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a person doing a yoga position on a beach

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Stretch It Off

By RGrant 23 Mar 2021

Currently RGU SPORT are offering all RGU staff, students, and members FREE access to Yoga 12:30-13:30 each Wednesday as part of our Wellbeing Wednesday initiative. Read on for more information.

As it reaches the end of the current lockdown (and hopefully the last), I thought I’d share some of my experiences doing exercise from home. It’s almost been a year since the first lockdown began and during this time it’s been difficult to adjust to a normal exercise routine. Getting outside for runs, cycles or walks has been a regular method I’ve used during lockdown, however sometimes the routine of that can get boring, or if the weather just isn’t great that day it can be tough to get motivated to go outside. Sometimes the best alternative is some indoor exercise. I’ve tried a few options during lockdown, whether that’s using a stationary bike, doing HIIT exercises in the living room (I can only apologise to my downstairs neighbours) or being one of the 5 million people who attempted a Joe Wicks YouTube video. Moving my furniture around the room each time became a bit of a hassle, so I started looking for other methods of exercise which could easily fit into my routine and thought I’d try something new - this is when I decided to try yoga.

My First Experience

Before this lockdown I’d never really done yoga before, so I set myself a goal of doing some form of yoga every day in January, this could be range from 10 minutes to 1 hour (usually somewhere in between). Yoga is something I’ve always wanted to try but never got around to doing. When it comes to stretching before/after exercise I’m bad for just ‘forgetting’ about it. The idea of going to a physical class was always a barrier for me, especially with it being something I’ve never done before. Doing exercise at home seemed like the best opportunity to give yoga a try, I can just put a video on and follow along at my own pace and the pressure of trying to do it right (and failing) was taken away. All I needed was a tv/phone/mat and off we go. I would recommend investing in a mat, I attempted the first few without and let’s say it was a struggle. The first few days were difficult, my (lack of) balance was all over the place and it seemed more stressful than relaxing, along with trying to get the poses correct. However, once I got the first few days done it became clear that this is something I wanted to keep doing.

Benefits

One of the main reasons I thought about doing yoga was the physical benefits it could have on my body. Taking part in exercise over the years and putting off stretching was becoming noticeable. My legs were tight, I developed some back pain while working at home, and once I started struggling to bend to tie my shoes, I thought I’d better give yoga a go… The first few days of yoga were difficult, trying to maintain balance was hard and holding some of the poses even harder. Once I got the hang of it, along with the alternative standing/laying down poses it became something I really enjoyed. I found I was noticing real physical benefits, my body felt so much better and with each session I felt I was improving. It wasn’t just physical benefits I noticed but mental as well. Taking a break from the workday and finding time to switch off and focus on something else had a real benefit on my mental health. Controlling my breathing and really focusing on each pose was a big part of the relaxation process. As a beginner to yoga I would recommend it to everyone, it’s something I’ve really enjoyed and will continue to keep doing. All you need is some spare time, space, access to classes and a mat (especially if you have wooden floors) and you’ll begin to notice the huge benefits even a small amount of yoga can have. 

RGU SPORT Offer

Currently RGU SPORT are offering all RGU staff, students, and members FREE access to Yoga 12:30-13:30 each Wednesday as part of our Wellbeing Wednesday initiative. This can be a great way to introduce yourself to yoga for the first time. However, if yoga is something you do regularly, you can use it as an opportunity to take a break from your workday, studying (procrastinating?) and switch off, relax, and enjoy the benefits. If this is something you’d like to get involved in, you can contact SportDevelopmentTeam@rgu.ac.uk for how to join in!

More information on our group exercise classes  

Fraser – RGU SPORT 

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