The following post contains sponsored content.
For months (years?) now I’ve been threatening to start practicing yoga, but I’ve never actually gotten around to it. The truth is, even though I know the numerous benefits of yoga practice, I find it hard to force myself to slow down and start something new. Between my own training, working at the gym, working with clients, and writing, I seem to want to focus all of my energy on doing what I do best: running hard and lifting heavy. Unless a time of the day has specifically been carved out by someone else for me to practice yoga (and every time, I end up loving it) I don’t end up doing it.
But even the best of us need to slow down from time to time, and I am absolutely no exception to that rule. In this case, my “slow down” phase has taken shape as forced rest due to last week’s umbilical hernia surgery. I am hovering between the zone of necessary rest and anxious, stir crazy legs. I do not want to push my body to do anything it is not ready to do yet, but I feel absolutely awful sitting completely still.
So it’s time for yoga.
A gentle practice at first, of course. Yoga, even it it’s simplest form, has a number of benefits to the body and mind, including (but not limited to):
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- The maintenance of a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health (increased blood flow)
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury.
- Stress relief
- Mental calmness.
(check out this great article that details 38 Health Benefits of Yoga.)
The simple act of stretching the muscles that can be stretched has felt amazing, even if small compared to what I’m used to, it is still a far cry from spending more time on the couch. I’m hoping it will also kick start a regular yoga practice, one that I’ve always hoped regularly participate in. Today: deep breathing. Next month: inversions (ha! Just kidding.) And of course, even at home I have “partners” to keep me motivated.
The timing couldn’t have been better for me to restart my yoga journey than this month, as Stayfree, makers of feminine hygiene products, are offering a really cool deal with Yoga Powerhouse Gaiam. When you purchase any Stayfree® product either online or in-store between January 8 and March 12, 2015, you can get access to FREE yoga classes online with a 30-day membership to My Yoga on Gaiam TV. All you have to do is upload an image of your receipt to the Stayfree My Yoga page redeem your 30-day free subscription.
My Yoga Online on Gaiam TV is the ultimate resource to strengthen, center and awaken your body, mind and soul. With a vast library of yoga videos, pilates and fitness videos, articles, guides and more, the possibilities for positive change are endless. For me, I have been able to score hundreds of not only beginner videos, but the important “back to basics” and fundamentals instruction that I genuinely need.
So, if you have always been interested in starting a yoga practice (like me), or are a seasoned yogi looking for something to spice up your practice or to challenge you, check out this great offer. Ladies, you know you always need to keep a backup of feminine supplies laying around, so in my opinion, spending a few bucks to get 30 days worth of yoga instruction seems like a no-brainer. You can use the store locater (found HERE) on the Stayfree website to find a location near you to purchase Stayfree products.
Reader input: Do you regularly practice yoga? What is your secret to getting past the desire to train hard, and instead focus on relaxation and slower movements?
This post was sponsored by Stayfree and Sverve. The perfect timing of surgery, restarting yoga, and this campaign, sponsored by the always amazing coincidences of the Universe. All opinions, as always, are my own.