August is National Wellness Month as well as International Peace Month, so the holistic benefits of yoga and meditation immediately come to mind. People all over the world practice yoga and meditate as part of their mental and physical maintenance plan, and you can, too! All ability levels can be accommodated; you just need a desire to begin, a little free time, and a willingness to try something new.
Readying Your Space
You can meditate or practice yoga nearly anywhere, but your space should:
Allow you to move freely without fear of injury or breaking something.
Be flat and firm enough to support your weight. Skip the bed or couch and move to the floor. Make sure your feet and hands can easily grip the ground.
Be tranquil. If a particular room feels cluttered or is causing you stress, spending more time there will not be conducive to relaxation.
Getting Your Equipment in Order
You don’t need much, but you will need:
A yoga mat, rug or carpet. You want to protect your joints and be comfortable. It’s hard to find your Zen if your knees hurt!
Comfortable but fitting clothes. You want unencumbered movement without a lot of extra fabric getting in the way.
Something to guide you. To get started finding free resources, visit YouTube.com on your computer or smart TV and search for beginning yoga and/or meditation videos. If using your phone, download the Smiling Mind app or one similar. You can build a personal library of resources over time as you discover your preferences.
Budgeting Your Time, Making Wellness a Habit
The most difficult part of any wellness routine is simply getting started. In the beginning, train yourself by:
Scheduling one hour of yoga or meditation each week, breaking it up into 15- or 30-minute segments.
Putting it on your calendar. It’s easier to stick to something if it’s marked with a big X on the fridge or making your phone buzz.
Telling someone about your plans and encouraging them to check in on you. Accountability helps, even if it’s just a text from a friend once per week saying, “How’s the yoga treating you?” You might inspire them to try it, too!
Incorporating it into your existing exercises. If you normally go on a brisk morning walk, do a few poses before, during or after. You may find walking easier as a result and experience fewer sore muscles.
It’s vital to our overall health and well-being to make time to quiet the mind. Those who regularly engage in yoga and meditation report a decrease in anxiety and stress, better sleep and flexibility, and increased emotional control. We all deserve the opportunity to connect with the self and find peace within, especially during these uncertain times. QCBN
By Nick Brown
Nick Brown is a certified fitness professional and trainer at Touchmark Health & Fitness Club. For more fitness resources, contact us at 928-708-3133 or visit TouchmarkFitness.com/Prescott.