It’s a tough job. Many people want to do it, but few have the skills, stamina and strength to endure the criticism and rejection. Allie Cooper reached out to me, offering to write a guest blog. Since I’ve been focusing on the relaunch of my INNER CIRCLE, I entertained the idea of having a guest blogger. Perhaps I can be the next Gwyneth Paltrow and create a Goop-type on-line magazine. Surely I’m getting ahead of myself.
When I read Allie’s first attempt at a blog post that focused on exercise, it rejuvenated my interest in writing because it was what a first attempt at writing a blog would look like. Stock. Standard. I wanted more. I wanted real. I wanted it to sound like she was talking to a friend. I rewrote it, showing how to weave in more natural conversation. It was then that I realized I really love to write! Lately, if you’ve noticed, my Instagram posts have been more longer and more thoughtful. That’s because of Allie. She asked for a second chance. Never thinking she’d “get it” and understand how to talk to my audience, I assumed she’d just go away, but she made a second pass and emailed it. And waited.
A week passed and she emailed me again giving me a polite nudge to look at her blog.
This girl has stamina, I thought. So I read it….and loved it! And you will too. It’s exactly the type of writing I like to read. Conversational and educational.
So please, everyone, welcome Alessa Chase, read her wonderfully-written article below and share! We just might create that Goop-type site after all.
Many of us know yoga as a type of workout. However, our definition of it is usually only half right as it is also an exercise for the mind. Yoga, in all its different forms, is essentially a practice of bringing the mind and the body into union. It does not require a specific belief, body type, capability, gender, or age. If you can keep an open mind, anyone can benefit from doing yoga.
Yoga is best practiced in the morning when the stomach is empty. You will feel lighter, avoid gas, bloating and nausea. It also helps us to loosen up when you wake up feeling stiff. Starting the day with mobility exercises will help relieve the knots that may have developed or tightened overnight. Aside from the physical aspects, yoga is also widely practiced for its mental rewards. Doing breathing exercises for 10 minutes can already boost your motivation while deep breathing can warm your body and result in an increase in energy. Meditation is a great way to bring calmness and focus to the mind and prepare you for the day ahead.
What are these benefits?
As the moving practice of yoga is an important aspect of it, improving physical fitness is one of the major perks. Guided classes normally take around 60 minutes which is an hour more than what most people do for their daily activity. It can strengthen your entire body and improve overall flexibility. Unlike popular belief, flexibility is not a prerequisite to yoga; rather, it is something that you can build with consistent practice. As we age, it’s important to keep our joints and muscles pliable as limited range of motion can cause injuries down the road.
Vox adds that it also helps ease lower back pain according to some studies, which can become a chronic problem as we age. Aside from the nature of our daily routines (hunching over a computer or a steering wheel), our other activities can be a cause of lower back pain. If you’re starting to get into running, you probably feel that your back is equally sore as your legs. This portion of your spine, together with the abdominals, is what keeps you upright as you’re moving especially when your legs start to tire out.
Former Olympic runner Kelly Holmes mentions that a tight lower back can lead to dumping the weight on your legs. To counter this, she practices yoga as a way of releasing tension in her lumbar region. If there’s any advice that you should take regarding fitness and relieving body pain, it’s the British elite athlete’s. Coral reports that Holmes took two gold medals in the 2004 Olympics running middle distance events which cemented her as one of the all-time greats. As a retired athlete with a distinguished career, she knows more about keeping her body in good shape even as she entered her middle age. Dame Holmes practices yoga to release lower back strain as yoga can strengthen the core and back muscles to help keep the spine in place and, thus, improve posture.
What you will need:
Here on the Shemane Nugent blog, we previously talked about dedicating a few times a week to exercise and yoga is something that you can easily make time for. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t really require a lot of fancy equipment. Just a sticky mat, some comfortable clothes and a Youtube video to guide you into the poses, totally qualifies as yoga. If there is a studio nearby, you can also get passes to all kinds of classes.
Video credit: BrettLarkinYoga Youtube
To help you out, here is a short sequence from California-based teacher Brett Larkin that focuses on introducing balance and energy into your day. It’s a 15-minute routine that’s perfect for time-strapped practitioners. There’s really no excuse for skipping your daily moving practice now!
Written by Alessa Chase