And if you’re not, maybe this post will encourage you to start. We don’t mean you have to turn into an avid Yogi, but you can incorporate the practice into your daily routine, or a few times a week to start. Sometimes we barely have time to eat or sleep with our careers as flight attendants, but we do incorporate stretching and yoga moves more often than not into our workouts. If you can carve out time to do a yoga session or take a class, go for it! You might even find you enjoy it more than you thought you would!
One of our favorites to watch and practice along with her videos is “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube. She has TONSSS of videos from stretching, yoga flows, and breath work. You can put on a 10 min video or a 45 min video. You can pretty much find whatever your body desires from stretching, strength, recovery or meditation on her channel. If you’re a beginner she has videos for that too or if you’re looking to create the habit of adding yoga into your routine, try her 30 day challenges to start.
If you think that yoga just isn’t for you, we’re going to give you 9 tips/benefits on why you should reconsider!
Improves Balance, Flexibility & Strength: in yoga balance comes from movement by focusing your attention on your breath and on your body’s alignment. The flexibility comes in from stretching and breathing into your muscles and strength comes from holding a pose. Think about being able to just reach a glass from a higher shelf with outstretched fingers to wrap around the glass or being able to carry a package. These are just minimal examples of flexibility and strength. Increasing strength and flexibility in your muscles directly relates to balance which is as simple as just standing or walking!
Improves Posture: speaking of balance, yoga is beneficial in improving posture. Many yoga poses focus on core strength. A strong core is key to maintaining your balance and helpful in preventing/reducing back pain. Adding in yoga postures like Cat Cow pose or Mountain Pose are two simple yoga poses that help with aligning your spine, correcting posture, and decreasing the tendency for rounded shoulders. Nobody wants to be a hunchback!
Reduces Back Pain or Joint Pain: It’s hard to think that a little stretching can help with your body’s aches and pains, but sometimes less is more. Yoga can be especially helpful to ease back and joint pain. Sometimes pain can be caused by misalignment or your muscles are way too tight. Yoga teaches you the proper alignment of your body to alleviate pain caused by misalignment and goes back to creating more flexibility in stretching out sore and tight areas. You can find “Yoga with Adriene” videos on YouTube specifically targeting these areas. Having loose hamstrings helps with lower back pain, or try Downward Facing Dog or Cobra Pose to help stretch and relieve lower back pain. Try Triangle Pose or Supported Bridge Pose to help with knee pain.
Increases Mobility: As we age our body loses flexibility and mobility due to factors like stress, not having as much of an active lifestyle, or we start to develop bad posture. You’ve already learned practicing yoga can help with correcting bad posture and increase flexibility, but what about mobility? Mobility is different from flexibility in that mobility refers to how a joint moves – think of a ball in a socket for your shoulder. Yoga helps to increase your range of motion and helps prevent knots and injuries to your muscles. In return, by working on mobility you can train your muscles to become more flexible. Think about the example from before – when you’re grabbing a glass from a high shelf. Having full range of mobility helps you to raise your arm over your head to get to the top shelf and being able to “flex” or stretch out your fingers helps to grab the glass.
Improves Athletic Performance: If you ever played a sport you know the importance of coordination and concentration is just as vital as physical strength and mental focus. Not only is yoga great for flexibility and balance, but it can help to enhance your athletic performance. Moving through a yoga flow helps with coordination and concentration of both the physical and mental state. It helps with improving core strength that is used in many activities such as running or biking. Concentrating on breath work helps to increase lung capacity and improve mental focus by matching your movements to your breath in sports like swimming. Yoga is also beneficial in an athlete’s recovery to stretch out sore or tight muscles after activity to prevent soreness or injury.
Stress Reliever: One of our favorite reasons we like doing yoga. It’s a stress reliever. It relaxes your body, reduces anxiety and calms your mind. You’ll never regret doing a yoga workout after a gym sesh, a run, or just in general. Yoga promotes relaxation. It’s a chance to reflect and just be in the moment. Yoga encourages mental and physical relaxation by focusing on breathing into your stretches and quieting your mind. The more awareness you bring to your breath, the less stress you place on your body. Often when we’re stressed we shorten are breath or our bodies tense up. One of the easiest things to do, is to just lie on your back or sit in a cross legged position and just close your eyes and listen to your breath. You’ll feel more relaxed even if you just do it for 5 mins!
Aids in Digestion: Bet you didn’t know that yoga can aid in digestion! Certain yoga poses can help massage your digestive organs and encourage healthy bowel movements. Yoga poses with a gentle twist like Seated Twist or Supine Spinal Twist help to expel waste and move food through your digestive track. Yoga also can aid in bloating, which hey, we’re all about as spending hours on an airplane/traveling can easily create a bloat baby. Try doing yoga poses like Child’s Pose or Wind Pose to help relieve bloating.
Workout: Don’t discount yoga as not being an effective workout. Yoga is a total mind-body workout. With combined strength training and flexible poses, yoga tones muscles all over your body where weight training exercises generally focus on training one group of muscles at a time. Yoga is a great way to begin an exercise routine if you don’t already have one, or start adding it into your routine. Like we stated before, you can add in poses as part of your stretching routine – which you should be doing before your workouts to warm up and after to relive sore muscles and prevent injury! There are hundreds of yoga poses for anyone to learn from beginners to advanced!
Self-Love: yoga is a form of self-love. Your body does so much for you in a daily basis, so why not give back to it? Yoga is a like the little TLC that your body needs/sometimes craves. Yoga allows you to experience a deeper connection with yourself and your thoughts from your heart. You start to gain better understanding of what your body needs and what you are feeling. It’s a form of self recognition to realize what benefits you and what no longer serves you (aka what causes your body and mind stress). You learn that you already have everything that you need within YOU and you learn to love YOU from the inside out rather than the superficial level on the outside.
What makes Yoga so great is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro or a complete newbie to the practice. And it’s a practice for both men and women! You can go at your own pace, and do whatever feels good for you! We hope we inspired you to start adding in yoga to your routine, or maybe to take a class! You might surprise yourself and end up really enjoying it. As you continue to practice you’ll be amazed just how strong your body truly is!
February 23, 2022