September is National Yoga Month and now more than ever, instructors say we can benefit from the practice.
“We live in a really heightened state of stress all the time, go, go, go, go, go, do, do, do, do, do. We're never doing anything good enough. We're never doing it right. There's always, ‘Fix this, fix this, fix this.’ And that doesn't feel very good to me,” said Kyle Gagnon, co-creator of Yoga Lean.
If that resonates with you, yoga could be a good place to start releasing that stress.
Gagnon says yoga not only feels good while you're doing it, but you can also apply what you learn to everyday life.
“So, let's say we're out and about at the grocery store, and something stressful happens. And maybe we just breathe for a little bit. We come back to that place of centeredness. Then, we can move forward with a bit more clarity,” said Gagnon.
She says yoga is for everyone and you can do it pretty much anywhere.
Keep it simple with a couple of poses for beginners:
“So, child's pose can be done a couple of different ways, so taking your knees to the floor, bringing your bum over your heels, and you’re welcome to stick a cushion or blanket under here if it feels a little more comfortable. And then you just extend your arms forward and bring your head down. And I do like to suggest that your forehead lands on something,” said Gagnon.
“Another option is to take the legs wide, and this is a good way to get deep into the hips and the inner groin. And then when we move into this nice stretch, it really lengthens the muscles from the neck through the back of the body. So again, letting the forehead rest completely, settle the weight down towards the floor. And then as we rise up, we're going to come to a tabletop, bringing our knees closer. We're going to tuck our toes and then lift the knees up and send the bum back and find our downward-facing dog,” said Gagnon.
Gagnon added that yoga is not a shape, it's a feeling.