As a student, finding the time to exercise is not always top on our list of priorities. No matter how many times we tell ourselves we’re going to actually spend an hour in that FREE gym in our accommodation. Or attend that Zumba or aerobics class with our super sporty flat mate. Lying in bed with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s is always going to win…
However, all this was about to change when I received a huge package of yoga goodies as part of the second Sealy Deeper Sleeper Challenge. The package included a yoga DVD, a yoga block, a towel, some sports socks and my personal favourites: the pretty pink yoga mat and glass water bottle.
I was slightly apprehensive at first, as I wouldn’t regard myself as the most flexible of people. The only experience of yoga I’d had was seeing pictures of celebrities getting themselves into all sorts of weird and wonderful positions – yes, I’m referring to those Victoria Secret models and their depressing Instagram accounts.
I first attempted the yoga DVD with my sister, who made the experience less than relaxing. After enduring a troubling 15 minutes, I decided to abandon the session and realized I’d be better off attempting the yoga early morning on my own – so that’s exactly what I did.
My second attempt was slightly more successful and I began to get the grasp of the basic techniques and breathing exercises – although I was still pretty confused as to how I was meant to use the yoga block. The yoga mat made life much more comfy when stretching into the positions and the towel definitely came in handy – it’s harder work than you’d think!
Over my next few attempts, I began to understand why yoga came with its relaxing connotations. Once you stop fussing over getting it right, you start to enjoy the peaceful music and the DVD’s relaxing narration. I also found the water bottle extremely useful and started carting it to my lectures to perk me up during some of the less interesting ones! I kept myself hydrated during the exercises and my body felt well stretched and less achy than after my usual attempts at exercise.
Now, I’m not going to claim to be a yoga expert and there’s no way I’ll be twisting myself into any spectacular shapes anytime soon, but I do have a new found love for yoga. After about four days of doing the DVD, I found that it was most effective to do some of the more strenuous positions early in the day and finish off the day with some of the lighter stretches and breathing techniques. These really relaxed both my body and mind, and did genuinely help me to drift off quicker at night. After a week or so, my mind associated the calming music with bedtime and I managed to fall into a welcome routine.
Although the yoga was only light exercise, it was still more than my body was used to doing everyday, so I did feel more tired than usual but not as if I’d exerted myself. I would recommend yoga for anyone who finds the prospect of exercise daunting. It also works really well as a calming method and I would say that it can definitely aid in a better night’s sleep!