Always wanted to try yoga…or just looking to get stronger and more flexi?
Take the WH Yoga October challenge to master a pose a day — and a complete sequence by the end of the month!
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner looking to find out what this whole yoga thing is all about, the WH Yoga October challenge is for you. Every day during the month of October, we’ll post one yoga pose on Instagram. Follow along to join in the fun!
How To Join The WH Yoga October Challenge
1/ Take a pic of yourself doing the pose of the day and upload your pic to Instagram or Twitter. Tag Women’s Health and use the hashtag #WHYogaOctober. There will be spot prizes for interesting poses and creativity, plus the chance to be featured on our social page in the mag!
2/ At the end of the challenge, we’ll also be looking for dedicated Yoga October participants who completed all the poses. So be sure to post pics in your actual feed, not in your stories, so they don’t disappear. You can post a series of poses in one post.
3/ Missed a day? No prob! Just catch up as soon as you can.
4/ At the end of the challenge, string the poses together to create a Vinyasa flow that you can do at home.
Download this calendar of all the poses so you can start practising…
Yoga Perk: It’s A Workout
If you’ve been steering clear of yoga class because you thought it was all deep breathing and lying around, take note of this: A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology earlier this year found that yoga has heart-health perks. In fact, it may actually lower your risk of heart disease as much as other, more conventional exercise, like brisk walking. What’s more, spending time in yoga poses (and…hold for 10 breaths) is a form of isometric exercise — your muscles are tensed, but you’re not moving – which is great for building strength. And as for which muscles — you’ll feel the burn in your abs and shoulders, but also your legs and glutes (hello, chair pose).
Yoga Perk: You’ll Lower Your Injury Risk
Another benefit of yoga is all that stretching and mobility work. Can’t touch your toes? After a month of regular practice, you’ll be kissing your shins (and…exhale into forward fold). All that extra mobility is great for, say, tying your shoe laces on a crowded train. But it also helps you move better, which means your chances of injury are way lower. Plus, balancing (on one leg, your hands, your head…) helps strengthen your stabiliser muscles and core, which once again, means less chance of injury. The best part? There are many different kinds of yoga, so if chanting isn’t your thing, you can easily avoid it. If the class says Kundalini, stay away. But Vinyasa, power and ashtanga styles are all fair game — and a hell of a workout!
Looking for more? These six South African yogis will inspire you to roll out your mat.