When I was 29, I started doing yoga. It intrigued me because of pictures like this one. Pictures of gorgeous people with fluid muscles and amazing flexibility. I started doing yoga because I thought if I did it, I would begin to LOOK like these yogis. It drew me in for all of the superficial (but very real) benefits.
This year, I renewed my yoga practice for reasons completely opposite the ones I just stated. I started reading about all of the amazing stress relieving benefits that yoga holds…. The body benefits are a bonus, but what I needed from yoga NOW was to BREATHE. I had always found that part of the practice to be annoying. Focusing on my breath took WORK. I just wanted to hold planks and do my chaturanga push ups and look cool in my twists. And don’t even get me started on Sivasana (the end of class where we relax and meditate). I would lay there wondering what I was going to make for dinner or focus on how many loads of laundry awaited me at home…
As a wife, mother of 2 very active kids, full-time pharmaceutical employee and let’s not forget to add housekeeper, laundress, grocery shopper, personal chef to my family, fitness enthusiast and soon to be organic gardener, it is no wonder why my body is rebelling. People today have so much going on and yet we question why our waistlines are expanding from cortisol (and the big macs that you may be consuming on the way from work to Jane’s dance class or Billie’s soccer practice). Stress is robbing us of our vitality. I say NO MORE!
According to The Yoga Journal, recent studies suggest that practicing yoga—even for the very first time—can normalize cortisol levels, says Vijayendra Pratap, Ph.D., president of the Yoga Research Society in Philadelphia. He purports that through the breath, yoga can bring balance to the body, reduce muscle tension and deactivate the stress response.
Want to try yoga but not quite ready to commit to a full 45-60 minute class? Look no further. Yoga doesn’t have to be done on a mat in yoga specific clothing. It can be as accessible as your own desk at work. I encourage you to watch the following video and follow along!
Love the idea of stress relief but not quite ready to do yoga? No problem! Check out these tips from Jill Coleman over at Jillfit.com
On another note….. Doesn’t this look amazing?
This, my friends is a pizza with a secret. The crust is made from…. (sshhhh…. don’t tell) CAULIFLOWER! I have seriously made this recipe half a dozen times this year. It gets better and better every time I make it. Obsessed…. I am seriously obsessed. Tiffany over at www.thegraciouspantry.com makes amazingly clean and delicious food. Here is the recipe for the cauliflower pizza but don’t just stop there…. I encourage you to peruse….
So, go get your “om” on and then make yourself some pizza. You deserve it. 🙂