The current state of society is probably best described as hurried, chaotic, and filled with constant distractions and noise. There’s little time for rest, relaxation, or even some quiet time. The net result – many of us are tired, exhausted, and worn down. And while it may seem, at least for many of us, like there’s never a break or a moment of quiet, yoga can help us temporarily escape the chaos, the frantic pace, the distractions, and all the noise of life.
Yoga by definition is the union of the mind, body, and spirit and its purpose is multi-faceted. Depending on the type of yoga you choose to practice you can enjoy benefits such as improved flexibility, muscle strengthening and toning, and balance, just to name a few. Helping you to still the body and mind is also a key benefit of numerous types of yoga. For the time you are in a yoga class, yoga helps you let go of the harried pace of life, momentarily releasing stress and tension so your body and mind can actually have a little time to relax.
There are many types of yoga and, as I just mentioned, some lend themselves to stilling the body and mind a bit more than others. Here’s a few of my personal favorites, that can help you achieve that silence and stillness that may be missing from your life:
Yin yoga – a very still practice that focuses on stretching the facia (connective tissue in the body). In this practice we stay in poses for 3-5 mins – it doesn’t get much more still and quiet than that!
Restorative yoga – while similar to Yin yoga in that we stay in poses longer, Restorative yoga is focused on relaxation. These classes often feel like a little pampering session in which we stay in the poses for about 7 minutes or so.
Meditation and breathing practice – stilling the body and mind with the help of breathwork and concentration on the breath has forever been a go to way to still the body and the mind. And whether this is part of a yoga class, or a special class unto itself, this option is always a great way to relax and let go of stress and tension in your life.
Slow Flow – a slower, gentler movement practice that aligns the breath with movement. Slow Flow is more active than the other types of yoga I have mentioned so far, so for those of you who like a little more movement, this might be a good choice.
Hatha – a slow, gentle movement practice where the breath is used to help you really feel into the pose and the breath as it moves through the body. While we don’t flow from one pose to another like you do in a Slow Flow class, Hatha is a nice option that combines moderate movement, with the quiet and stillness our bodies are craving.
Not enough can be said about the importance of taking time for yourself so you can reset. Doing so helps you deal with everything that comes at you every single day. Besides, you don’t just need it, you deserve it!
Begin to think about how can you incorporate a little yoga into your life. Can you fit just one class in a week? I bet you can… and if you allow yourself that time, you will not believe the benefits you will reap.
And so I leave you with that challenge… try to fit at least one yoga class into your schedule each week for the next month with the goal of being some calm, quiet, and stress relief into your life. After a month, pause to see how you feel. I am willing to bet you will feel amazing!
Bobbi Billman, Owner of Ignite Yoga & Wellness