Why You Need To Get Yoga In Your Life!
This week we chatted with one of my beautiful WBK ambassadors, Emily, about her love for yoga, how she fits it into her WBK workout schedule, why she recommends it to others and the best way to get started.
What inspired you to try yoga?
Throughout my entire high school life, I was always a dancer. I danced five days a week for around six years. One of my favorite things about dancing was before every session we would spend 20 minutes warming up, stretching and clearing our minds. I always treated this as my way of relaxing and preparing a positive mindset for the rest of the day. Since finishing school, starting university and picking up a full-time job at 18 years old, I never set aside time during the day to really do that anymore. So I started training harder at the gym which allowed me to vent my frustrations from the day, but I still wasn’t making time for myself to relax and stretch. It wasn’t until a friend of mine introduced me to yoga that I fell in love with it. Yoga forced me to set aside 15-20 minutes a day to properly relax and STRETCH.
The thing I love about yoga is that for those 20 minutes it takes your mind out of your thoughts and forces you to concentrate on the poses and really get in touch with your body, ultimately improving your mind-body awareness. I started to become really aware of how my body was feeling physically and I noticed that I was feeling a lot happier after every session!!
How Long Have You Been Practicing Yoga?
I’ve been interested in the benefits of yoga and how it can help you achieve a positive state of mind for a few years now. However, I have only been practicing it for about a year and a half.
How does it complement your WBK workouts?
I feel like yoga and WBK workouts go hand in hand. The combination of weight training and HIIT workouts, that WBK is based upon, are complemented perfectly by yoga. After a heavy weight session, I always allow myself 15-20 minutes for deep stretching, which reduces lactic acid build up in my muscles. This is a good practice to prevent you from being tight and sore the next day!
Yoga focuses on strengthening muscles, increasing flexibility and improving mind-body awareness. These three components are essential to improving your workout.
Strengthening your muscles will help you to lift more.
Increasing flexibility will improve your movement range, when performing exercises. Improved mind-body awareness will help to engage your mind-muscle connection which activates the correct muscle groups during an exercise.
What does yoga do for your mind/body that weights or cardio does not?
Working out is great because I use it as my channel to vent any frustrations or stress I may have. However, I use yoga to keep in touch with my sense of self. I find yoga is great for improving your mental health and keeping a positive state of mind. I personally do not suffer from anxiety however I am very susceptible to stress, focusing on my breathing really helps me to relax and think clearly. If I’m becoming overloaded with stress from work or uni, the calmness, relaxation and fluidity of yoga reduces this stress, and I feel so much happier after!! For my body, yoga is fantastic as it makes me work on controlling my flexibility. I am already quite flexible from dancing however I always struggle to hold a position for longer than 20 seconds. So holding a yoga pose for 1-2 minutes has taught me to control my flexibility better! Your practice - do you attend classes, follow an online program, or reads books, etc? Mostly I practice yoga in my own time or use the WBK yoga workout. I attend classes at the gym sometimes, however, I do prefer to practice yoga in my own space. The WBK yoga workout is honestly one of the best I’ve come across. I find it challenging because it forces me to control my flexibility rather than only holding a position for a couple of seconds.
Between life, work, and being a WBK ambassador, you must be busy! What are some tips for balancing it all and how has your life changed since including yoga in your weekly practices?
It does get hard at times for sure!! But my main tip would be to be organized and stick to your grind. It’s all about finding a routine that’s right for you and sticking to it. For me I like to train at night after work, so to make sure I go, I always take my gym gear with me and go straight to the gym. This also comes into consideration with my diet. I will always cook double the serving size for my dinner so I will have enough food for my lunch the next day. Also, I always give myself time to have breakfast in the morning. Without breakfast, I don’t have the energy to function throughout the day.
Another tip I would have is always find time to take care of your mental health, whether this is hanging out with friends, going to the gym, meditating or just doing something for you. Yoga over the past year has helped me to find balance in my lifestyle again. I can be so busy sometimes that I forget to slow down and relax. It’s different for everyone but if you want permanent change in your life, you must find what works for you.
Develop a lifestyle that is maintainable for you, allowing you to grow mentally and physically. If you think that you too could benefit from including into your everyday routine, or even just once or twice a week, my programs guide you through fundamental yoga poses so you can practice anytime, anywhere. All it takes is just spending a few minutes stretches and practicing your poses for a few minutes each day. Here are some easy ways to fit yoga into your day: