In addition to eating well, exercise is of the utmost importance when it comes to your health... and staying as healthy as you can is an important part of allergies and eczema. Your body is already fighting hard enough as it is.
Back around 2008-2009, I was going to the gym for a little over an hour 5 days a week. Between the elliptical and some light training on weight machines, I was in stellar shape.
Fast forward to current day when I am out of the house 12 hours a day for my full-time job (I'm a graphic designer). The extra hours are all because of my commute, but I'm not necessarily complaining. Sure, it sucks waking up at 5a.m. every morning, but I get two whole hours to blog every day just by taking the train. It ends up being a really productive day. Gold star!
And being uber productive is all great and dandy, but I found myself way too tired to workout when I got home (I have a couple pieces of equipment in my home office). After about a year, I knew I had to figure something out. Even 20 minutes a day can be a game changer depending what you do.
So that's what I started doing. 20 minutes a day.
And yoga was the perfect solution.
Think you don't have 20 minutes?
I began by setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier in the morning, shifted around my morning tasks to find another 15 minutes and BOOM - there was my 20 minutes for yoga every morning (plus time to unroll my mat, set up the video, etc).
After 8 weeks of doing yoga Monday through Friday, I feel a lot better. I'm no stranger to yoga, so I'm not surprised, but I'm really relieved to be where I am now. My core is tightening, my thighs are becoming more defined, my digestive tract is happier and it puts me in a great mental space to start my work day.
I've been addicted to this video from Becca Pati. It's cardio yoga, so you move a bit faster which gets your heart pumping - a perfect way to maximize your 20 minutes, Her video also focuses on the core (love core work), hips and butt.
Also, Becca is easily the coolest yoga teacher I've ever come across. She's down to earth, has a little edge and says things like "f*ck it" and "if you don't know what pose I'm talking about, who cares. Just do your thing." ZERO pressure.
She guides you through some great twists which is really important for people with stomach issues. Twists are what always help my digestion and with such a sensitive system... that's something I can use for sure.
Here are some other great benefits:
- Reduces stress
- Introduces you to meditation
- Calms your mind
- Tones & strengthens your muscles
- Increases flexibility
- Massages your organs
- Improves your posture
- Chanting (which isn't always part of yoga) can help open up your sinuses
- Improves lung function
- Releases tension in your joints
- Improves balance
- Lowers blood sugar
- Boosts your mood
- Regulates your adrenal glands
- Drains your lymph nodes
- Increases blood flow
- Helps prevent osteoporosis
- Relieves certain types of chronic pain
- Decreases heart disease
I mean seriously? SO MANY BENEFITS.
I firmly believe that if you have the ability, you should be doing yoga. Allergic to synthetic yoga mats? Buy a cotton one! I got mine at Gaiam, but it doesn't look like they carry it anymore. Love that company, by the way. I want to buy practically everything in their catalog.
Improve your practice by going to a class or two. You'll get the huge benefit of having a teacher there to correct your poses. There was some stuff I was doing wrong without even realizing it! I've also tried a hot yoga class and one where you hang from the wall and/or ceiling with straps. Pretty freakin fun.
Actually, here's a photo from when I tried it the one with straps! Notice I'm wearing white cotton gloves to prevent myself from touching any synthetics or nickel on the straps.
So... the moral of the story is yoga rocks and you CAN find a little time for it.
It's so worth it.
Start by challenging yourself for a week. You deserve it!
What's your favorite type of yoga? Or if you've never done yoga, which type do you think you'd like to try first?