During this coronavirus pandemic, many of us are trying to find ways to spend our indefinite amount of free time without stressing too much about the aspects of this situation that we can’t control; which is most of it. Apart from working remotely, it’s important that we all try to find ways to occupy our time and remain productive. If we get caught in the trap of gluing ourselves to the couch and watching season after season of reality TV, it’ll be much easier to get caught up in negative thoughts and stresses, so we need to think of better ways to stimulate our mind, body, and soul.
Doing yoga is one of the best things you can do for yourself during this pandemic. Yoga is a “super-workout” in the sense that it benefits your physical and mental health through its practices. It improves your physical health by promoting flexibility and proper blood flow throughout the entire body, while also focusing on the importance of breathing exercises and mindfulness as well.
Thanks to services like Zoom and YogaDownload, there are a ton of digital yoga class options that put you in front of a live instructor to guide you as you move from position-to-position. If you aren’t trying to spend a lot of money, YouTube and other free video streaming platforms offer a wide variety of instructional videos on yoga from any level of fitness.
As previously stated, one of the greatest physical benefits of yoga is how much it builds flexibility and balance. These are two essential qualities to any other form of working out as well, so when you are finally able to go back to the gym, you’ll have a greater grasp on proper techniques and stances that will best benefit you in your other workouts.
Beyond just flexibility and balance, yoga has been proven to improve heart health as well. Stress is one of the biggest contributors to any sort of heart health ailments that one could face, and yoga is one of the greatest cures to stress out there. It forces you to focus exclusively on your body and breathing. The breathing techniques that you’ll learn through yoga practices are important to take into your everyday life.
The breathing techniques in yoga are quite literally designed to center you both physically and mentally so that when you find yourself in times of stress or feeling overwhelmed, you can use the same breathing exercises you would in a yoga class to calm yourself back down.
Speaking of stress, our bodies release the hormone cortisol whenever we’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s known as the “stress hormone” because that’s the exact reaction we have whenever this hormone is released in our brains. Yoga has been scientifically proven to lower your levels of cortisol while you’re engaging in it, but also in the long run if you begin to practice yoga regularly.
The same way that yoga is able to reduce cortisol, it’s also been proven to reduce the hormonal reaction in our brains that we feel when we’re depressed or anxious. Again, it all goes back to the breathing techniques that yoga instills in you while you’re stretching your body into a multitude of positions. It’s one of those athletic techniques that you’ll always find useful and want to bring into your everyday life.
Now that we all are socially distancing and quarantining ourselves, there’s literally never been a better time to begin practicing yoga to reap it’s amazing long-term health benefits. Improve on your flexibility, balance, blood flow, stress levels and overall sense of feeling overwhelmed. We all could use some mindfulness at a time like this, so take some time to be with yourself and just breathe, we’ll make it through this.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.