With 2020 behind us, I thought it would be a good idea to start sharing how I’ve linked yoga into my life as a full-time mom. The short story is this— I dedicated myself to the practice because of an injury, which I’ve come to find is quite common. As I got older, I fell in love with yoga asanas (poses) first, and through more in-depth study in yoga teacher training, I became engulfed in yogic philosophy. I will make sure to elaborate on this story in another post!
The main reasons why people flock to yoga are:
- To work-out and tone the body.
- Become more flexible.
- Relieve stress.
- Find inner peace.
Everyone approaches yoga differently and I think most people start practicing it because they’ve heard how beneficial yoga postures are.
Asana practice can help us maintain our strength and flexibility so that we can continue to do the things we love, such as squatting in our garden, hiking in the wilderness, and simply moving about our lives in comfort. – Charlotte Bell
Where my yoga practice began
I started practicing yoga in my 20’s because I needed a break from my cardio work-outs. My first experience wasn’t even in a studio! It was at home with Jillian Michaels. While I was living in San Diego, Cox Communications had a section of On-Demand work-outs and I found Jillian’s to be the most challenging. Once I learned all of the basic moves, I dived into classes at the gym. Little did I know there was a whole world of yoga that I did not know about. I was only exposed to power yoga.
Tips for those just starting out:
Find your teacher
It is only natural to gravitate towards certain yoga teachers and fitness instructors. I scheduled my week around classes and eventually found the teachers I enjoyed the most. With that being said, not all teachers are created equal. I say this not in a negative way! There are so many different styles of yoga and yoga teacher trainings. In order to know what works best for you, you’ll need to do some research and spend time taking different classes with different teachers.
Consistency is key
The key to a solid yoga practice is consistency. Quit bouncing from studio to studio. Find a teacher that resonates with you and try your best to take classes at least twice a week. Once you build strength, bump that up to 4 times a week. Also, your yoga practice doesn’t necessarily need to be an hour long session each and every time. I find 15-30 minutes at a time works really well for me every day. Plan and figure out what will work for you.
Don’t forget – Every body type is different
I say this quite often: Don’t compare. Just do!
Many yogis and yoginis love to post their progress on social media channels. Don’t fall into the comparison trap by comparing how your body looks in a posture. The truth is, everyone’s body may look a bit different because we are not all built the same. I for instance have very tight hamstrings, so many poses where the full expression of the posture needs to have straight legs, mine are slightly bent.
Most importantly, work slowly.
As Jason Crandell says:
You cannot muscle your way into greater flexibility. You can for greater strength and conditioning, but your body needs patience.