If anyone told me a year ago that I’d be practicing yoga today, I wouldn’t believe them. I’d probably laugh in their face and say something like, “yeah right, I’m not a hippie!” Yoga seemed so far fetched and weird that I wanted nothing to do with it. But now, I can’t picture not practicing! If I even go two days without doing some form of stretching, my muscles feel sore and jagged.
I’m not entirely sure why I chose to start practicing yoga this year, but it probably had to do with needing to stretch out my back and shoulders (both of which have always been really tense) or my anxiety. With my anxiety, I’ve always known that deep breathing helps, but “yoga for anxiety” articles kept showing up on my Pinterest feed – this might actually be why I started practicing, I tried out the anxiety sequence and loved how my body felt afterwards. Like that long stretch after a cat nap, my body felt refreshed and energized.I quickly turned to youtube and found three amazing ladies that have yoga channels; Juliana, Adriene, and Lisa from PsychTruth. Each channel has their own killer sequences and routines. Juliana from Boho Beautiful is hands down my favorite. She’s a little advanced but I love the sound of the natural backgrounds. Most of her videos are out by the beach or on some treetop balcony, all including the sounds of nature with her soothing voice.
Adriene, from Yoga with Adriene, has the best voice to listen along to. She has the easiest videos that let you close your eyes and let everything fall away, all I have to do is listen and she guides you through every pose really well! The latest sequences I’ve done of hers are the Yoga for Healing videos. I’ve tried yoga for wrist pain, yoga for when you’re angry, yoga for a broken heart, bedtime yoga, and detox yoga.
Lisa was the first yoga video I tried! I found her beginners yoga video very helpful. I did pop my back in a weird way while doing the camel pose for the first time, but it’s since healed and doesn’t hurt when I try the pose again. Another video of hers I love is, flexibility and relaxation yoga.
Other reasons I love yoga, it’s a great workout. I don’t workout to lose weight, on the contrary I’m trying to gain muscle weight – yoga helps you lose weight. I wasn’t expecting to lose any weight from stretching but I totally did! The breathing techniques have definitely helped my anxiety, my anxiety isn’t at all very intrusive in my life anymore (unlike high school) but it still comes about every so often. It has hands down helped my posture, in one of Adriene’s videos she continuously reminds you to keep your “head over heart.” Every time I find myself slouching, I’ll immediately hear her voice and lift my head, which will immediately pull my shoulders back helping my posture.
Throwing in the motivation of getting more flexible, mastering certain poses that I’m no where near capable of right now feels great too. When I first heart of mermaid pose I thought I’d never learn how to do it, but within a couple weeks of practicing, I got it! The little things and the big things in yoga all add up to a better feeling in my heart and body, which I know sounds totally cliche and hippie-like; but like I said, I never thought I’d be a yogi some day.