Yoga's one of the most popular things people are going to be trying at home in 2021. For people with only a casual knowledge of yoga, it's probably best known for promoting serenity, balance and meditation in its practitioners. However, if you've ever tried to hold a difficult pose for a lengthy period of time, you'll know it's far from peaceful!
BlessedYoga (opens in new tab) founder Niki Perry took over our Instagram account to show us a sequence combining powerful stances, flow and a big focus on breath. It lasts 30 minutes, and will leave you energised and ready to rock the day ahead. Check out the flow below:
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BlessedYoga's signature ENERGISE practice is full of dynamic stances and moves like the plank, which you're encouraged to hold for long periods of time. This sort of exercise is known as isometric exercise. Holding a position like the plank or the warrior pose forces your muscles to work hard to keep you steady, providing a different sort of muscular exercise than ordinary strength training moves like the push up.
Isometric exercise also improves your cardiovascular health and blood pressure, according to one study published in the scientific journal Sports Medicine (opens in new tab). The research found muscle contractions held for long periods correlated with improved heart rate regulation, reduced blood pressure and lower oxidative stress levels.
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Of course, this is all on top of yoga's other benefits: increased flexibility, a stronger core and better mental health. One study conducted by Kawasaki University (opens in new tab) researchers found yoga provided both immediate and long-term reductions in feelings of anxiety. It does this by lowering the presence of the stress hormone cortisol, helping us normalise the secretion of this hormone.
Got a bit of floor space and half an hour to spare? Follow along to Perry's dynamic 30-minute yoga flow to feel energised, improve your heart health and reduce harmful feelings of anxiety. Although summer's nearly over, you can still keep that sunshine in your life.
Get Fit for 2021 with Fit&Well
As the sun rises on a brand new year, Fit&Well is here to help put last year behind you and make 2021 your happiest, healthiest yet. Here at fitandwell.com (opens in new tab), we’ll be bringing you a wealth of workouts, diet plans and expert advice throughout January to help kick-start your health and fitness goals.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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