“Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.”

What a great comeback considering the reasons we devise in putting off activities that can keep us healthy and agile as time goes by.

Vanessa from Misty Moon Yoga said yoga can be a great combat tool in heading off the effects of things like sedentary lifestyles.

“When you're on your computer, your shoulders tend to hunch, the neck gets stiff and when you do yoga it’s moving intentionally and you can iron out those kinks and creases,” she said. “And you start to feel, ‘OK this is the type of movement I can do to help relax my shoulders, improve my posture, and circulate everything.’”

“And it’s through the legs especially, so if you’ve been sitting all day, the hips and lower back get really tight, and yoga can help get everything moving in the body once more, to help circulate all that stale energy and bring more of a fresh feeling.”

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare said that insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor contributing to the disease burden in Australia and plays a role in chronic conditions. In a 2015 study, physical inactivity contributed 10 to 20 percent of the individual disease burden with ailments like diabetes, bowel cancer, uterine cancer, dementia, and breast cancer.

They recommended those between the ages of 18 to 64 should counter the effects of the sedentary lifestyle by being active on most days, with at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week. And to minimise and break up prolonged periods of sitting, as well as doing muscle strengthening exercises twice a week, including some types of yoga. Those aged 65 and above were advised to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, and to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises as well.

It affects productivity too.

A 2017 SAGE journal study on workplace health and safety went as far as saying that prolonged sitting can hinder productivity, and workers were at risk of musculoskeletal injuries. The good news is that physical activity can fight that as it improves things such as glucose transport and metabolism, boosts cancer suppressant activity and enhances calcium absorption into the bones, to name just a few paybacks.

So, as the transition to working from home over lockdown continues for many, online yoga classes are an accessible way to decompress after a long, sedentary day from the comfort of your home.

Vanessa acknowledges that going to an online yoga class can be intimidating. “The beautiful thing about doing yoga at home is that it is as private as you would like it to be, you can close the door behind you, have your camera off so no one can see you, and it’s a safe and secure feeling to start with,” she said.” You are in familiar

surroundings, you can make a nice environment, light a candle, have some dim lighting, some cosy blankets, and it can be a nice little home ritual.”

“A lot of people think ‘I’m so inflexible’, but that is one of the main reasons to start doing it,” Vanessa said. “There’s so much it can give to you and it’s more than just a physical practise, you will feel really nice as a result of taking care of your body, it feels really good.”

For now, Vanessa’s online classes are in the mornings and evenings on Mondays and Tuesdays. And for a limited time only, she is offering a bargain-basement reward for the first timer, in partnership with the Blue Mountains Phoenix. Newbies to Misty Moon Yoga can use the promo code: PHOENIX when they book their first session, which gives them a 50 percent discount on the already affordable price.


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