Yoga is a popular thing at the moment – and runs the risk of becoming a fad. However, the great thing about yoga is even though someone may begin the practice because it’s ‘popular’ or ‘a fad’, but yoga offers so many benefits that people see the benefit of continuing even when the novelty wears off.
Life is busy!
Life is busy right now – people are constantly working on different projects, different streams of income and always feeling like there is more to do. This means we need something to help us relax. This is probably one of the most obvious reasons that people do yoga – but it’s also one of the most important.
A regular yoga practice has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help people to feel more in control of their mindset when out and about in their everyday life off the yoga mat.
Personally, I noticed huge shifts in my stress levels after introducing just 10 minutes of yoga into my daily routine. I was calmer, more present, and felt more able to take on the day and get through stressful situations.
I think this is because there is a huge focus on breathing during the practice of yoga. Simple and conscious breathing (even without yoga) can dramatically shift the state you’re in, instantly making you feel more relaxed.
So, you can imagine the daily change this can create when incorporating it daily.
Try it right now:
If you are sitting down right now, get yourself into a position where you feel comfortable. Begin to breathe deeper in and out your nose.
Really focus on your breath. Take note of what you can hear, smell and feel. Try counting in for 2 and a half breaths, and then out again for 2 and a half breaths.
Repeat for as long as you’d like.
Notice how you feel now compared to before this exercise? Do you feel any different?
Hopefully you feel a little more present and calm. This is what yoga is all about.
Health consciousness is on the rise
I think another explanation for why yoga is becoming more and more popular is that health consciousness is on the rise (which is a great thing!).
It is actually becomes more trendy to be going to yoga, drinking a green juice and looking after your health.
The only way I can seem to explain tis is social media. There are so many Instagram influencers endorsing the ideal way to live, posting aspirational content for all of us to try and reach. And yoga, smoothies, green juices have become part of that.
In a way, this is a brilliant thing about social media – the encouragement of this healthy way of living must be having a really positive effect on people seeing this content.
So, people are giving yoga a go – hot yoga, outdoors yoga, yin yoga, even aerial yoga!
I’m not saying that you should follow every trend that is endorsed on social media, however even though you might, and even though the only reason you get into yoga is because your favourite influencer is, I hope you’ll see the positive impact that it can have for you – for life.
So, anything that helps us feel better is better for us – simple. However, what’s important in keeping any habit up is that it’s sustainable. And I feel that there are two parts to this:
1. The habit must be enjoyable or fulfilling
This is a no-brainer with yoga. Practicing yoga will no doubt make you feel calmer and less stressed.
What I also like about yoga is its’ sustainability in the fact that you’re encouraged to think about the principles of yoga throughout daily life as well. Yoga is all about being mindful, and you can bring a mindful mindset to anything you are doing in life really. Brushing your teeth, cooking, talking to a friend.
So this makes it something not only practiced whilst on your yoga mat, but actually throughout your daily life as well.
What also makes yoga sustainable is that it is easy. You can start as a beginner and begin with really simple and easy moves. You can begin by simply doing different breathing exercises – you don’t even have to have a yoga mat to start!
So even if one day you felt like you really didn’t want to practice, you could simply sit on the floor and go through some breathing exercises – and this would count as keeping up the habit!
2. You must make the practice manageable for you
There is no point starting a habit if you’re not going to be able to keep it up.
Sometimes we have to kind of ‘make deals’ with ourselves – because unfortunately there always seems to be a part of our minds that like to sabotage our healthy habits.
This part of your mind may tell you the habit is pointless, may tell you that you should stay in bed or watch TV instead of practicing yoga.
Yoga (and a regular habit) will help you overpower this part of your mind.
To make things as easy as possible for you, set aside a small portion of time each day to practice. You may find there are certain times of the day which feel more manageable. And start small, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day – get right back on it tomorrow.
You can find what suits you
Your yoga practice can also be completely personalised to you and your situation. I think this is one reason people like it so much. You can check in with your body, see how you feel. And then simply google ‘yoga for better digestion’, or ‘yoga for back pain’. And find something that can help.
Yoga can also help for different life circumstances. Certain types of yoga may be better if you are pregnant, or going through a stressful circumstance.
When we know that there is something out there for us, it makes us feel more connected to the practice. We feel that it will help us right now, with whatever we are struggling with.
I guess it helps us feel supported. And this is increasingly important in a society where so many people are seeking and reaching out for more support.
So, yoga is popular for a reason
Yoga is not a fad, yoga is here to stay.
Start practicing for yourself, and you’ll find out why.
All the best