I find that when I'm feeling particularly stressed, yoga is one of things that helps me the most. Exercise has been proven to help with stress and lift your mood, and it I find that it honestly does. I always feel so much better after a quick yoga session!
Apart from a single class I went to with my dad on a Sunday morning once maybe a year ago, I haven't actually done any yoga classes since I was about seven. But that's the great thing about yoga: you don't need to know anything and you don't need any fancy equipment. You just need yourself, and a nice quiet space.
I don't know a lot about it, and I'm definitely not a professional, but I thought I'd just share what helps me when I'm particularly stressed. I think doing maybe ten minutes of this a night before bed during exam season would help so many people, it helps me a lot.
This exercise is a kind of yoga called Ashtanga Vinyassa, which is a modern day form of classical Indian yoga. I think this is quite a nice thing to do at the start and end of a yoga session, as it's quite relaxing, and helps to regulate your breathing.
Start by standing up straight, and focus on your breathing. Breathing should be slow, deep, and even. You'll want to hold each pose for about five breaths. For the second pose, lift your arms up towards the sky, and hold for another five breaths.
For the third pose, fold yourself in half as much as you can manage, and wrap your arms around the back of your legs. My back isn't that flexible so it's pretty curved and I'm not down very far, but like I like I said, I just do yoga as a way to relax, I'm not trying to be perfect at it. Hold for five breaths.
The next pose, is what I like to call 'the hovering plank'. It has an actual name, I'm not entirely sure what, but hovering plank seems like a good name. Again, do five slow, deep breaths in this pose. Then, arch your back and straighten your arms so that you look and feel like a seal.
And then comes the downwards dog! One of my personal favourites. It's like a big upside down 'V'. I think Ashtanga yoga has another name for this, but we always used to call this the downwards dog.
After you do the downward dog, you do the first three again, starting with the bending in half, then arms to the sky, and then ending with standing up straight. Remember to do slow, even breaths; five for each pose.
I remember this being one of my favourite poses when I was younger. I'm pretty sure it's called tree pose. I find this quite relaxing and mind-soothing, and I often just stand like this in my room for a minute or two in between doing things.
I also find these two very relaxing; cat pose. I like to do a few deep breaths in one pose, and then I move on to the other, and I just go back and forwards between the two poses for a while.
I won't lie, I have no clue if this is a yoga pose or not! I still quite like doing this when I'm doing yoga though, and I find it quite fun and it's also a good stretch. I'm hoping that I'll one day be able to get my back leg straight up behind me!
This is a slightly easier version of the other one if you struggle to balance or can't get your leg quite up.
Of course, you'll need comfortable clothing when doing yoga! Mix Apparel has such a good sports clothing range, including this cute two piece set. They are very comfortable to wear, and have a good range of movement, perfect for yoga!
I definitely recommend checking out Mix's active wear section, the clothing is incredibly good quality and it's also super affordable!
Also, how cute is the beach towel? It's only ten dollars and there's two colour choices, this blue white and red combo, and then a blue and white one as well.
Have you ever tried yoga before? What are some of your favourite poses? Let me know in the comments! So much love,
The clothing in this post was gifted to me by Mix Apparel, however all opinions are my own.