Sunday, 28 December 2014

A New Hobby!

Hey guys! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and spent lovely time with your loved ones, got fantastic presents and ate like a king! I had a wonderful Christmas. :) Today, I come at you with a sort of lifestyle post, on a new hobby of mine. :)

In the middle of the Summer, I took up Yoga as a new hobby! I didn't join a Yoga class. Quite frankly, I wanted to do Yoga on my own terms and to be honest, I can't afford a tenner a class, and I don't live in town. So I am teaching myself Yoga through YouTube videos- I love Simply Yoga, a free app on my iPod which has thought me the basics and Yoga With Adriene, who has so many different Yoga sessions for loads of different purposes, I love her. Taking up a new hobby doesn't have to mean money or classes, if you are resourceful- you can teach yourself anything! 
I do Yoga when the mood strikes me, I didn't want to incorporate Yoga as part of the daily routine, as it could become monotonous or boring to me. I find it's much better to practise Yoga when the mood strikes and you can get into the proper mindset. My favourite way to practise Yoga was around 9 or 10pm, outside, under the stars burning Sage because it really puts me in a peaceful and aware mood, but now that it's Winter and the degrees have dropped, I just practise in my sitting room.
There is so much into Yoga, with a rich history going as far back as the 5th or the 6th century. There is so many types, branches and philosophies of Yoga that I couldn't explain it all in this post! Yoga is a mental, spiritual and physical discipline that aims to transform the mind, body and soul. Initially mainly practised by Buddhists and Hindus, it has gained popularity in the western world in recent times. Yoga has been effective and proven to alleviate health problems and in physical rehabilitation, so it can be considered alternative treatment. I decided to take up Yoga for a few reasons: I have been having horrible muscle aches, especially this year, in my neck, shoulders and back. I've had trouble sleeping and overall, I wanted to find some sense of inner peace and happiness, I needed to de stress. Also, I wanted to improve my flexibility. I have found Yoga has helped in all of theses areas! I feel more at peace, less prone to stress, the pains in my neck have reduced, and I can preform a toe touch without bending my knees or it hurting!

Don't approach Yoga as a means to lose weight, you simply won't, and you might find Yoga a waste of your time, when Yoga does so much more for you. Weight loss is not what Yoga is about! However, it does greatly help improve your balance, focus, strength and flexibility. It also helps tone the body and condition it.
Some basic poses:

Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)- A salute to the Sun. The perfect way to loosen up and start a Yoga session.

Tree Pose: (Vrksasana)- The Tree pose is simple. Slide one leg up the side of the other, while bringing the arms to prayer position. Switch from one to the other. This improves focus and balance.

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)- A strong standing position. This is the pose that you start and return to for all standing poses. 

Staff Pose (Dandasana)- A position to start and return to for all seated poses. It should be done with every muscle in the leg pressed into the floor, open chest and toes spread open.

Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasna)- A powerful standing pose that makes me feel about 10 feet tall. Stand with your legs wide apart and turn your right foot at 90 degrees and your left foot out at 15 degrees and put your arms out to the sides. Gaze over your shoulder and lunge into this position. Switch. This tones your arms and brings strength to the legs. 

Boat Pose (Navasana)- Starting in Staff Pose, slightly lean back and lift your legs up so you're balancing on yo' booty. Pull your abs in. This pose tones the abs and lower back. 

Child's Pose (Balasana)- Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you, draw the shoulders back and rest your forehead to the floor. Breathe deeply. It's a really relaxing pose.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)- A pose that finishes up a Yoga session. Savasana is so relaxing and clears the mind I use this to fall asleep too. You simply lie with your arms and legs out, eyes close, concentrating on your breathing. You can stay here as long as you like.

I love practising Yoga so much! I can't wait to move on to the more complicated poses and become a pretzel- that's the dream! If you're considering taking up Yoga- just go for it! You don't need classes, there's no fitness level needed and it will do you the world of good! Don't think, do.
I hope this post didn't go on too long, but I felt like sharing my new love. :)
Do you practise Yoga? Are you considering it taking it up? Let me know below!
Thank you all for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

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