Things I’ve learned as a yoga newbie

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-poseMountain pose… on a mountain in Switzerland in September. πŸ™‚

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″Β 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 areΒ my favorite yoga videos.Β 


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 morningΒ depending on how much time I have.Β 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. πŸ˜‰

So tell me, do you practice yoga? Any favorite (beginner) videos I should try?Β 

Love Rach

85 responses to “Things I’ve learned as a yoga newbie

  1. I’m definitely not a yoga expert, but I love that you shared videos on how to do the proper poses. so important to prevent injuries! anyway, get it girl!

  2. About 10 years ago I was really into yoga. Ok, not *really* into it, but as much as I ever get into anything. At the time, I’d found a yoga show on Oxygen channel that I really liked, and it helped me feel a lot more comfortable even though I wasn’t very flexible. I probably did yoga 2 or 3 times a week? And it took me at least a year to get “good” at it. my arms, legs, and rear end never looked so good!

    I’m in terrible shape these days, but for a killer cardio routine, I’ll do sun salutations, but move from pose to pose ever so slowly. Holding them halfway takes a lot of energy!

  3. I’ve tried yoga once, and I ended up with bruised knees. Ha, ha. It IS tough! My mom and sister always do Yoga to Christian music, which I think is pretty cool. πŸ™‚

  4. Oops, I just left a comment and didn’t realize I was still signed into a bobandlarry account. That was my comment… LOL! I’m working on a website for my church. (Sheepish grin).

  5. Has it helped?? You just do YouTube or do you have other videos as well? I laughed out loud at the sacrum comment!!!

  6. I love yoga so much and wish that I did it more often. I always feel like I get bored at home doing it by myself but in a class I’m in a totally different mindset.

    I’m actually currently looking for a local yoga teacher to ask (beg) to start teaching yoga classes at our church as we had a rental space open up and i’m already doing Zumba there πŸ˜› One of my friends did a Holy Yoga class which is a Christian yoga class and said it was so much better than your average frou frou new agey yoga class so I’m on the hunt for someone who teaches them πŸ˜›

    • That would be so awesome! I’ve only been to one yoga class and it was at a church many years ago. I walked in with my friend who was the same age as me and we saw all the elderly ladies in there and we thought “oh man, we are going to crush this and look so good!” Yeah, we were wrong. Turns out all those ladies were super flexible from years of yoga practice and she and I were clueless and clumsy, haha! I hope you find someone to do a class at your church. That would be so cool!

  7. I need to work more yoga into my workout routine- the benefits are amazing!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  8. Yoga is something that I have wanted to make a thing for me but have seriously struggled with for years. I don’t feel like the results from yoga come fast enough for me to stick with it for a long amount of time. I get bored and I guess my problem is I cant shut my mind off for it. I would love to gain back some flexibility that I lost though like you said. And I know anyone can benefit from it.

  9. Oh this post has be all sorts of excited to get back into yoga! I too am super inflexible, so yoga is so so good for me!

  10. I joined a gym last month, and I’ve been primarily lifting weights and running/walking on the treadmill, but I keep thinking about taking the yoga/pilates class that they offer! It makes me nervous to take one of their classes because I’ve just been doing things on my own and not really in a group setting. But I might try it!

  11. Yoga is great for my mind. I loveee it.

  12. You inspire me to get back to Yoga. Exercise that incorporates stretching and well being is even more vital as you get older. Love that picture of you on the mountain.

  13. Pilates is my type of thing, as I’ve found that yoga instructors do tend to be a little mystical and weird for my tastes, ha! I don’t have a mat, I was looking for one recently and they were clocking in at 200 RM–the equivalent of $50 and over 4 hours of teaching wages so I was like, yeah, I can keep using a blanket. I layer a couple blankets on our floor because we have ceramic tile–I feel like even with a mat the tile floors would feel too hard on my back, layered blankets give some extra cushion against the tiles.

    • Oh my gracious, so expensive! I can totally understand not spending that much on a yoga mat. Is Amazon Prime an option there? Sounds like your blanket method is working, though! πŸ™‚

      And do you have any favorite pilates videos? I’ve heard good things about pilates, but I haven’t tried it before.

  14. Yoga + GiGi = Dog w/ Peanut Butter in mouth.

    It’s a hot mess .LOL!

  15. This sounds awesome!! I want to give it a try.

  16. I really enjoy yoga but it’s something I almost need to be in class for because I don’t think I do all the poses right at home. I am going to check out these videos though. I went to an outdoor yoga session with a running group a few summers ago and I really enjoyed it. The teacher was a runner too so she did poses that would help us. I really did feel relaxed after it and all flexible even though I wasn’t that flexible compared to the others, lol. A friend even teaches yoga at my gym, but unfortunately it’s during the week when I’m at work.

  17. I took a semester of yoga my last year of undergrad! I have the same exact problem with inflexibility and sometimes wanting to giggle inappropriately lol. So I don’t do it too much anymore, though I did take a free class in Belize a couple of weeks ago. I was as inflexible as ever but the view was lovely and I remembered a handful of poses so I called it a win haha.

    I do have a yoga mat that I use for Pilates and love it for that!

  18. i had to google sacrum. hahaha.
    i need to get back into yoga. i was doing it fairly consistently, like 2-3 times a week but i haven’t done more than like one stretch at a time in over 6 months. ugh. embarrassing. you really do see results when you do it often. i also need a new mat because mine slip and slides all over the shop.
    RatPad sounds interesting too! buy all the things.

