Yoga is a global phenomenon today. In the U.S. alone, there are over 36 million Americans who practice Yoga regularly and a further 34% say they are likely to embrace the discipline in the next 12 months, according to the recent 2016 Yoga in America study. Going by the numbers, Yoga is on its way to surpassing golf, swimming, and running in terms of popularity! Across geographies and age groups, more people than ever are embracing Yoga and realizing its benefits in maintaining good mental and physical health and achieving stress relief.
After a chaotic day at work, while most of us would love to grab our happy hour time binge eating and drinking away to glory, an hour or even half of it spent practicing Yoga poses could actually be the best bet. Irrespective of your occupation – be it a corporate professional, business owner, researcher, or even a student, stress manages to find a way to creep into our lives. So if you are to conquer the stress monster and take it by its horns, here’s what you should be doing:
#1 Establish a yoga routine and stick to it – come what may
Once you establish that Yoga is your calling when it comes to stress relief, the next step is to do everything it takes to make it a part of your daily routine – signing up for a yoga class, working your schedule around to make time for it, joining a yoga support group, outsourcing excess work to an assistant, or whatever else. That way, no matter what’s going on in your professional or personal life, your yoga time will remain a dedicated one spent towards rejuvenating your energies.
#2 Assemble all you need to support your yoga routine
Be it buying yoga mats, downloading yoga videos that work for you, buying new workout gear, etc. – investing in your yoga routine will ensure you don’t opt out at the smallest excuse. Not to mention, having all the new stuff at your disposal will also make you happier and more motivated to get on with your exercise routine!
#3 Remember, it’s not about ‘you doing yoga’ – rather, it’s about ‘yoga doing you’
If you’ve been striving hard to achieve certain yoga poses and repeatedly failing, take expert advice – change your perspective and accept that not all bodies are created equal. Instead of toiling to achieve perfection in a particular asana, focus on how it makes you feel before and afterward – the way it helps your mind forget everything else and release stress and frustrations. And that will make you fall in love – not with the outcome, but with the journey that is yoga.
#4 Need variety? Yoga has lots of it!
With popularity, come trends and if emerging yoga trends are anything to go by, there’ll soon be a type of yoga for every type of personality! Some of the currently trending ones include:
> Roga: That’s run + yoga for the super active folks
> Laughter yoga: This new exercise form promotes the use of prolonged voluntary laughter to improve oxygen and blood flow in the body by leveraging yogic breathing techniques. It relieves stress, boosts brain power and activity, and is great for heart health.
> Doga: That’s yoga with your dog! All you pet lovers, this one is for you! Doga teachers say the USP of the practice is that it fosters harmony and energy synchronization between the owner and dog – making for deeper connect and a happy time for both!
So if yoga has been that one thing sitting on your bucket list and new year resolutions for years, now is the best time to get started on it – not to achieve that perfect body with six pack abs, but to keep yourself stress free and really, well, living life.