Yoga for a Balanced Modern Life

by Nadia Wolmarans

October 24, 2019

In our modern world, we are constantly and excessively stimulated. Everything we are interested in and all the wonderful weirdness in-between at the tip of our fingers. We give up sleep, personal connections, and privacy for a mind-numbing silence full of cute puppies.

It is no surprise Fitness is constantly changing and evolving, one thing and then another. We are programmed to get bored with things fast, and with Fitness the most important thing is consistency.

It is also the best part of fitness. The discipline necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy fitness routine is the real reward.

I am a 23-year-old social media marketer and content creator, also a farmer. My time is arranged on the fly, a hectic schedule with endless variables, time management is an essential tool in my life.

Fitness is the best time management teacher in the world. It requires planning, precise execution, and self-awareness.

My fascination with fitness started after watching Little Miss Sunshine. Bear with me, I was intrigued by Paul Dano’s character’s workout regimen. The way it was framed and the apparent control is provided to him in situations was appealing.

Another issue in the modern world is Mental Health. Luckily we are entering a time where it is being discussed with the necessary complexity. Nonetheless, depression is the defining trait of my generation, and as someone who struggles with it, I know how hard it can be.

The principles of discipline and control are the main building blocks of fitness. And this is where I like to keep it basic, nothing beats tried and tested originals.

starting out

It took me some time to bolster enough courage to start exercising. Growing up people always spoke about yoga with an air of mystery, as if you had to be something special. You need a meditation room, scented candles, knowledge of the Vedic Scriptures, or education in Ayurveda Eating Habits.

I am pleased to tell you, you don’t. You also do not have to be skinny, tall, or blonde, or rich or even fit to do Yoga. It is the most inclusive form of fitness in the world. I strongly believe this and that is why it remained popular for years because of its immersive quality.

To get started all you need is your phone, an internet connection, and space. Watch a few tutorials on Youtube – a decidedly modern perk that I will always recommend, research, research, research. Attend a class, and learn the basics.

Yoga is a combination of high-intensity stretches. Each pose serves a specific muscle group, this is why it is important to get a professional routine, or some education before designing your own. The sun salutation is universally popular because it targets all the main muscle groups. One movement must feed into the next, and make sense logically.

getting your mind right

Any routine requires your full attention, it demands mindfulness.

Do not go into a thoughtless repetition of movements, think about each muscle and work them consciously. Pay attention and stay in the moment. This will improve your balances and overall experience. It is not about speed or strength it is about precision.

Listen to your body and do not overdo it for a photo. Keep clear about your limitations and embrace them.

It can be jarring at first, the stillness of your mind and the absence of stimulation, but it is the best cure for a troubled mind.

I do it early in the mornings, and the difference it makes at the end of the day following long hours out in the field is incalculable.

Do not force it into your day. Find the time or make it, it is about calmness and efficiency.

finding the right type of yoga for you

Yoga is one of the oldest forms of exercise in the world. It is recognized in all cultures and is popularly practiced everywhere.

There are multiple different interpretations and disciplines in Yoga. Many teachers now travel to workshops to learn and develop near disciplines and structures and poses. We are effectively in the Golden Age of Yoga, it is everywhere and everyone is doing it.

However, what is best for you?

Are you into Hot Yoga, what does practicing Hatha say about you, maybe you are into the more holistic interpretations and is seeking spiritual enlightenment?

There is a form of yoga for you.

But here’s the fun part. The foundation of poses and stretches are expansive enough to find the place where you are comfortable. Read up on Hot Yoga, test Hatha, and all the others before you begin. It is all just a variation upon those first key movements.

If you are looking for clear rules and structured design, remember Yoga is organic. It is changing and growing every day. We no longer practice the same yoga that the Indian People practice, every modern discipline is a Western interpretation. Every teacher, every class has it’s own discipline, you will develop your own discipline. That is why Yoga is so great, it fits you, you don’t have to fit it.

the benefits of constant practice

The main appeal of Yoga is how effective it is. You do not have to go far to realize that.

It is effective in the pursuit of weight loss, balance, physical recovery, and endurance training. It pushes you forward without any real pain, you will not experience extended leg cramps after doing half an hour of yoga.

The mental health benefits are well documented too. Any movement and exercise releases hormones, depending on the activity it can be positive or negative.

It is not necessary to practice every day with military-like precision to get good at yoga, though consistency will yield results, quicker than you might imagine.

a few setbacks

As with all forms of exercise, there are a few things to keep in mind.

You will not be able to balance on your head off the side of a swimming pool after one week. Time is necessary for the expertise and flashy moves we see on Social Media every day.

Consult a professional before attempting any extremities. Be aware of your body, it is still possible to overstretch and pull either a muscle or a joint. Which is again why I recommend attending a class.

Another setback might be when you get started, you will experience the need to purchase pretty workout clothes, and this could get expensive.

now, enjoy yourself

After a while you will realize your posture is improved, you have more time for things and breathe better.

Give yourself time to be alone, quiet, unstimulated for a few minutes every day. Do not think about what you can lose or what you need to lose, think about what you can gain.
We speak badly to ourselves easily, we lock ourselves in depressive and self-destructive circles which we think we deserve. You don’t.

You need a little discipline, dedication and a good teacher.

Raise your arms over your head, breathe in deeply and bring your hands down over your chest. Lower your head in gratitude and exhale.

Get bendy guys, and enjoy it

Nadia Wolmarans

By Nadia Wolmarans

After watching Little Miss Sunshine eleven year old me became obsessed with fitness. Thanks to Paul Dano's character, my quick routine of push-ups and sit-ups developed into a full-time interest in physical fitness. Also writing, reaching and perhaps affecting people with well-developed characters and relationships. I am Nadia, a passionate researcher with a need to understand things and subsequently to share them.

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