Given the positive comments regarding my post about living longer, it seems my readers are more willing to make healthy lifestyle changes than I’d expected. (Kudos to you!) A few nights ago I caught my dad trying a “yoga at your desk” video I’d sent him and he actually seemed to enjoy it – hopefully it’s something he’ll keep doing until he feels some relief in his upper torso as well as in his mind. But he never would have searched for exercise videos to follow along with; people are much more likely to try these things when they don’t have to spend time searching for what they want. That’s why I’ve come up with this seven-day challenge, which is to complete at least 10 minutes of yoga per day. If you’ve never tried yoga before, don’t worry! Usually, when people hear “yoga”, they conjure up images of strong, skinny, flexible people twisting their bodies into mind-boggling positions. While many yoga teachers fit this description perfectly, you’d be surprised at how many people you know practice it. They may not be skinny and they may not eat and drink and live organically, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t reaping the many mental and physical benefits of yoga. Also, fancy workout equipment isn’t required – a simple yoga mat, a firm bed, or the floor all work equally well. (If you have certain restrictions that prevent you from practicing yoga on the floor, follow this routine twice a day at your desk: http://youtu.be/vLPfP1oRJFM.)
Starting off at 10 minutes per day is a great way to ease your body into the practice. You might get frustrated that you can’t bend a certain way or reach your toes, but if you do the same moves each day your body will eventually do what you want it to. I’ve listed several instructional videos below, some beginner and some intermediate, so that we can follow along with a proper yoga teacher. I suggest sticking with one video for the week and deepening and intensifying the poses each day. A couple of the videos are 20 minutes long, so feel free to either stop at the 10-minute mark or continue through the whole routine. On day one, before choosing your video, take note of how your mind and body feel. Are you stressed out? Anxious? Easily aggravated by the little things? Is there tension in your neck, shoulders and back? Ask yourself these same questions after seven days of yoga and you should be able to say “no” to each one! Because whether you choose to do this challenge for peace of mind, weight loss, or flexibility, you’ll achieve all three simultaneously. That’s the power of yoga, my friends…it’s truly wonderful for our well-being.
Beginner yoga for weight loss: http://youtu.be/GnHTeHAZQhM
Intermediate yoga for weight loss: http://youtu.be/5pnOoxwi9aE
Beginner yoga for relaxation: http://youtu.be/0o0kNeOyH98
Intermediate yoga for relaxation: http://youtu.be/cgaYOh1c4wo