Regular exercise has a multitude of physical and mental benefits. And you don’t have to head to the gym and squish yourself under a heavy barbell. Any kind of daily movement can benefit your body and mind.
Anthea Sou incorporates yoga into her daily practice in order to clear her mind, improve flexibility, and get better sleep – all of which help her flow through her day-to-day tasks with a calmer perspective, especially with a stressful job.
Read more about Anthea and her practice here:
I work as a typical OL in a professional sector during the day, but you can also find me working as an online language tutor or a volunteer during non-office hours. Any other time, I will mostly be practicing yoga.
My journey with yoga started two years ago, and I have explored a wide spectrum of the yoga field by today. Initially, I only did drills that focused on backbend practice (with or without a wheel), but recently I am also working on arm balance and inversion to boost my arm and core strength. Earlier in May this year, I completed my 15-hour wheel yoga teaching training, thus signifying a new stage of my yoga journey.
This was also the time when I created my Instagram page “a.souyoga”, which aims to share positive messages and encourage wellness through yoga and a balanced lifestyle, alongside documenting my personal progress.
How she got into yoga:
It was by chance. At the beginning of COVID, when the world had shut down and we were all locked in the city, my best friend pulled me along to a wheel yoga trial lesson with her, as we both like exploring new experiences. It was love at first sight and I became hooked. In light of this, I would love to take this opportunity to show gratitude to my first yoga teacher Carmen, who made this first experience so great and memorable.
I feel that yoga helps to calm and communicate with our bodies. My daily work usually requires me to juggle different tasks at the same time and solve issues under a tight timeframe, causing me to be on edge and anxious. Ever since I started to become a more impatient person.
Practicing yoga allows me to return to a state of tranquility and calm, to live in the moment at a slower pace. And at the same time, to communicate with and understand how my body feels when I am working on various asana (i.e. yoga postures) and settling my mind with meditation and savasana (i.e. final resting pose at the end of every yoga lesson.)
How yoga can help:
Doing yoga denotes a connecting process between mind and body. A typical yoga lesson usually begins with a breathing exercise or meditation, to shift our focus back to the body and to prepare ourselves for the practice later. Thereafter, we will have rounds of sun salutation flow and 1-2 critical poses, usually with a theme targeting certain body muscles. In the final 10 minutes, we would cool down and finish the class with savasana.
With a caveat, I am not an expert/doctor. But from my personal experience, I see how I have physically and mentally improved and grown with yoga. Physically, constant stretching has increased my body flexibility, making me less prone to muscle injury. Mental-wise, I became more patient amidst the hustling and bustling, and have put more attention to mental wellness. I’m not sure if it’s correlated, but my sleeping quality has also improved after I built my yoga routines.
I would say give [students] at least two versions for your asana. Students’ levels in the same class may vary, and their energy may be different in every class as well, so it would be nice to offer at least two versions for your asana, such as an easier version and a more challenging one, so students will be able to choose what’s best for them at their current state.
Yoga is not only a sport but can be seen as a lifestyle and mindset that we should incorporate into our lives to get the most out of it. Attending one yoga session a week won’t be helpful if you do not try to change your perspectives and continue with unhealthy habits.
Anthea’s wellbeing tips:
I personally like doing home workouts, as it saves commuting time and you can even do it in comfortable attire like your pajamas. I work out 5 days a week, at least 40 mins each time, and my typical workout plan includes 30 mins of HIIT and 10 mins of abs/arm/leg workout. When working out becomes a habit, you won’t feel obligated to it.
I resonate strongly with this quote in my bio, which is: “It’s not about being good at something, it’s about being good to yourself”. You are not competing with anyone, so you only need to focus on yourself.
I think people can check out “Tseyang Yoga” on Youtube for their singing bowl meditation, best when you want to do it anytime anywhere.
Yoga is a way of connecting the body and mind. Improving this connection improves your mental wellness by calming intrusive thoughts and allowing you to approach your daily tasks with a clear mind.
Learn more about Anthea and her practice by following her on Instagram here:
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