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Why We Should All Start Yoga
April 27, 2016
Nude yoga, yoga raves, aerial yoga, paddleboard yoga,
Doga (yes, that’s yoga with your pooch) – you name it, it’s a type of yoga.
Aside from the fact that it’s quite fashionable, there are loads of reasons why yoga is a great workout option. It builds core strength, increases balance, flexibility, and muscle tone. It’s also been known to lower stress levels and increase positivity.
One of the massive bonuses of yoga is that you can pretty much do it anywhere. All you need is a mat (or soft surface), a beginners video on YouTube, and 15 minutes.
We asked our personal trainer pal, Lucy Denver
all about the benefits of yoga, especially for new mums and dads.
Q: Why do you think yoga is a really good option for those who have recently had a baby?
A: Yoga is such a great exercise for post-natal women: it’s the perfect blend of strength, hard work, and relaxation. Pregnancy really puts your body through the mill, so it’s important to start building up your core strength gently and relieve tension from overworked and tired muscles. Yoga is also great for posture – which is something I hammer all my clients on! – and will help keep your spine in alignment despite our tendency to hold babies on one hip, keeping back pain at bay.
Q: We also hear that yoga can be good if you’re feeling stressed, why is that?
A: Because yoga concentrates so much on breathing and mindfulness, it is a wonderful stress reliever. Yoga encourages a connection between your mind, body, the earth, and the moment you’re in – it doesn’t leave space for worrying so it’s great for tuning out day-to-day annoyances and giving new mums a genuine opportunity to relax.
Q: We’re all about equality at The Inside Edit, why is yoga a fab workout for dads, or men in general, too?
A: I really rate yoga and use a number of poses in all of my personal training sessions to cool down after an intense Fit Mission. A lot of my male clients have a background in sports such as rugby, which can result in a real lack of mobility around the hips and shoulders. Yoga is a brilliant way to gently work on mobility and range of motion, If you lift weights, run, do anything involving gymnastic movements like pull ups, handstand push ups or plyometrics, yoga can make a real difference to your performance. My male clients have seen a real improvement in their squats and Olympic lifts since incorporating yoga into their training.
Q: Do you have any advice for those who want to start yoga, but are a bit intimidated by the thought of headstands and the like?
A: Yoga is one of the most scalable forms of exercise I know, so don’t be put off by those crazy balancing poses you see on Instagram! Join a beginner’s class, make sure your instructor knows beforehand if you are pregnant or post-natal (this is crucial: there are some poses you shouldn’t do if you are) and take it steady. Your skills will grow as you practice and gain confidence, so maybe one day you will be trying one of those headstands after all!
Q: Are there any good classes or studios that you can recommend for first-time yogis?
A: I live outside London and the best yoga instructor I know is Wendy at Wild Yogi (www.wildyogi.com) based in the beautiful Peak District. She’s qualified in ante-natal and baby yoga so is the perfect fit for expecting or new mums. If you can’t hide away in the Peaks for a few days, try Tara Stiles, founder of Strala
As well as being a PT, Lucy also dabbles in writing, and sportswear modelling. Most recently she has founded Fit Missions, which specialises in online training and nutrition packages, fitness brand consultancy, product trials and reviews, and a whole lot more besides! To find out more visit FitMissions.com, or check out Lucy’s Twitter and Instagram: @denvertronix
It’s great for stay at home mums and dads, but if you’d rather venture to a class than go DIY, there are loads of classes for beginners across the country. There are even classes that bring your kids into the mix too. Why not give yoga with your baby or toddler a go? According to TriYoga, yoga can increase co-ordination, self-esteem, and confidence in children, too!
What do you think? Are you a yogi? Tweet us @THEINSIDEEDIT