“Out of nowhere, the mind comes forth.” - The Diamond Sutra
Yoga is a discipline that anyone can do to focus themselves and let go. However, studies show that more women than men are doing yoga. Around 9 out of 10 beginner yoga class participants are women.
Regularly practising yoga can help you stay in shape and it great for your physical and mental health.
So why not take up yoga? Here’s some common questions about yoga.
Can You Combine Yoga and Running Together?
Yoga and running are two complementary sports that can help you work on your body, mind, posture, alignment, and fitness. What better way to free your mind after a good workout session?
These two activities work well together due to their impact on our bodies. Running focuses on improving your cardio and toning muscles, yoga is useful for stretching and strengthening muscles.
These sports can help you reduce stress and anxiety, give you more confidence, and decrease the risk of heart conditions.
Combining yoga with running can also help you free up more time in your daily schedule. So how can you combine yoga and running?
The advantage of yoga and running is that you can do either activity almost anywhere. In the park, your garden, the living room. If you have a yoga mat, you’re ready to go.
You can always fit a yoga session before a run.
A sequence of yoga postures before your run can help you stretch and is a good way to warm up. Have a break in the middle of your session and work on your muscles and flexibility before finishing your run by stretching your legs again.
Alternating between the two activities is a great way to combine them.
Depending on your level, you could do Kapotasana, downward dog, Phalakasana, Anjaneyasana, Marichyasana III, etc.
To get the most out of your workouts, make sure you have the right equipment (yoga mat, running shoes, etc.). Running can be tough on your hips, hamstrings, knees, shins, ankles, and feet, while yoga can help you align your spine, get a better posture, and strengthen muscles, joints, and improve your balance.
Find out more about yoga for runners.
What is Best Mat to Learn Yoga?
You don’t need many things to for a yoga routine which is why almost anyone can do it. However, the mat is one of the things you might need.
A mat allows you to practise yoga wherever you want. This means you can do your yoga practice on hard ground and it’ll help you concentrate while you do.
There are different types of mats, but not all of them are suitable for yoga.
You might have an old camping mat that’s been with you for a number of your that you reckon you could use.
Do not use this for yoga!
Leave this mat in the cupboard where it belongs. While it might be good for sleeping on, they're too slippy and will keep rolling back up if you don´t put something on the mat.
The same is true for pilates mats. This combination of yoga and dancing uses a thicker mat than you’d use for a typical yoga session.
To choose the right yoga mat, you need to consider several criteria.
Avoid PVC mats, since they are toxic. Opt for natural materials. Make sure that the material is non-slip, though. You can't enjoy the restorative or healing benefits of yoga if you're injuring yourself!
Thickness is also an important aspect of your mat. Don’t get a mat that’s too thin or too thick. The average yoga mat is between 4mm and 6mm thick.
Pay attention to the price, too. This doesn’t mean that a £15 yoga mat is a bad one. You need to find a balance between how much you want to spend and the quality of the mat you’re buying.
You can check online or go to big sports shops like Decathlon.
Look for brands like Chin Mudra, Manduka, and Gaiam, who all make popular mats.
How Can You Learn Yoga on Your Own?
Whether it’s due to your schedule or your finances, you can learn to do yoga on your own. However, it can sometimes be difficult to motivate yourself and do it correctly without the help of a teacher.
However, there are resources to help you get really good at yoga.
When you start doing yoga on your own, you have to take it one step at a time.
You don’t want to hurt yourself doing asanas that are too difficult for you. There’s no teacher there to tell you if you’re doing it wrong.
Before doing yoga poses, make sure you’re ready. Of course, this can take some time, too. Between half an hour and an hour should be enough.
Go somewhere calm and quiet. You can start with a few basic positions like the chair pose or the tree pose.
Yoga exercises can also help you gain self-confidence.
When you practise yoga, make sure you have a decent mat and the right clothes.
While a mat isn’t essential, it’s a good idea. It’s also important to dress appropriately. Light and flexible clothes should do the trick.
But how can you learn a new asana without an instructor or yoga London teacher training you?
There are a lot of DVDs and YouTube videos on yoga for beginners and there are even websites with yoga videos by experienced yoga teachers. Online yoga resources are great for those who can't get to a yoga studio!
You can follow yoga sessions in order and start seeing the benefits immediately.
Learn more about the History of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga has been practised for many years but is becoming very popular at the moment. Everyone has at least one friend, family member, or colleague who’s attending yoga classes.
But how do we know what yoga is?
According to Google, yoga is:
“a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.”
A discipline which is appealing to those looking to relax and manage their stress.
To learn more about yoga and the secrets of meditation, there are plenty of documentaries on the subject.
They’re worth watching to learn more about the vocabulary of yogis (Iyengar, Pranayama, Sun Salutation, Kundalini, mantra, chakra, etc.) as well as the history of the practice.
Finally, you can learn about the different types of yoga from them, too:
- Hatha yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Prenatal Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga
- Dynamic Yoga
- The Yoga of Sound
- Yoga Nidra
Where can you find documentaries on yoga?
Today, there are so many different television channels. In recent years, streaming has taken over and you can now watch anything, anywhere.
Services like Netflix have plenty of different documentaries and there are plenty of videos on YouTube, too.
You’ll be surprised at how much you can find on TV streaming services.
How to Relax with Yoga?
Yoga isn’t just a sporting activity, it’s also a way to connect your body and mind.
There are different yoga exercises that can help you work on your breathing and relax through meditation.
Meditation is a mental exercise that allows you to concentrate on the present without thinking about the past or the future. It allows you to let go of your worries and everyday stresses.
Check for yoga near me here.
Meditation can help you deal with feeling down, trouble sleeping, and improve your concentration.
However, you won’t learn how to meditate in just a day.
You need to find the right time to meditate, the right place, and make yourself comfortable before you start focusing on your breathing and letting go.
Whether you decide to learn how to meditate with a private tutor or in a group class, you need to feel comfortable. If you don’t, you’ll never be able to let go and relax.
If you're completely new to yoga, consider trying out a taster session for beginners or yoga workshops to learn more about mindfulness meditation. If you like it, it could help you find inner peace.
Don't forget that you can also hire your own private yogi to help you gain a deeper understanding of the philosophy of yoga and the benefits of the yoga lifestyle.
Start with some gentle yoga (with a few sun salutations and how to breathe correctly) before you start moving on to some of the more challenging yoga and mindfulness meditation. Make sure you ease into it. It´s meant to be relaxing, after all!
If you want to learn more about yoga, you can read about some suggested yoga documentaries here.