“I want to start yoga tomorrow!” Who hasn’t thought or even said it without ever following it up with action?
As everything requires time, patience and perseverance, one might find yoga a chore. This discipline offers numerous advantages and does not necessarily have to involve a lot of time.
With just a single yoga position a day, you can achieve amazing results on both a psychological and physical level.
In this article we will take a closer look at the following aspects:
1. 10 Benefits of Yoga
2. What should you pay attention to when doing yoga?
3. Those who breathe well live better
4. 3 yoga exercises to combat stress
5. Yoga and CBD: a perfect combination?
10 Benefits of Yoga
In 2016, UNESCO declared yoga a world cultural heritage : for good reason. On the one hand, it has influenced “numerous areas of Indian culture, including education, art and medicine”. On the other hand, it promotes “the union of body, soul and spirit”.
This discipline undoubtedly has the potential to fundamentally improve the quality of life of those who practice it. This is especially true in difficult and stressful times.
Yoga is good for the mind , which is focused on breathing and balance : here and now. But also for the body , which becomes stronger and more elastic . Positions that seem unattainable at the beginning become part of a comfortable routine over time, which in turn increases self-confidence.
Below we have listed the ten most important benefits of yoga:
• Increases the ability to concentrate
• Strengthens the body
• Helps reduce stress
• Improves blood circulation
• Trains lung volume
• Strengthens self-confidence
• Can counteract anxiety disorders and panic attacks
• Promotes healthy sleep
• Prevents back pain
• Can counteract stress-related stomach problems and headaches
There are many different forms of this ancient technique. Hatha yoga is probably the best known and is particularly suitable for those who want to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Hatha yoga focuses on breathing exercises (pranayama) and body positions (asanas), which help to specifically reduce stress.
What should you keep in mind when doing yoga?
If you don't know much about it yet, the following tips might be helpful to you:
• Opt for comfortable clothes: freedom of movement is essential here
• Avoid eating just before practice
• Take it easy, especially at the beginning
• Be consistent: a new habit takes about two months to establish
• Try body awareness by performing the movements as slowly, consciously and precisely as possible.
• If a movement causes pain, stop the exercise
• In case of joint, bone or muscle problems, you should seek medical advice before starting yoga.
Another piece of advice: the right music can help you concentrate on yourself and your own body, especially at the beginning.
You should choose instrumental music: classical music is good, Indian sitar compositions are even better as they particularly promote relaxation and inner peace. A study published in 2021 , for example, shows that certain scales in Indian music have a relaxing and anti-anxiety effect.
Those who breathe well live better
Before you start the exercises, you should take a few minutes to breathe calmly.
Stress, tension and incorrect posture cause you to breathe too shallowly and therefore not take in enough oxygen. This in turn leads to fatigue, difficulty concentrating and irritability.
On the one hand , through yoga breathing you can deepen your body awareness and thus prepare yourself for the exercises. On the other hand, it helps you get into the habit of healthy breathing .
Here is a suggestion:
1. Lie on the mat and stretch your arms along your body.
2. Breathe in slowly: through your nose and into your stomach. Pull your arms behind your head.
3. Stay stretched out for about 5 seconds.
4. Exhale through your nose and move your arms back to the starting position.
Repeat 6-12 times.
3 yoga exercises to combat stress
1. The bound angle
This position is optimal for stretching the back and opening the hips, which helps release emotional tension.
1. Sit on the mat and bring the soles of your feet together. Keep your back straight.
2. Grab your feet and push them towards your pubic bone.
4. Release hips and knees and hold the position for 5-10 breaths.
5. Bend your upper body forward and extend your arms in the same direction. Hold the position for 10-20 breaths.
2. The downward dog
This classic yoga position is one of the so-called inversion postures, in which the head lies below the heart. This makes it easier to breathe out and therefore helps to lower your heart rate. You can think of it like this: As you breathe out, the stress slides down your back and arms and finally disappears into the floor.
1. Get on all fours.
2. Place both feet behind you and push your bottom up. Your back and arms should be stretched.
3. The heels should pull toward the floor, although they don't necessarily have to touch it.
4. Hold the position until you feel really comfortable.
3.Isometric neck exercise
This exercise is ideal for relaxing the neck and shoulders, parts of the body where tension tends to build up.
1. Sit on the mat and keep your back straight.
2. Breathe out and slowly tilt your head to the left.
3. Now place your right hand gently on your left ear without exerting pressure. Hold the position for 5-10 breaths.
4. Repeat the process with your left hand on your right ear.
5. Breathe out and let your head tilt forward. Place your palms on the back of your head. The same applies here: no pressure, just gravity. Hold the position for 5-10 breaths.
Yoga and CBD: a perfect combination?
“Perfect” may be a bit of an exaggeration in this context: CBD and yoga really go well together.
CBD is said to have anti-anxiety, relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties.
You can use it before yoga to increase concentration and relax the body to prepare for the exercises.
After yoga, it is optimal to prolong relaxation and promote muscle recovery .
If you are interested, we recommend Diesel CBD and Critical Mass CBD : two super relaxing cannabis strains. You could also try our Primero CBD hash . Not only is it fresh and fruity, but also deeply relaxing.