‘Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time…’
When you imagine Winter Sports, you think of bob-sledding, or skiing, or ice-skating. You picture snowy mountains and frosty feet and every manner of terrifying speed. You picture the Winter Olympics, and feats of impressive not-dying.
You don’t picture Yoga.
Yoga is a fitness activity I have always, always wanted to try out, and have always dreamed of being somewhat good at, despite the extent of my flexibility being crossing my legs to sit down and bending over to take flat-lay blog photos. And beyond a few brief attempts on my living room carpet, I’ve never taken the initiative to actually go to a class and see for myself what I can do.
So, this year, as I am currently in my third and final year of university, I decided to take it up professionally, and join a Yoga Class. Now, as any university student will know, after a long day of lectures, fake-studying in the library, and catching buses to and from campus, the last thing you want to do after getting home is head out again, and any societal-activity requires enormous amounts of self motivation on our behalf. Which is why I’m so impressed I actually managed to make it to that first class without giving up and going home to my pjs and a cup of tea.
But two months in and somehow, I’ve stuck at it! Yoga is a fitness activity that is both exactly what I thought it would be, and completely different at the same time. Yes, it requires flexibility and a hell of a lot of core strength, but it’s also incredibly mentally beneficial as well, with many of the exercises depending on monitored breathing, meditation and independent determination.
Depending on which variation of yoga you take up, you can experience a real range of mental and physical workouts that will leave you both exhausted, yet motivated and confident at the same time. From the gentle persuasion of Hatha to the powerful stretches of Ashtanga, every part of your body will be tightened and flexed and manoeuvred into positions you didn’t even know you could reach.
Which is why, in my opinion, Yoga is the perfect hobby for Winter. We all know Winter can be a season of indulgence and relaxed slovenly goodness, but by January, we can sit there and wonder – what on earth did I do for a whole month?
Between the shopping, wrapping, indulging, eating, partying, socialising and general exhaustion of Christmas, it can seem impossible to have a break from the stress. To have break from the endless family members popping round for that last catch up before Christmas, and a break from the heat of your house with over a hundred fairy lights beaming across your living room. So taking up just one hour of yoga a week can be such a cleansing and refreshing change from the stress, and can be a break from all things festive.
Also if you’re a routine soul like me, you’ll love the idea of a hobby that won’t suddenly evolve and push you to uncomfortable depths, and something that, no matter how chaotic Christmas gets, will always be there once the festive season ends. Plus, that ‘just in the door, out of sweaty yoga gear and into cosy pjs’ cup of tea is guaranteed to be the best cup of tea you drink that week.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you’re enjoying reading my Blogmas as much as I’m enjoying writing it. Have a great day!