Yoga leggings are an athleisure fashion must have, but what are the real benefits of fully embracing the yogi lifestyle? We did a little digging and unsurprisingly there are countless articles supporting the physical, mental and social benefits of participating in this global movement of yoga and meditation classes.
1. Mindfulness in your everyday life
Meditation is a wonderful way to soothe your mind, body and soul but it’s not always easy to spare time away from hectic work schedules, demanding families and needy pets.
This is where mindful eating & meditation classes, like Mindful Hot Chocolate Meditation, can really benefit you. This unique mindfulness combination will teach you simple breathing and meditation techniques that you can practice in everyday life. All you’ll need is a cup of your favourite tea or hot chocolate! As you slowly sip the hot chocolate, you become mindfully aware of all your senses: you feel the calming warmth of the mug in your hands, you taste the sweet notes of chocolate on your lips, you smell the soothing aroma filling the air and you see the steam tranquility rising from the mug. Hot drinks have a calming effect as they force you to slow down, to wait, to handle them with care, to sip cautiously and, ultimately, to be more present.
As you become increasingly aware of your senses, you ground your mind and body in the present, which will help you recenter your thoughts and keep anxiety and stress at bay. These breathing techniques and mindful awareness lessons can be practiced whilst at your desk in the office, in cafes, or in any social situation. It doesn’t have to be hot drinks either! Conscious eating is a great practice which teaches you to savour each bite, eat without distraction and listen to your bodies’ signals telling you are full.
So what is body love yoga? Body Love yoga is a movement built on body acceptance and self-care whilst practicing Yoga Asana, Meditation, Mindfulness, and Grounding. Practicing this type of yoga empowers people of all ages, backgrounds and sizes. Empower yourself by accepting your physical body as completely unique. Learn to let go of body image insecurities by acknowledging that no two people will look exactly the same in individual yoga poses. As Body Love Yoga teacher Anna Chapman suggests, we should all enjoy self-care and meet our body with Maitri (unconditional loving kindness).
3. Sense of community
Avid yoga and meditation fans are not only in love with the amazing emotional, physical and spiritual benefits but also the social perks! Attending regular group classes is a great way to meet like minded people. A Duke university study proved that “Practicing in a group setting, such as a yoga class, stimulates the production of oxytocin, the love and bonding hormone.” The study also went on to prove that life long yoga practitioners show more sign of contentment.
In London, practitioners are fully embracing the community aspect of these classes by creating yoga and brunch classes that allow you to enjoy a relaxing session of yoga and meditation followed by a re-energising meal where you are encouraged to socialise with everyone.
4. Peaceful studios filled with nature
The concrete jungle/rat race/city lifestyle can get a little overwhelming at times. Sometimes we all need a little peace and quiet. Yoga studios in London are the perfect place to unwind and recharge! Yoga classes often take place in unique studios or hip venues. These spaces are much more tranquil than your average crowded gym. Escape the overbearing fist-pumping music glaring out of gym speakers, get away from the clanking of weights, the rattling of the treadmill and finally get some much need peace at an inspiring yoga oasis.
5. A class to suit your ‘yoga personality’
Ever felt guilty for leaving your fur baby behind? Or maybe you’re more interested in hair of the dog than actual dog. Perhaps you are looking for something more physically challenging with your yoga. The beauty of yoga, is that there are classes to suit any personality and goal. From doing downward dog with your dog in a Doga yoga (aka doga) class to enhancing your relaxation with a beer during yoga, there are classes to intrigue and challenge any fitness level or objective you have. One of our favourites is loosening up your mind and body with the hugely popular acroyoga, which combines the strength and dynamism of the acrobatic arts with the meditative and relaxing aspect of yoga.
6. Mental health benefits of mindfulness
Ever wonder why mediation classes and the mindfulness movement have gone mainstream? It’s because learning to mediate has proven to reduce stress, ease anxiety and help treat depression. Whether it’s a bad relationship, a demanding job or a personal issue that’s got you feeling stressed out and on edge, a mediation class could really help you de-stress and recenter your mind and body. Meditating switches your body from flight or flight mode to rest and digest mode. Calming your mind alters the chemicals in your brain, which then signals to the body to follow suit by relaxing and releasing tension.
As yoga is also a very meditative practice, it is a proven remedy for insomnia. Practicing yoga helps you get the best night’s sleep. By practicing calming asanas (postures) like the uttanasana (forward fold), which is where you lie on your back with your feet resting against a wall, you can calm both your body and your mind!
It’s not just calming poses that have benefits though. More active yoga classes raise your body to an aerobic stage, a state of exercise where your body releases natural happy hormones like serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, and dopamine.
7. Physical health benefits of yoga & meditation
One of greatest advantages of being a yogi, apart from the seriously comfortable leggings, is the wide range of amazing physical health benefits of yoga! Strong arms and toned muscles are more than just eye candy. Strengthening your muscles by regular yoga practice, balanced with aerobic exercise, helps you prevent future health conditions like heart disease, arthritis and back pain. Also joining a yoga class has the advantage of helping you improve your flexibility and strength at the same time. Hitting the yoga mat beats hitting the gym in that sense. Bodybuilding helps you build muscle, but yoga tones your body, improves strength and make you more flexible. If you want to join the billions of yogis enjoying the benefits of yoga across the world then get started with one of these Yoga Classes for beginners in London.