Back in my “younger” days I loved to play sports – basketball, soccer, football, softball, kickball, you name it and I played it. I didn’t think of it as a way to stay in shape: it was just fun! As I got older sports were replaced with school and school got replaced by work. Work can be stressful so I knew I wanted to find a workout that just made me feel at peace again. I briefly remembered a blog post I read a while ago about YouTube exercise videos and decided to give those a try. I’ve always wanted to try yoga so I searched and came across Yoga with Adriene. I’ll be honest and say that her videos have MILLIONS of views and that’s why I chose her over anybody else. I mean, if you have 5 million views on just one video you must be doing something right, right? I’ve only been practicing yoga for a month now, but here’s 4 things I’ve learned from doing so!
1. It’s okay to be still.
I’m one of those people who likes to stay busy and work on multiple projects at the same time (unless I’m watching Netflix!). Yoga has taught me to stop moving and be in tune with my breathing, body, and thoughts. I’m still a bit of a busybody, but I try to take little breaks and just stop moving for a bit. It really helps with stress and I find that I’m thinking a little more clearly afterward.
I don’t know about you, but when I get mad (or nervous or anxious!) I tend to hold my breath or take shallow breaths. A huge part of yoga is taking time to really breath, deeply in and out and I find that I’m so relaxed and calm after doing sukhasana (the easy pose) that mainly focuses on breathing. Even when I’m not doing yoga, a deep breath is a great way to clear my thoughts and help with whatever I’m working on.
3. It’s okay to focus on yourself.
So many of us are busy with work, school, blogging, kids (or pets), friends, or just life that we forget to take time off for ourselves. I picked a set time everyday to do yoga and I don’t let anything or anyone stop me from that personal time so I can focus on me, myself, and I. I never feel guilty about shutting out the world for 45 minutes because I spend so much of my time and energy dealing with other things.
4. You don’t have to be an expert or the best every time.
I’m a huge overachiever (there, I admitted it!) so I always feel the need to be the best and excel at everything I attempt to do. My first day of yoga was tough and I found myself getting upset that I couldn’t fully complete poses like Adriene. Yoga (and blogging for that matter) has taught me that I won’t always get it right on the first try, but that doesn’t mean I should stop trying; I’ll only get better if I continue to work hard and practice, practice, practice.
I’ve found yoga to be a great way to relieve stress and put more effort into my well-being. Now if only I could give up french fries and burgers (yum!) I’d be in tiptop shape! But seriously I’m starting to love yoga even more than basketball (!!) and I hope I’ll be able to keep up with it as the year progresses. If you have any tips or tricks, please leave them in the comments below! I would love to read or watch any yoga info you guys might have.