The first lockdown hits, the initial buzz of staying in, and binge-watching Netflix is a dream come true.
A few weeks pass, after baking enough banana bread to give Mary Berry a run for her money and painting every inch of the house, the novelty began to wear off. The weekly trip to Lidl and the thought of wearing joggers again for the 20th day running is no longer as thrilling as it used to be. As the dreaded boredom slowly crept in, I decided that I needed to adopt a new hobby, one that did not involve scrolling on Tiktok to replicate the latest hack. I turned to faithful YouTube deciding it was about time to start exercising again. I tackled my way through countless tiresome abb challenges and HIIT workouts to then stumble across...Yoga.
Stubborn me thought Yoga was staring at a candle and forcing myself into unnatural pretzel-like poses no human should ever endure. Nevertheless, I persevered and attempted to shut out the shuddering flashbacks of school P.E class desperately trying not to laugh whilst assuming child's pose on the sticky hall floor.
All judgments aside, I hopped on to Amazon to buy their 'finest' £8 yoga mat available. Then I discovered the famous 'Yoga with Adriene'. This woman must be some crazy genius goddess. After completing her 30 days of Yoga I was flabbergasted. I was once the most inflexible person I know, now I could touch my toes for the first time in my life. The flexibility was a definite plus, yet the benefits I was experiencing mentally were tremendous. My mind felt peaceful, calmer, the flurry of chaotic thoughts, and Covid fears were beginning to disappear. I noticed I could sleep better, I felt happier and more present in the moment. As clique as this sounds, I just felt more alive, it was like someone plugged me into a power bank and I was experiencing this surge of energy.
For a complete beginner, this journey had its challenges, yet it proved so rewarding. Starting your journey, long YouTube routines may prove daunting, yet there are so many alternatives. Simply breathing, putting on some relaxing music, and doing some simple stretching is Yoga. There is no rulebook or strict guidelines, it is your journey so find what feels good and go with it.
As we persevere through the third lockdown, it is more important than ever to prioritize our mental health. Personally, whatever is troubling my mind will seem less daunting after doing a quick yoga video or meditating for a couple of minutes. So often we can live our life like a checklist going from one task to the other. Yoga can remind us to pause, reconnect and slow the never-ending train of thoughts. I am not saying Yoga is the big miraculous 'solution' to all life's problems, however in this challenging year, it provides a sense of peaceful escapism. Whether you are a complete beginner or an active Yogi, Yoga is for all.
No matter what size, gender, age, or ethnicity, anyone can connect with their body. So right now, be open-minded, pause, and reconnect with your body. At the end of the day, your mental wellbeing is your absolute priority.
I truly hope through this absolute waffle you will find a scrap of helpful information and learn to go it for it and not be afraid to try something new.
By Beth Worsley