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5 Ways To Make Your Workout More Exciting

3 MIN READ • 6th February 2023

Love the excitement of extreme exercise? Tap into your inner adrenaline junkie and take your yoga stretches to great lengths this month...

Yoga; you can do it almost anywhere, but let’s be honest, most of us prefer to master our Downward Dog from the comfort of a fitness studio, on a soft mat with a trusted instructor on standby, just in case! But it would seem that more and more intrepid fitness explorers are taking their warrior poses out of the studio and into the great outdoors and capturing their bendy achievements for the world to see. Think handstands on surfboards, tree poses on cliff tops and acrobatics from a sturdy branch; if you thought SUP yoga was hard, the latest fitness trend sweeping the nation takes it to a whole new level. If you haven’t heard of extreme yoga yet, it’s possible that you’ve already scrolled past an array of yogis trying to out-do each other on Instagram by performing their favourite flexible poses, all while teetering on the edge of a mountain. Needless to say this daring fitness trend can be a bit more dangerous than performing your sun salutations at the gym!

Now, we’re not suggesting that you drag your mat to the nearest rocky outcrop, but there are multiple benefits to be reaped from practising your yoga alfresco. Here are our top reasons for ditching the gym sesh and heading outside…

  • “You don’t need to schlep to the gym or a fitness studio to do yoga,” says Rachel Caffarate. “You can do it anywhere, at any time and at any age: in the park, on the beach, in your garden, up a mountain, or on a surfboard in the sea and you don’t need any specialist equipment (although a mat may help!) You may not have the time to do an hour or more practice, so a 15-minute burst of yoga daily is enough to keep you happy and healthy in mind, body and spirit. Yoga really is one of the most accessible forms of exercise and relaxation.”

  • “When life gets busy, we often forget to stop, think and may get disconnected from our own sense of wellbeing,” explains Rachel. “Yoga helps us to consciously connect with what forms us and to learn to connect with nature and embrace its soothing flow of vital energy (Prana). Through a balance of physical yoga exercise, relaxation, meditation and a healthy diet, we can become more attuned to the natural world. By focusing on our breath when practising, we may even start to hear nature’s backdrop – birds chirping, the sound of the breeze, the rustle of leaves, the noise sound of the ocean.”

  • “Through regular yoga practice, you will also enjoy increased mental clarity. In observing the breath and focusing attention on the physical postures, you may learn to “zone out” from any mind chatter and become less distracted by thoughts and worries, which may cloud judgement and perspective,” Rachel tells us. “You learn to become more present and less focused on what has happened in the past or what you need to do tomorrow. The simplicity you experience in your yoga class may start to positively effect all aspects of your life off the mat.”

  • “Doing yoga outside is not only refreshing and keeps your body fit but it will also give you a healthy dose of vitamin D,” says Caffarate. “So use a lunch break in the sun to bust out some bendy moves ending with a relaxing Corpse Pose (savasana)!”

  • “It has been scientifically proved that yoga reduces stress, tension and depression,” Rachel explains. “The calming effects lower the level of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. High levels of cortisol have been linked with depression and high blood pressure. In addition, regular yoga practice increases serotonin levels which provides for a happier and better immune system and the physical yoga practice increases the heart rate and, with it, a release of endorphins from the brain. Even a gentler form of practice has been shown to lower the resting heart rate and improve the maximum uptake of oxygen. The spiritual and emotional dimensions of yoga may also encourage addressing any emotional problems. Yoga teaches us to breathe and stay calm!”

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