Self-Care Sunday: YouTube Yoga for Stress Relief

Self-Care Sunday: YouTube Yoga for Stress Relief

Posted by Lori Ann Reese on 03/07/2021 in Fitness

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

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The Self-Care Sunday series from MarijuanaDoctors.com provides insights and creative how-to suggestions to help everyone put personal wellness first. Do you have a suggested topic for our editorial team? Email us at: info@marijuanadoctors.com.

Nothing has challenged the limits of our mental health other than the C, from9 pandemic. Everything that we have done for public safety has impacted our wellness, from feelings of isolation due to social distancing to changes to our daily routine. 

It may be some time before things start to get back to normal. Or until we feel that our lives have returned to what we knew. In the meantime, Americans are spending more time at home trying to stay healthy. But we are also more sedentary than ever before.

An inactive lifestyle increases the risk of a number of health problems, from weight gain and obesity to loss of muscle strength and flexibility. A new study from May 2020 was published on the Cambridge Open Engage. The survey was provided to 3,00 American adults and asked about physical activity during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Participants reported a 32% reduction in physical activity. Social distancing means fewer steps in the day and social activities. The walk to the commuter train or from the parking lot to your office every day. It adds. Up. And the big concern? As American’s, we were already too sedentary. 

We are sitting and looking at screens (tv, computer, gaming) even more. And the survey respondents said they had no intention of changing in the immediate future. This means that post-pandemic, Americans are likely to remain 32% more sedentary. And that poses some significant population health risks.

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Photo Credit: bsd | Deposit Photos

Challenges to Staying Fit During the Covid-19 Pandemic

If you work from home, you are one of the lucky ones. Many professionals were able to segue into remote work without missing a beat. Sure, you have to deal with your dog barking, but now you can finally catch that Amazon Porch Pirate since you are home. 

For other Americans, the pandemic has forced some tough economic times. People employed in the service and hospitality sector were hardest hit. As restaurants and bars closed, so did work for just 15 million workers in America. 

Hotel and resort staff were laid off, most of which have not returned to work. Travel and tourism jobs have shrunk as a result of less travel. Except for rentals of AirBNB. Because sometimes, you just have to get out of Dodge before you lose it. Unemployment rates have been a rollercoaster for over a year now. And while the vaccines are encouraging, we still have a long way to go before enough people are immunized that the infection risk goes down substantially.

Working from home is a big challenge to staying fit during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even people who traditionally work from home are less active right now. Many people feel safer ordering the things they need online and having it delivered. Have you ever seen more Amazon boxes at the curb on recycling day? We’re not even getting the exercise of pushing a cart around a grocery store. Walmart delivers so that we can stay home, safe, warm, and inactive.

What is the Practice of Yoga?

No one is sure who invented yoga. And there is no written record of the first yogi either. Male yoga practitioners are called yogis, and females are called yoginis. We know that yoga has been a spiritual and physical activity that humans have engaged in for more than 5,000 years.

The first written account of yoga is the “Yoga Sutra.” It is a 2,000-year-old guide on controlling emotions, relieving the mind and thoughts, and relaxing or strengthening the body. Every aspect of modern yoga, including the many different yoga styles, was passed down from the philosophical text.

Have you ever watched Yoga on TV? Or maybe, driven by a park to see a group doing the ‘downward dog’ or ‘sun salute’ in the morning? Yoga is nothing new, but people love practicing it for a variety of reasons. There is a yoga method or different ‘school’ for every physical or mental health condition. And each type of yoga has unique positions.

It was not until the 19th century that yoga made its way to America. In the 1930s, it arrived along with immigrants from India. Fitness wasn’t the focus when yoga first emerged. In that period, Americans were very physically active, and there were fewer conveniences. The purpose of yoga was to use breathing exercises and methods to rejuvenate mood and stimulate spiritual awakening. 

Eventually, people started to figure out that yoga had a number of other benefits, beyond metaphysical to fitness. And postural yoga slowly became famous as an indoor or outdoor exercise in the United States.

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Photo Credit: JackyBrown | Deposit Photos

What is YouTube Yoga?

Since most gyms and yoga studios are closed for health precautions, the term “YouTube Yoga” has become popular. If you have a yoga mat and a little bit of space in front of your computer or television, you are ready to get started. You can even grab your laptop and head to a park, your balcony, or somewhere else to get your yoga on.

And as the name suggests, the other component is YouTube. Do you know how many yoga videos there are (at no charge) on YouTube? We checked. Get ready to scroll down to infinity and beyond. There are so many of them, there is zero chance you will run out of free yoga classes on YouTube anytime soon. You could probably do one new one a day for years.

If you want to find really good yoga classes from real instructors, one trick is to use the filter feature. That can help you find the best instructors and free content on YouTube. Some ways that you can use the filter tool include:

  • By duration to find long or short classes.
  • By the number of views. If you want to locate the most popular yoga classes on YouTube.
  • Rating, if you want an idea of which classes are the best by viewer vote.
  • VR180 allows you to enjoy yoga with your Google virtual reality headset. It can make you feel like you are right there, in a yoga studio with your instructor.
Marijuana Doctors Self Care Sunday YouTube Yoga

Some people like the feeling of belonging to a few different yoga communities on YouTube. Paid content or classes are already available, and they feature live comments. But it is kind of hard to comment when you are striking your best yogini post. Classes are affordable. You can ask questions to other viewers or the instructor after the sessions. If you are looking for yoga + social engagement (because your cat stopped talking to you), it could be a good option.

