At the end of summer I started doing yoga regularly. In the past I’ve done it for a week or two here or there, but it never really stuck. Partially because I’m super inflexible which means I’m pretty terrible at it and partially because some of the things the instructors said would strike me as so funny that I had trouble concentrating. Their floaty, airy voices combined with them telling me to connect my sacrum to the universe was just a little too much for me sometimes. But it struck me one day… wouldn’t it be cool if there was such a thing as Christian yoga? A way to stretch and practice yoga while quieting my mind and focusing on scripture. So I Googled it. And found out that it is, in fact, a thing.
Mountain pose… on a mountain in Switzerland in September. 🙂
Things I’ve learned in the first few months as a yoga newbie:
1. A yoga mat makes a huge difference. I tried to use a rug, towel, and blanket and none of them were great. They would slip or slide or not be very cushy. In the end, I am so glad that I finally bought an actual yoga mat. Thanks to good deals at TJ Maxx (less than $15 each) we have an Aeromat Elite 1/4″ yoga mat (mine) and an Empower 1/4″ yoga mat (Christopher’s). I also got a RatPad for my knees and head for different poses and it is awesome!
2. It’s more of a workout than I first anticipated. I already do cardio and weights at the gym so I definitely didn’t expect any soreness from starting yoga. However, my wrists were super weak and had to be strengthened. And apparently whatever muscles are in your underarms are ones that I never used because oh my gracious did they hurt when I first started! So much soreness! But it passed within a couple of weeks and I’ve had no other issues since then.
3. Sticking with it really does generate results! My heels still don’t touch the ground in downward dog and I still can’t bend at the waist and put my palms flat on the floor, but I’m MUCH closer than I was when I started. My overall flexibility has definitely increased which I love. And I’ve been pleased to see how yoga tones my body as well.
For anyone interested, these are my favorite yoga videos.
Videos 1-5 are foundational videos that teach you how to do the poses properly. This was so important for me! It helped me know what I was actually trying to accomplish with each pose (even simple ones like downward dog or child’s pose). If you are a beginner, I really recommend those first five videos! Videos 6-10 are ones that I rotate through in the morning depending on how much time I have. Videos 11-12 are ones that I do if I want to try something different than the regular routine (or if my back is bothering me). And finally videos 13-15 are the ones Christopher and I rotate through at night time when we do yoga before bed. They are all pretty low key videos and help you stretch and relax before bedtime. We have loved these!
Oreo also loves yoga time! It’s not uncommon for him to share a portion of one of our mats while we’re practicing. He just loves to be close by. 😉
So tell me, do you practice yoga? Any favorite (beginner) videos I should try?