Hi, everyone! So, a new week has started and, instead of sinking into the doldrums of the Monday blues, I'm attempting to approach the day mindfully, moment by moment. Don't get me wrong, I can worry with the best of them, but I've been purposefully aiming to be in the present more often, more whole-heartedly. A huge impetus of this mindset has been my re-connection with yoga. I have done yoga on and off for years, but had gotten out of touch. With my New Years resolution of diving back into the practice, I have actually rekindled a passion. I have been doing online-based yoga videos 2-3 times per week since January and am now properly addicted. Given that I'm also addicted to expensive lipsticks and frozen yogurt, it's nice to have a healthy vice in the loop as well.
|Soaking in some serious sun in Mountain Pose|
So why do I love yoga? Let me count the ways:
- It encourages me to be in the present moment. To quiet my mind, feel my breath, and experience every sensation in my body without judgement. To not scold myself if I'm feeling stiff and to embrace my inner power. Cheesy, but true!
- It makes me feel incredibly strong! I noticed my muscles returning after the first couple of weeks and during every workout I find myself being able to hold some badass move I didn't think I could do.
- It is so, so easy to notice progress! Every time I hit the mat, I notice that I'm able to hold a pose a little longer, lunge a little deeper, or take fewer breaks. It's wonderful reinforcement that keeps me going!
- It inspires a mindset of self-compassion. This doesn't mean letting yourself off the hook (pushing yourself is important), but it encourages you to laugh, breathe, and smile when you fall or slip up.
- It's tougher than it looks! There is something beautiful about a pose that looks gentle and still, but feels incredibly challenging.
- Not only am I getting stronger, but more flexible too! It is always so exciting when you find yourself comfortable(ish) in a pose that you couldn't quite reach a few days before.
- When I finish a yoga workout, I feel simultaneously strong and relaxed. It's truly blissful!
In search of a home-based practice that would keep me positive, motivated, and engaged, I was lucky enough to come across Yoga with Adriene. I instantly connected with this Austin, Texas based actress and yogi. She is incredibly positive and encouraging, goofy, and ultra knowledgable about the practice. She pushes her viewers to put everything out on the mat, while also focusing on options for all levels and connecting mindfully. Her motto is "find what feels good", which is a quest I'm always willing to pursue! The Yoga with Adriene videos I visit most frequently are:
Energizing Morning Yoga- a quick 25-minute video comprising of sun salutations and balancing, grounding moves. It lets me break a sweat without having to invest a full hour on busy days.
Yoga for Weight Loss 40-Minute Fat Burning Workout- this is an amazing workout for building strength! It gets the abs seriously burning and will get your planks and lunges in tip-top shape.
Yoga with Adriene Power Yoga- this is perfect for a serious sweat! It's fast paced and combines classic yoga moves with squats and jumping jacks for extra intensity. If you want to see me with a serious tomato face, pop on by after I've finished this one.
And here are some shots of me in action! When I first saw the photos (taken by my talented and patient boyfriend, Adam), I first thought- "ugh, I'm not posting these. I look awkward and chubby. Eeek". But I quickly realized, I am passionately for people of all shapes and sizes loving their bodies and for promoting yoga (and all exercise, really) being embraced by every body. So here I am!
|Twist it out|
|Heels touching the ground in Downward Dog. Like a boss!|
In terms of yoga gear, this curvy gal does not run from bright colour and bold prints! I find that dynamic exercise clothes make me feel just a few notches stronger and more badass. I recently picked up the printed tank (seen above) and patterned leggings (below) from Addition Elle and am totally smitten.
And to wrap things up, I have to brag about my at-home yoga coach. Sadie is the toughest yogi out there. Here she is giving me the death glare- "don't stop now, Mommy!" :)
I cannot wait to experience my yoga practice deepen and expand as the year continues. Maybe I'll be able to do a headstand by 2016? And if not, I'll revel in the silliness and braveness in my attempts ;)
Have you tried yoga? What is your workout of choice?
Have a wonderful week! xo