As we begin to readjust to new routines following further easing of COVID restrictions, it is more important now than ever to take some time out of your busy schedule to focus on you.
A daily yoga practice can bring together your mind and body, incorporating breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.
Here, Marica Carleschi, european consumer marketing manager at INNOVO, and part-time yoga instructor, discusses the many benefits of yoga including how it can give you control over bladder leaks, improve your sex life and strenghten your core muscles.
Yoga is known for its ability to relieve stress and encourage relaxation by combining many popular stress-reducing techniques, including exercise, breath control, the ability to clear the mind, and relax the body.
When we’re stressed we hold a lot of tension in the body, which makes us feel tight and can cause pain in certain areas. By stretching the body we release tension from problem areas, including the hips, lower back and shoulders.
Many people approach yoga for different reasons, but anxiety can often be a leading factor. Yoga gives us the tools to recognise the thoughts, feelings and actions that can cause heightened anxiety and enact effective self-soothing methods.
Yoga helps us to learn how to regulate our stress response and build resilience to stress. The breath work we learn on the mat can be applied to any aspect of our lives, therefore in times of stress or heightened anxiety, taking deep meditative breaths can help us control our emotions and feel a sense of calm.
A strong pelvic floor is essential for preventing bladder leaks. Situated in the pelvis, the pelvic floor is a key set of deep muscles that holds all of the pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel & bladder) in place and supports the bladder to provide control when you urinate. Like any muscle group, these muscles need to be toned and strengthened in order for them to perform efficiently.
Yoga is hugely beneficial for your pelvic floor muscles as a lot of exercises focus on strengthening and engaging your core. Different poses encourage you to lift and squeeze, strengthening those key muscles.
Not only does a strong pelvic floor prevent bladder leaks, but it is possible that strong pelvic floor muscles could increase sensitivity during sex, giving you stronger orgasms. Yoga’s relaxing effects can also provide some sexual benefits as it teaches you to focus your attention on sensations and what feelings give you pleasure.
A regular exercise routine has an array of benefits including a boost in self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression and health problems.
Yoga is the perfect exercise to help you unwind, boost your endorphins and put you first.
Not sure where to start with your practice? Try out these poses, perfect for beginners or full time yogis which will help you strengthen your core and target your pelvic floor.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)