Yoga? Don't be soft.
...This is what I thought to myself a few years back. I thought yoga was just for girls - it wasn't a manly or 'strong' thing to be doing, well that is what I thought anyway.
I was first introduced to the idea of trying yoga by my best mate. He suggested I try it to see if it can help me relax. At the time I replied with "man up".
He then called me narrow minded and I just thought "whatever mate!"
He then, a few days later suggested I tried meditation, yes meditation! Of all things! I then told him to man up some more.
A few weeks later I decided to try some meditation but i didn't tell anyone, especially my best mate.
I looked for the first meditation video that appeared on youtube, I made sure knowone else was in the house, I sat back in a chair and I just let the video play.
I got severe giggles and stopped just minutes into it.
That was then it for a few more months until I got so stressed out with my bipolar disorder that I was searching for anything to help.
I decided to try the meditation again but this time I decided to not use a youtube video but to instead put some relaxing music on that I enjoyed listening to, I sat back in a chair and just closed my eyes for all of 5mins.
I just kept telling myself to let my mind wonder off and let my breathing do whatever it wanted.
This sense of release really helped, and I thought okay i'll give yoga a go as well.
I remember walking into my first class and i was surprised by how many other men there were and that my preconception of yoga was incredibly narrow minded. After all, we all want to feel relaxed don't we?
Now a few years on, and yoga has become part of my daily routine as well as meditation. I perform both in short sharp bursts every day and this has had a huge impact on my bipolar disorder. I'm not the most flexible or the best at sitting still for any longer than 5 minutes - but i've moulded it to suit me.
I now want to help other stressed out people and do my best to help them see that yoga and meditation can be for anyone, not just women and buddhist monks.
You can mould both meditation and yoga around your life no matter how busy it is and no matter what your personality is, there is a time and place for everyone to relax, because after all if we don't relax then we're not making the most of just being human are we?
If watching TV or going to the pub isn't enough to help you relax and you would prefer something much more natural, more inspiring and something that doesn't cost a penny to do, then just this a go - it could really have a big impact on your life.
Enjoy your week!