m practicing at home!
In the winter and fall I especially love hot yoga. When it’s cold outside it is amazing to go into a quiet, warm, candle lit room and just do something for myself that is good for my overall health. Hot yoga accelerates the “warm-up” portion of your workout and gets your muscles active and pliable much faster than practicing in a cool room. Whether it’s hot yoga or Ashtanga, remember that it’s easy to push yourself too fast and too far. So if you’re new to yoga start off slowly and eventually build up intensity as your fitness improves.
Yoga has helped me to calm down, clear my head, and focus my energy into something positive. It makes me feel good on the inside and the outside. As my mind becomes calmed I’m able to focus my physical energy into expanding my practice and pushing my body to its limits. As my practice grows, my confidence builds and improves my mental well-being. It is all about finding a balance, and yoga balances the body and the mind.