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Getting into Yoga Basics

Getting into Yoga Lifestyle- With Yoga Instructor Zikea McCurdie

Getting into Yoga lifestyle is the in-thing now in terms of fitness and wellness. As you have seen on Social Media or you-tube, Yoga has taken over the exercise world. 

According to the 2020 annual survey of worldwide fitness trends by American Sports of Medicine, Yoga ranked #14 on the list. In 2019 and 2018, Yoga was # 7, confirming that many people are getting into yoga lifestyle and still finding this type of exercise fulfilling and beneficial. 

Yoga might seem intimidating at first when you see the different styles. However, you don’t need a specific skill or a high level of flexibility to practice it as long as you are dedicated and intentional in learning it.

If you find this hard to believe, try Goat Yoga, which has become the newest trend of practicing Yoga with goats jumping and running around.

The most recent Yoga class I attended as an amateur was months ago before COVID. It was offered through my Job. Every Wednesday after a long day at work,I longed for the calmness, and the Zane Yoga would contribute to my day. I must say there we no goats involved, but I enjoyed it because I wasn’t sweaty or didn’t feel super tired after the 45-minute class. The female instructor was patient and gave each of us enough time to catch up with her poses.

Still, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. But I was ready with my yoga mat, my active-wear, and socks each Wednesday. This is how I started  to do some Yoga history research and came across this article written by Timothy Burgin, a yoga instructor and author of two yoga books. He states that Yoga is a spiritual tradition that goes back over 5000 years with Indian heritage.  Fast-forward to the late 1800s and early 1900s, yoga masters, traveled to the West, bringing more attention to yoga basics and the benefits.

However, Yoga history is more complicated than this and varies because it does not have a clear record of its origin. Yoga has been interpreted differently, and the definition varies from culture to culture. It all goes back to the desire to improve your inner spirit and energy.

To get a better understanding of Yoga, and how getting into yoga lifestyle can be beneficial,  I brought Yoga Instructor Zikea McCurdie, to this post to shed more light on why you should get into Yoga, the basics, and Yoga benefits. Zikea is a health coach and yoga teacher with a background in Integrative medicine.  

Led by her passion for helping people become their healthiest selves,  Zikea is now a  health coach for a workplace wellness program and is soon launching her own wellness and lifestyle company WELLism

Check out ZiKea’s yoga tips below and learn how getting into Yoga Lifestyle can help change your health after the interview.

Getting into Yoga Lifestyle – With Yoga Instructor Zikea McCurdie

Q: What is Yoga?

Yoga is a way to unify the self with the spirit of universal consciousness. The word itself means to “yolk”. It’s the letting go of anything that holds you back from reaching spiritual bliss. It’s more than just the poses. It is a lifestyle! There are different paths and destinations one has to achieve on the yogic path. Each one helping us to let go of something that keeps us separate from spirit.

Q:  How did you start Yoga, and how long have you been practicing it?

I’ve been practicing for about 7 years now! Surprisingly, I got started by watching YouTube videos.  This came about as I was trying to find an alternative way of relieving the anxiety I felt from all the pressure of being in school. Before this, I attended a few classes as a kid, and I enjoyed it, so I figured, since I loved it then, it would work for me, and it did!

Q: What made you decide to become a Yoga Instructor, and what type of Yoga do you teach?

After experiencing the benefits of Yoga, and how it helped amazingly relieve my anxiety,  I wanted to become a yoga instructor to share those same benefits with my community and make the practice more accessible. I’ve been teaching community classes for 3 years now and currently finishing up my yoga teacher certification. 

I teach Vinyasa yoga, which is a more fast-paced flow.   You move from one pose directly into the next, as you hold poses for a few seconds with short breaks within the practice. It helps to get the heart pumping and body moving, allowing for greater relaxation by the end of class.

Q: What do you love about this particular form of Yoga?

I like this form of Yoga because many beginners can get into and is not as complicated as other forms. I personally enjoy practicing Vinyasa yoga because you hold poses for a more extended period of time , allowing for a deeper stretch and release in the muscles, building muscle strength.  

Also, since it can be a fast-paced flow, your body is basically moving and doing cardiovascular exercises simultaneously.

Q: Who do you feel can enjoy and gain from Yoga?

The best thing about Yoga is that it is for everyone! Male, Female, and all sizes.  There are different beginner classes in every Yoga form. You do not need to be physically active to enjoy Yoga.

You can start at any time of your health journey and build up your strength slowly. All you need is to have the interest to start, a yoga mat, active-wear, and squeeze in your schedule a little bit of Yoga time. It doesn’t take much.

Q: What overall benefits have you gained from Yoga?

Personally, Yoga has helped lower my stress and anxiety levels and get more in tune with my body and has brought peace to my mind.  Teaching Yoga has allowed me to form a community with other like-minded individuals.

It has allowed me to really tap into areas and strengths that I never even knew that I had, and help others who are on the same journey to a healthy mind and body.

Getting into Yoga lifestyle has shifted my perspective and my life totally. I don’t think I would be a happy space that I am now in if I was not practicing Yoga.

Q: Is Yoga more mental or physical, and can it be an alternative form of healing and medicine?

Yoga is a mix of both the mental and the physical. It brings peace to your mind while also working out your body. It is definitely another form of healing and medicine. Stress is a significant factor in many chronic diseases and conditions, and Yoga helps relieve stress.

There is also trauma-informed Yoga and yoga therapy. These forms help individuals with releasing deep emotions and overcoming different disorders they may be facing.

Q:  What are some of  the Yoga Basics & Yoga Benefits for beginners?

The first Yoga essential is to listen to your body!  Like any other physical activity, you should not go to practice and expect to be a yoga master at the beginning. It all takes time. Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes and fall because each failure helps you learn how to become stronger. 

As a beginner, getting into Yoga lifestyle can have benefits such as gaining a balance in strength, improved cardiovascular health, and overall confidence in yourself.

Q. How does anyone interested in joining your classes contact you?

If you’re interested in joining my class, feel free to follow me on Instagram @WELLism.life. My sessions are around 45 minutes long, but I do shorter sessions at times as well.

All classes are happening virtually currently, and any updates will be posted on my Instagram. I am also developing my website that will be providing more details on my classes.  My classes are affordable  starting at $5 per session. But I advise everyone to look out for wellness week in September for free yoga classes.

Let me know if you have been inspired to practice Yoga after reading this interview.  Yoga can come in handy especially now that we are all mentally and physically exhausted from  this pandemic. Please visit this post, if you need more tips on how to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key points from this Interview:

  • Getting into Yoga lifestyle is a step in the right direction if you are looking to improve your way of living.
  • Getting into Yoga Lifestyle is a way to unify the self with the spirit of universal consciousness. The word itself means to “yolk”. It’s the letting go of anything that holds you back from reaching spiritual bliss.
  • As a beginner, getting into Yoga lifestyle can have benefits such as gaining a balance in strength, improved cardiovascular health, and overall confidence in yourself.
  • Yoga can also lower your stress and anxiety levels.

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