If you’re one of many of us who’ve resolved to get fit this new year (who hasn’t?) then you might be wondering where to even start. Lots of us will have simply reactivated their gym membership or started out with a new one. But is that sustainable in the real world? I know that for me, gym-going can end up a fad that I soon forget. That’s why if I’m going to get serious about my fitness this year, I want to find a sustainable way of adding it into my life. So in this post, I’m looking at why you should start your new year’s fitness plan with yoga.
Yoga is known as the ancient art of using your concentration to attune your body and mind. Your soul too, but that’s a bit deep for what I’m talking about here. Anyone can get started with yoga, and you don’t need any special equipment or clothing to give it a try. However, I’ve included some affiliate links to some fitness wear that I think looks suitable for yoga in this post.
I’ve dabbled a bit with yoga here and there in the past, but never really taken it to a serious level. However, I can definitely agree that there’s a strong connection between mental fortitude and physical wellbeing.
After the chaotic end of the previous year, and all the festivities that go along with it, reconnecting with your sense of concentration is key. Instead of trying to smash out a new lifestyle in the gym, incorporate yoga into your lifestyle. This is the most important thing about any new year fitness plan; it needs to become part of your lifestyle if it’s ever going to work long term.
Starting smaller with something like yoga could make a big difference. It’s a manageable discipline and is something you can do at home, outdoors…anywhere really!
Yoga is all about the connection between your mind and body, but it’s an extremely powerful tool for fitness too. One of my new year’s resolutions is to improve my concentration by taking care of my body and mind. Being perpetually tired has its physical drawbacks, and over the last few years, I’ve really noticed my short-term memory and concentration starting to slip.
I can’t have that, I’m only in my thirties. So, in an effort to repair my tired brain, I’m starting my new year’s fitness plan with yoga. Concentration and focus can help achieve a sense of balance, but there needs to be a physical element to things for me as well.
The great thing about starting with yoga is that anyone can do it at home, all you really need is a mat and a space to work in. Don’t worry about getting it right, to begin with. Start slowly and you’ll notice a big improvement fairly rapidly.
Top resources for beginners
I’ve put together a collection of my go-to yoga workout videos that you can use here. Hopefully, there’ll be something you can get started with fairly quickly. The key things to remember are not to push yourself too far too soon; yoga is about balancing your body and mind, so be comfortable while working.
Set yourself a target that’s achievable. This could be to do your morning yoga routine for 20 minutes before you start your day, or for 20 minutes before winding down for bed. You could even plot it in for some time on your lunch break – it’s finding out what works for you. The key is to stick with it. Make a note to do it once or twice a week, to begin with. You can always work up to daily sessions later.
Make sure you won’t get distracted. Concentration is vital, as is a sense of alone time. Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself to practice!
Yoga workout videos
This is a nice and simple beginner’s stretching routine for anyone who wants to start with the basics. I like the slow and controlled pace used here as well, so it’s easy to follow along with.
This video is a bit longer and works through a full 30-minute beginner’s yoga routine. The instructor on this one has a nice, controlled manner as well, so you can follow along with the steps fairly easily without getting lost.
Ok, so this isn’t technically yoga, but it’s a really useful video for anyone who thinks they’re too stiff to try yoga at all! Flexibility is really important, especially for adults. Stretching every day has massive benefits for the strength and longevity of weakening muscles and joints. Most importantly, stretching and improving your flexibility in your thirties can actually minimise the loss of motion in your muscles, improve circulation and improve the quality of your physical life. Range of motion can be dramatically improved with as little as 2-3 stretches a week. After 4 weeks you should see a big difference, so give this a go!
I like this video primarily because it’s so realistic and is very easy to get started with as a beginner. It’s definitely worth watching through first before trying to follow along with the movements. Personally I find the music a bit offputting, but that’s probably because I’m inclined to get sleepy with sounds like that!
This video is a good starting point for connecting the aspects of mind and body and has a focus on setting your intentions for the day and incorporating them into a routine. It is a little faster moving and is another one I’d recommend watching fully before attempting.
Yoga activewear and fitness equipment to get you started
Although you don’t really need any specific clothing to do yoga in, there are some types of activewear that are more suitable than others! You’ll need a good quality sports or fitness bra, for obvious reasons! Although yoga isn’t as high-impact as a sport as rugby, your chest still needs that support when doing any kind of stretching or exercise.
Another thing worth investing in if you’re going to get started with yoga is a good quality pair of leggings. Yoga is all about flexibility and balance, and you need to ensure your legwear isn’t going to trip you up! I quite like long-leg shorts because they’re a bit less revealing but still allow your legs to breathe, but they’re not to everyone’s tastes.
If holding the poses in shorts isn’t quite for you, then try sports leggings that fit to a 3/4 length. You can also get special leggings that will compress your muscles a bit more as you’re stretching. They’re usually a bit more expensive, but this compression can help prevent injuries, so it’s useful for those just starting out.
Why you should start your New Year’s fitness plan with yoga
There are many ways to start your new year’s fitness journey, but I think that a simple daily 10-minute focus on yoga could make the world of difference in the long run. Remember, you’re never too old to start something new, and if you start with something achievable, it’s more likely to become a habit than a fad.
Exercise is definitely a mindset, and with yoga, you can be sure that you’re taking care of both your brain as well as your body. Why not give it a try this morning?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you ever tried yoga before? Maybe you’re a seasoned expert with some tips for those just starting out! I’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to drop them below, or catch up with me over on Twitter, and let me know how it’s going if you decide to start doing yoga!