30 DAYS OF YOGA: Day 16

Cat Meffan: 40 minute Yoga Flow for Strength, All Levels

Time for a real challenge. True to form, Cat Meffan provides a real push for the body with this video. It is probably the hardest yet in terms of difficulty. I found myself shaking on a few poses and some I couldn’t hold for as long as required. But that does not detract from how much I enjoyed this practice. It will test your limits with lots of high planks and plank variations – with a strong flow working every muscle in the body. 

I had a realisation at the beginning of this workout that filled me with an incredible sense of achievement. When holding one of the first downward facing dog poses, I realised how much stronger I was feeling. Just before starting this challenge, I had noticed how weak I had gotten. From not exercising regularly (except the odd run and walk here and there) I hadn’t been working my muscles or building strength in a long time. And when you think about it, how important is our strength?!

We get so caught up in how we look and what the scales say – we forget what really matters. What we should be aiming for. Staying feeling young and pain-free is really a case of staying strong and flexible. But how many people would list those two items as their main fitness goals? Perhaps we don’t think about it until we are older – when the pain starts and we want to try and fix the problem. Too often, we never focus enough on prevention – only treatment of a problem once it occurs. I cannot believe the differences I have felt in just over two weeks doing yoga everyday. I feel great, strong and I can visibly see my body is more toned. Today is a day I feel like shouting from the rooftops – everyone GET ON THE YOGA MAT!

As well as the actual experience of doing yoga, I have also started to read into it too. With the combination of the two, I am thoroughly convinced that yoga is perhaps the best form of exercise anyone can do. For example yoga is great for our bones. By holding our weight through our bones they strengthen by becoming more dense. The benefit of yoga vs weight lifting – is that yoga poses are also functional. The moves we do are useful to everyday life and utilise a much larger range of motion and muscle groups. It is also great for joints. Some structures in the joints have no direct blood supply and depend on structures around them for nutrition. Changing positions through a yoga practice our joints are pumped with nourishment.

So my advice to everyone is to do a 30 day yoga challenge. Just try it. I am confident you will be convinced, as I have been already only 16 days in. 

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