I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with yoga. I mean I love that it’s so good for me and all that jazz, but I hate how slow it is. When I exercise, I’ve always opted for high cardio sessions, about the slowest form of exercise I’ll do is swimming, and even then, when I’m not drowning I’m doing my best to slice through the water and knock out 50+ lengths in under and hour. I’m sure, somewhere in that brain of mine, my reasoning for this is the faster the exercise then ; A) the better it is for you, and B) the sooner it’ll be over with and procrastinating can resume.
Yoga requires time, patience, and being still in my experience. I’m in no way a professional, I’ve only tentatively attended a few classes, most of what I know/do yoga wise comes from YouTube and random searches around the internet.
I’ll be honest, I’ve been stressed out for a while, various issues around work, life and all things in between have left me completely frazzled and disconnected some days, and I really dislike feeling that way. You know, when you don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning? Everything aches but you’re not sure why? Run down, lethargic and yes, even my skin is starting to throw a strop – and there’s only so much a cup of tea can solve.
In a bid to chill the F out, reconnect with myself and quite the voices in my head (no, not in a crazy kind of way…then again…) I jumped back on the yoga band wagon and forced myself to be still and patient.
For around two weeks I followed the 20 minute beginners workout by Adriene and I did notice a difference. Not physically, but mentally. My head felt clearer, I was getting out of bed with a little smile on my face and I felt able to tackle the day with just a pinch more gusto than previously. Who knew taking the time out to just breath and be still could actually work?
Then I stopped. I let the stress, the drama beat me down, and I gave in to the lethargy and sourpuss mood. For almost 10 days I did nothing, and as the days ticked by I noticed my head started to hurt again, I was irritable and stressing out about everything. I was right back at square one.
So, I stuck my hand out for the yoga bus and jumped back on. I’m not going to lie, it was tougher the second time around, I felt like I was physically having to carve time out with my bare hands and force myself back into practice. I found little joy in following the videos at first but eventually, I found myself getting up, stretching out and loading up a video without even thinking about it and within a couple of days I started to feel much better.
I talked a little at the beginning of the week about taking more ‘me’ time and my mini amateur yoga practices are fast becoming a big part of that. No, I cannot bend over backwards or hold a plank for long but I can close my eyes and stand on one leg! Just a few quiet moments of controlled deep breathing and stretching not only works out the stresses and strains on my body, but it frees my mind too. I find I can see solutions to my problems more clearly; I’m less irritable and sleeping much better too. I’ve also found the quiet moments a great way to work through and develop ideas too.
I think what I’m really trying to say, be it with yoga, a bath or a walk in the park – find something that gives you a moment to just be. To be quiet, to be calm, to be yourself. We live in such a busy and fast paced world, we rarely stop.
It’s not all about how quickly you get to the end of the workout, it’s the experience you have during it.
Tell me, do you yoga? Any tips for a beginner? How about you, what’s your moment to just be? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,