How Does Yoga Have a Positive Impact on Fitness and Mental Health

Have you ever met someone who did yoga daily, who seemed stressed? Sure, there are some people who don’t take the practice seriously and load up on lattes before and after the class. But most people who regularly practice yoga have that Zen thing going on. And it’s not fake. They are smiling and everything.

Why? Not that smiling is not a good thing, but sometimes people can look positively euphoric after a class. Well, it has a lot to do with releasing cortisol (the stress hormone) from your body. Chronic or long-term stress is a threat to physical and mental health. When your body is overloaded with the stress hormone, it reduces the performance of your immune system. The last thing we really want during a global pandemic, right? 

Cortisol does a number of bad things to the human body. It can disrupt endocrine functioning. That is the chemical system that decides when to release different hormones into the body. Some hormones give us more energy. Other hormones make us lethargic (and more prone to low moods and munchies).

At the cellular level, cortisol causes damage that results in more free radicals. Think of free radicals as cells that have been in a car wreck in the body. They don’t work right, cause chronic diseases and increase the risk of developing cancer.

The combination of breathing and stretches helps reduce cortisol levels by encouraging your body to release the chronic stress hormone during physical activity.

Other Health Benefits of Socially Distanced YouTube Yoga

There are so many reasons why yoga is a positive pandemic-friendly solution to a sedentary life. It doesn’t take any kind of fancy equipment. We’d all love a Peloton, but they’re pretty expensive. Most exercise equipment ends up collecting dust from anyone before listing it on Facebook Marketplace to make room for your new Papasan chair.

Here are some other great reasons to consider practicing YouTube Yoga on a daily basis:

  •  Deep breathing exercises in yoga can promote improved lung health. Deep breathe in. Now exhale. If you have had Covid-19, it can also healthily strengthen respiratory muscles that may have been damaged by viral pneumonia.
  •  Improves strength and muscle tone. 
  • Strengthens heart health. 
  • Can help relieve back pain.
  • May help improve symptoms of insomnia.
  • Can help with anxiety and depression.

Joining Livestream groups (paid yoga classes online) can also help you beat those social distancing blahs. Being part of an online community or style is a cool way to meet new people who also care about their health. And joining a class can make you feel less isolated and provide a much-needed social mood boost.

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Photo Credit: Artjita | Deposit Photos

Cannabis, CBD, and Yoga Can Be a Good Combination

When it comes to being inactive for the duration of the pandemic, we’re not just talking about a few extra pounds. Your entire body can be negatively impacted by a lack of movement, stretching, and overall fitness. Yoga is easy. It is affordable, and it is fun. There are so many different types it is virtually impossible to get bored with it. And in as little as one week of daily YouTube Yoga, you will start to notice some exciting results.

What is trending right now, while many Americans are socially distancing at home? Cannabis and yoga. It’s all about elevating the mind and the body, right? Interestingly, yoga has had a long-term and deeply rooted history in the ancient practice of yoga.

Some people smoke a bowl about five minutes before they start their yoga. Others eat an edible about an hour before their yoga session. If pain like arthritis is an issue, medical cannabis can help make your exercise more comfortable. And help you feel more relaxed during and after your YouTube Yoga class. 

Some strains that produce a ‘body high’ which can be paired with yoga for elevated physical sensations include:

  • Grape Ape
  • Northern Lights
  • GSC
  • Super Lemon Haze
  • ACDC
  • Girl Scout Cookies

Some people smoke a bowl about five minutes before they start their yoga. Others eat an edible about an hour before their yoga session. If pain like arthritis is an issue, medical cannabis can help make your exercise more comfortable. And help you feel more relaxed during and after your YouTube Yoga class. 

Sativa Dominant Hybrids with High CBD Pair Well for Meditative Yoga

Lord Shiva, God of Yoga, Divine masculine to the Divine feminine Goddess Shakti, and Hindu God of Cannabis, would approve. So would ancient practitioners of tantric, the practice of exploring the divinity of the world around you, within you, and within others. 

To really get the full benefits of meditative yoga, sometimes you need a little help to turn the anxiety (or head chatter) down a notch. Anxiety levels in the United States (and probably worldwide) are pretty high right now. You can’t enter a deep meditative state if your mind is racing and making lists. You need to slow it down for full benefit to your body and your mind.

The purpose of yoga is also to relax while stretching, so you want to avoid any strains that are too high energy’. You should aim for the same strains that you use to unwind after work. Happy, euphoric, and uplifting, but relaxing. 

And don’t choose a strain with a side of ‘giggles’ or ‘munchies.’ Because then it will just be you, a big smile and a bowl of cereal, watching the instructor instead of getting your body moving. A strong Indica will also be #YogaFail because some of the poses are lying down and so relaxing and comfortable, you could snooze instead of stretch.


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