30 days of Stress Tips (day 22 - Yoga)
Posted on 23rd June 2020 at 09:55
Yoga and Tai Chi are brilliant exercises in themselves, but especially useful if you are stressed. Meditation often plays a part in most Yoga classes and although I am not a natural (I am probably the most unbendy person you will meet) I have always come out of a yoga class feeling renewed, refreshed and on top of the world. It is important to find a class which is suitable for your experience and fitness level. I did one class where everyone was quite advanced and the teacher wasn't particularly accomodating for beginners and I came out feeling more stressed than when I went in! However, most yoga teachers will help you and give you easier exercises if, like me, you struggle to bend and be flexible. The yoga that I've tried has been with slow, measured movements, concentrating on the poses and the breathing that accompanies them. It is very difficult to think of your problems outside the class when you are concentrating on not falling over! In these times of Covid a lot of classes are being held online, which means that it is even easier to give it a go and you don't have to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of the other poeple in the class.
Tai Chi is also a great exercise to have a go at. Very slow and measured movements are definitely the thing here. I have great memories of a holiday in China where our guide got us all to have a go in a square in the middle of Xian! The interesting thing is that in China you see people practicing Tai Chi in the parks and on the streets all the time - many of them are very elderly. Although based on an ancient form of self defence, all the movements and forms flow smoothly into an almost dance like pattern. You get into the flow, being totally focussed on the positions and the movements between them. Like yoga, it is very difficult to think about all the stresses and challenges in your life when you are practicing Tai Chi, so a really good exercise to try. Again, with Covid limiting our ability to join classes in the real world, there will be plenty of classes online that you can try. So, give Yoga or Tai Chi a go and experience a sense of well being and inner calmness as you do so.
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