Much like Ayurveda, the ancient art of yoga has been increasingly adopted by modern city dwellers in their droves – each one, looking to the 5000-year-old science in a bid to boost both their physical and mental health. Indeed, a quick recce of the Because offices will tell that it ranks highly as a resolution for many of us this 2019...

A mind-body guruwho began teaching yoga in 1996 and has two books (Self-Care for the Real World and Rituals for Every Day) under her belt, Nadia Narain can offer a word or two of advice on how to best approach the practice for the New Year – and stick with it! And here, she does precisely that...

Take each day as it comes
Yoga isn’t about getting into complicated positions in very little clothing – and it’s not a competition! It’s an evolving practice, in which we meet ourselves on our mats, and see what the day brings. 

It’s important to remember that we might feel good on some days and therefore be a little stronger in our practice – whereas, on other days, we may be heartbroken or not feeling great, and are therefore in need of being a little gentler. Listen to what you need... We all have to begin somewhere.”

Be kind to yourself
“It’s very easy to feel intimidated by things that are new, and to judge yourself as ‘bad’ – but, just be kind to yourself! For me, the definition of wellness is making sure I’m kind to myself and to others. Doing this has made me feel a whole new level of well and happy that I’ve never reached before; if I’m kinder to myself, I want to do the things that make me feel well.”

Find a class that works for you
“There are many misconceptions that yoga is about standing on your head or doing the splits. In actual fact, the physical part of yoga is just one facet – and there are so many styles to choose from, from Vinyasa to Hatha. To sustain your practice, it’s important to find a class and a teacher that you like!”

Commit to see the benefits 
“Continuing is a discipline. If you commit and show up, even when you don’t feel like it (i.e. when the sun is out and you would rather be at the pub), then you really start to see the benefits. Once you try it and feel good mentally, emotionally and physically, you’ll begin to see that you get all three benefits in one practice. It will become like brushing your teeth or taking a shower: It just won’t feel good if you don’t do it.” 

Expect more than you bargained for
“You might have initially been drawn to yoga for its physical benefits – maybe you sit at a computer all day and your back is a bit stiff. However, what you’re going to find is that, suddenly, you’ll also be breathing correctly, too. Your mind will be a little quieter; you’ll not be so anxious; you’ll sleep a little better. You might feel more aware, or perhaps you’ll be nicer to your partner. Maybe you'll be a bit calmer and you find that things affect you less. There’s a knock-on effect – and we all need that right now.”

Click here to join Nadia Narain and nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson for an evening of holistic wellbeing on 17 January, 2019 at Matches Fashion 5 Carlos Place, London, W1K 3AP. OR click here to sign up for Morning Yoga with Nadia – running from Monday 14 January until Friday 18 January, 2019, at 5 Carlos Place.

See you on the mat! Gear up here:

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