Why Moving Your Body Is So Important (And How Yoga Can Help)

If lockdown taught us anything last year, it was that by not being able to move our bodies the way we were used to, the effects could be felt right away. When I say this, I’m not only talking about the physical effects of being more sedentary than usual. From a mental health perspective, spending too much time without adequate movement also got many of us stuck in a negative mindset, especially with all the uncertainties that came with the start of a global pandemic. The good news is that moving your body helps with maintaining good physical and mental health. Yoga can be very useful if you want to get your body moving, as it can make it a little easier to get started on a more active routine, especially if you’re doing so for the first time.

Three Common Contributors To Poor Health

Stress, overworking and eating an unhealthy diet are three of the most common contributors to poor health. These can all create tension and inflammation in the body, both of which can lead to chronic aches, unwanted tightness, as well as a myriad of other health concerns that will be echoed by your GP. Most people try to alleviate these unwanted symptoms by overconsuming alcohol and sugar. If you’ve ever done this, you’ll know that it might offer a short-term reprieve, but in the long run it only adds to the problem. This is where positive coping mechanisms are more useful. Regular movement is one of the mechanisms that can make a world of difference when you start to feel this pinch.

What Movement Does For the Body

I’m a big fan of prioritising movement every day, especially as exercise is a great way to release tension and alleviate the symptoms associated with stress and overworking. Thanks to a consistent hit of endorphins when you break a sweat, you will not only feel better physically, but it will also pave the way for you to make healthy choices more easily. Ever craved a slab of chocolate after a run? Not many people do. Movement can help encourage sticking to a healthy eating routine, which in turn gives you more energy to tackle your day, and contributes to a greater sense of good health and wellbeing in the long run.

Developing a Regular Exercise Routine

When it comes to making movement a part of your daily routine, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Our bodies are all unique, and finding ways to get moving that suit your body type and overall lifestyle is a good place to start. Once you’ve built in small, achievable goals, and gotten in a habit of getting active a little more regularly, you’ll soon notice your energy levels improving, a change of attitude and overall mindset, and perhaps even notice a few welcome changes in your body too. The key is to listen to your body, discover and respect your limits, and learn as much as you can about what works for you as you go along.

Getting Moving With Yoga

Similarly to food, yoga is a type of nourishment that feeds your body in different ways. It can be an easy way to start to build activity into your routine, so try to start by adding it to the list of activities that will help make getting going a little easier. If you’re feeling a bit unfocused and frail, try a strength orientated yoga style like Ashtanga or Vinyasa flow. When you’re tight and tense, a more gentle style (like Yin or Restorative yoga) could help to increase lightness and flexibility. If you’re not quite sure where to start, a beginners class is always a good idea.

By showing up to the mat, and committing to making movement a priority in your weekly routine, you’ll start to reap the mental and physical benefits in no time at all. The rest will begin to unfold from there. If you need any help along your pathway to joy, get in touch and I’ll talk to you about a few other tools that might be able to make the journey a little easier.