It’s that time again – Sober October! Like Dry January, Sober October is firmly becoming a fixture in the wellbeing calendar.
Taking a month – or more – off drinking can have significant health benefits; more energy, better skin and improved mental wellbeing, and it can also give you the gift of time.
Mornings without brain fog – or hangovers – and after a week or so the extra energy will kick in.
More energy and more time makes the perfect recipe for beginning – or further committing to – a yoga practice.
Beginning a Yoga Practice this Sober October
If you’ve been toying with beginning a yoga practice, Sober October can be the ideal time to start.
Carve out an evening every week plus an hour or so at the weekend. Go to a local class or try this beginners challenge.
Often, we get used to treating ourselves with alcohol, a beer after a tough day or perhaps a glass of fizz to celebrate an achievement, but alcohol isn’t the only reward you can give yourself.
Trying something new – like yoga – can be equally rewarding!
Continuing your Yoga Practice this Sober October
If you’re already an enthusiastic yogi – hello! – Sober October can be the perfect time to further commit to your yoga practice.
Our physical asana practice can develop in a month – ask anyone who’s ever been on a yoga retreat the improvements they’ve seen in a week!
Without the hangover or fuzzy head in the morning, you’ll have time to commit to a daily practice challenge or a bit of extra money to sign up for a workshop at a yoga studio near you.
Additional time also means you could add some variety to your yoga practice.
If you always take vinyasa classes, perhaps you could try a restorative or Scaravelli class.
If you’re a fan of Forrest, maybe you could take a Jivamukti class or try a yin class for a change?
There are plenty of options – and you might find a style you love equally as much!
As you start or continue, your yoga practice, you’ll most likely experience the thrill of completing a yoga class in which we have been fully focused and present.
For an hour, you’ll find that you have not given a thought to anything but what you are doing; this is where yoga can become a mindful practice.
A yoga class requires our full attention. If our minds wander during our practice or if we do our asanas (physical postures) carelessly, not only do we lose some of the benefits of a great session, but we risk injury through inattention. Yoga makes us concentrate on the mat – and helps our concentration off the mat!
A recent study from UCL, demonstrated that Mindfulness can reduce alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers.
Sober October can help with your yoga practice, and your yoga practice may help with your Sober October.
Combine your Sober October with drinking plenty of water and a new or renewed yoga practice and you’ll be sure to be feeling your best come November.
Laurie McAllister has been practicing yoga for eight years, and started teaching hatha and flow yoga in 2017. She is passionate about physical and mental wellbeing and is working to make not drinking cool. Laurie runs the alcohol free lifestyle blog Girl & Tonic where she shares stories on yoga, not drinking and much more.