Having read numerous articles about the benefits of yoga: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, improved energy levels, balanced metabolism, weight loss etc, I couldn’t see any reason not to give it a go. I believed in all these fantastic benefits, but it wasn’t until I’d been practicing for a good few weeks that I truly realised how life changing yoga can be. That may sound a little over the top, but it really is true. The mixture of physical exercise, concentrated breathing (pranayama) and relaxation, work in perfect unison to cleanse the mind of all the stresses the week may have brought and cast aside any anxieties about the week ahead.
I have been practising Ashtanga yoga for a few months now and am already noticing the changes to both my body and my mind. This particular style of yoga consists of a sequence of poses and postures and remains the same during each session, this allows you to see exactly how your body is progressing, whether that’s how far you are able to fold or simply finding your balance. The aim is to learn the sequence in full, so it comes as second-nature, this also keeps you focused on your own practice rather than looking around the room to see what other people are doing.
I attend a class every Saturday morning and have found it to be the most wonderful way to detox my mind of all the worry I’ve accumulated during the week. The concentration required for breathing, balancing and stretching doesn’t leave much room for stress or anxiety, making it the perfect release.
It’s important to wear something you feel comfortable in and will complement the various shapes and postures. BAM’s new seamfree set is a yoga must-have, it’s super comfortable and the colour is beautiful. The fabric is lighter than the enduro leggings so it’s particularly good for fast-paced yoga styles where you will be working up a sweat.
I often pair up BAM’s deep waistband leggings with a crop top and add the back-detail yoga top when I want to cover up. I love the yoga top as the banded hem pulls in at the bottom…vital if you want to avoid flashing at your fellow yogis! The leggings are ideal for yoga as they don’t go see-through when you bend over unlike some other alternatives. The bamboo fabric regulates your body temperature to keep you cool during practice then nice and snug when resting at the end of a session, perfect for Shavasana, the state of relaxation and meditation which often takes place at the end of a class.
I usually have a pair of BAM socks on hand to pop on before taking the final posture for a bit of added comfort.
For those who don’t have the time or perhaps wouldn’t feel comfortable attending a group session there are some fantastic online tutorials, all you need is a yoga mat, somewhere quiet and your BAM essentials. So, if you’re looking for a way to unwind then give yoga a go…you won’t regret it.