Since deciding that I was definitely into the whole self-improvement movement, yoga has become an important part of my weekly routine. I never realised quite how needy the human body can be – turns out mine responds well when I tune in and ask it what the heck it wants. Yoga is more about reflection for me than for mastering specific shapes, but I am embarrassingly pleased with myself for managing a back-bend recently after months of practice! I was absolutely rubbish at it to start with. “Okay google, how long until my Downward Dog looks more like a V and less like a drunk platypus?”
We all love to hit the mat once in a while to stretch out life’s imbalances, but what exactly are the benefits of our commitment to finding that everyday release? I asked Lucy Wakefield, yogi expert and founder of holistic lifestyle company Calmia, for an insight into the positive effects of this soothing practice. After trying out their brand new TPE eco-friendly yoga mat, I’m even more committed to my daily practice and totally in awe of Calmia’s desire to help us all take control of our own wellbeing.
1) “Practising on a daily basis is one of the best ways to tune into your mind and body – checking into how you are feeling and how your body is performing. You will notice how imbalances and stress in your mind can manifest in your body and vice versa and you will become much more in tune with yourself and what you need to do and what poses you need to practice to improve your health.”
2) “Consistency really pays off and you will develop the strength and flexibility required to advance in poses much more quickly if you practice every day.”
3) “Yoga doesn’t judge, yoga is not competition – however, it will reward you. All yoga requires is that you show up. Just roll out your mat, do your practice and enjoy the benefits. My favourite yoga quote of all time is from Pattabhi Jois, “Practice and all is coming.”
4) “The benefits of daily yoga are a wish-list of health, wellness and happiness – reduced stress, tension and anxiety; increased feelings of peacefulness, calmness and relaxation; improved sleep, digestion and metabolism; strengthened immune system.”
5) “When you workout intensely in the gym, or train hard say for a 10k, you need ‘rest days’ but a well planned yoga class or home-session has in-built rest – for example, downward-dog pose is the rest component of each sun salutation, child’s pose, savasana, seated poses all offer restorative rest – so you don’t need to take days off. ”
“If caring for the planet and treading gently through life is important to you it makes sense to choose a mat that is eco-friendly. Eco-friendly mats are made with materials that are less harmful to the planet and so you can practice with greater peace of mind. One of the central beliefs of serious yogis, is the principle of ahimsa, or non-violence, and you can apply this to most aspects of your life – including what buying choices you make. If eco-friendliness is important to you choose 6Pfree PVC, eco-friendly TPE, natural or recycled rubber.”
Big thanks to Lucy for taking the time to answer these questions. If you’d like to sign up to be the first to know when Calmia’s brand new website launches (and be entered into a prize draw to win a free yoga starter kit) then click here.