While quarantine has allowed us to delve into our creativity again and curate projects that spark our interests, it has also been a very anxiety-inducing time as well. Turning on the television to morbid updates of the COVID-19 death toll rising, or being bombarded with information regarding the current police brutality cases on social media has taken an immense mental strain on us all.
As a Black woman, it is draining to stumble upon statistics that my people, my beloved community, is disproportionately affected by the current times. One week, I laid in bed all day, every day because the news and social media were too much. However, I needed to change my perspective. Although forced to be in the house all day, it was imperative that I viewed this as an opportunity to be intentional about preserving my mental being. In came the idea of yoga.
All of us are guilty of putting yoga on our “to-do” lists. Becoming crazy bendy and flexible should be everyone’s aspiration! But with a 9-5, attempting to have a social life, and working towards smashing goals, the idea of adding yet again another task to the weekly calendar seemed tedious. However, yoga is such a beloved practice that has brought rejuvenation to people’s bodies for centuries.
Now that we are under quarantine, I am reaping the vast benefits of yoga — physically, mentally, and emotionally — and you can too sis! Below are the top 3 benefits of yoga that can hopefully convince you to start incorporating it into your daily routine:
Feel Good Inside, Feel Good Outside
From lowering blood sugar to bettering your bone health, the practice of yoga affects our bodies from the outside in. In completing a one-hour yoga practice, cortisol, the primary stress hormone, levels decrease which allows for the immune system to function properly.
You’re Holding Onto Tension
Upon waking up, most of us feel achy and sore due to being inactive for 7-10 hours. Leading busy lifestyles with work and other obligations also leads to tension being stored in our bodies. Practicing yoga helps us in noticing where we hold tension — it could be our backs, legs, or face – and allows us to become more attuned to our bodies. Participating in a yoga flow will aid in releasing tension in our body parts and create a more peaceful space for ourselves.
Release Stress, Release Anxiety
I had to save the best for last! Most of our stress and anxiety have been heightened due to being under quarantine or knowing someone who has caught the virus. Completing a yoga flow lowers cortisol which slows down the mental loops of fear and frustration that causes stress and anxiety. Slowing the breath, being present, and shifting the balance from “fight or flight” to a calmer response restores relaxation to our bodies and decreases our stress/anxiety levels.
There are many other benefits of yoga that would take forever to write. It is such a healing practice that fills our physical, mental, and emotional space with relaxation. In a time when we all feel the pressure to be more productive while under quarantine, it is easy to feel more anxious. Incorporating just 10 minutes of yoga into your morning routine will calm down the mind and bring peace to your body. Now is the time to do it, sis, so that you can come out of quarantine refreshed, relaxed, and recharged!