    • I totally had to Google it too! I thought it was my heart or something like that when I first heard it, but Google filled me in. πŸ˜‰

      If you are thinking of getting back into yoga and ever had trouble with your knees hurting from poses, then I definitely recommend the RatPad! We have hardwood floors so even with a yoga mat, it can hurt my knees a little when doing poses that put a lot of pressure on them. So I love it! Plus it makes a great pillow for some of the more relaxing poses. πŸ˜‰

  19. I really love yoga but sadly I don’t make time for it as much as I know I should! I’ve never been able to get into a routine. I’m just in a bad non-routine at the moment! But it really relaxes me and feels so good to stretch. Saying that makes me want to do some right now!

  20. hello. I am new to yoga aswell ,I love yoga with Adriene she brings lots of joy and encourages me. google ”yoga with adriene ” enjoy πŸ™‚

  21. Great post! I started yoga myself this year. And it didn’t take long to find out that yoga is waaaay more challenging than imagined πŸ˜‰ but life is better after your yoga practice πŸ˜€

  22. Love this!
    I too use yoga videos online, as I feel that it is most helpful for me. I agree with all that you have said, nice post!


  23. I got into yoga this year as well and it has been lovely! I usually couldn’t sit still long enough to do much, but I’ve been getting better at quieting my mind and just getting into it! Love the mountain pose picture of you. Beautiful!

    How did you get Christopher to practice yoga with you?! Jimmy still won’t even try. Lola and Malcolm always want to come on my mat. Lola to lay and Malcolm to play!

    • Ooh do you have any favorite videos you’ve used?

      Christopher has always said that he should stretch more because he’s so inflexible. So when I started doing yoga I just asked if he wanted to do it with me since yoga helps with flexibility. So he did. No convincing needed on my part. Sorry to not be more help. I know a lot of athletes do yoga to help them with their overall health. So maybe tell him that? πŸ˜‰

  24. I LOVE stretching and it truly does make SUCH a difference. I’ve never done “yoga”, but I’ve thought about implementing some of the poses as stretches. πŸ™‚

  25. I agree with the wrist strength problem! That was my biggest issue when I first started practicing. And even now every time I get away from it for too long I feel it in my wrists when I come back.

  26. Before I even tried yoga I thought it was going to be easy (before I was pretty flexible), I did not anticipate the difficulty or the real flexibility it takes. I love doing yoga because there are so many benefits and being able to see one’s results are awesome. I have been doing yoga for almost three years now and the poses and flexibility I have now versus when I started is night and day. Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed reading.

  27. Pingback: Learning to be healthy (and losing 18 pounds along the way) |

  28. Great stuff! Btw, yoga isn’t competitive, so if you can’t rest you feet on the floor, don’t worry, I don’t bother and most people I know don’t either. Some people actually recommend against it, if it puts an unnatural curve in the lower back. Keep up the great work!

  29. This is a site with free yoga classes that I find quite good:

  30. This is wonderful. I love yoga but sometimes things teachers say still make me giggle a little!

  31. Good on you for finding the version of yoga that unites you with your ‘higher power’ in whatever form speaks to you. That is the essence of it: yoga = yoke = being in union. My dog likes to lay right there with me too:)

  32. Try yoga with Adrienne! She is so calming but doesn’t lull you to sleep. She’s also super quirky and funny which made me feel connected to her automatically!

  33. David Swenson’s ‘Yoga Short Forms’ was the video that got me hooked on yoga. 20 years later, I’m still practicing.

  34. Yeah a yoga matt is a deffo must! I even use it when I do sit ups at home because I even find the carpet unforgiving! I’ll have to check out your recommendations though πŸ™‚

    If you have time, check out my latest blog post at and let me know what you think!

    Happy Blogging x

  35. Caroline GIbbons

    I definitely relate to not realizing that certain parts of my body would be so sore once I first started practicing yoga regularly. For me it was my shoulders… Each day I try to remind myself to go into it with an open mind so I’m not so hard on myself.

  36. ! Try yoga with Adrienne!

  37. i love practicing yoga too , my little sister actually had the opportunity of learning from an Indian guru that used to come to their school and she had been so keen on sharing new positions with me, one up for tree pose

  38. ! My dog likes to lay right there with me too:)

  39. Beginning of your post was super funny! Nice to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t always take yoga so seriously aha. I think yoga takes a lot of getting used and there’s always the ‘it’s only stretching’ ‘oh wait it’s actually a workout’ aha! Moment. Wishing you all the best with your practice!

    • Haha! It definitely can have it’s more comical moments! πŸ˜‰ I have definitely had some major adjustments to my yoga practice since being pregnant, but it has been so great to help keep me stretched out!

  40. This is very insightful! Love this entry.

  41. Lovely post! Yoga is such a great way to achieve calmness!

  42. It is defintely more of a workout than you expect, and sticking to it does provide crazy results even if you suck at it in the beginning. I started last fall and laughed at myself so many times as I couldn’t get into a pose or fell over, I was not flexible and had no core strength, now I have both! One of these days I may move my yoga out to the goat pen and see what all that fuss is about!

  43. I think yoga takes a lot of getting used and there’s always the ‘it’s only stretching’ ‘oh wait it’s actually a workout’ aha! Love this entry.

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