Picture this, me, about 10 years ago, a young, fresh faced lamb. I try yoga for the first time ever.....and I hate it with every fibre of my being!!!
The teacher, although well intentioned, and well educated at being a yogi hadn't really prepared us for her style of yoga. The slow, boring, "are we done yet?" kind of yoga. I was trying it at a gym I was part of, and I'm sure the classes listed didn't include "bored-out-of-your-mind-yoga", 'cause if it did, I wouldn't have attended! I think it just said "yoga with so&so", and I feel like my sister or my Mom wanted to do it, so we all did it. Hooray for peer pressure!!
So, needless to say, I didn't enjoy that experience too much. I do know I laughed a lot though, which is good for you! I feel like I got kicked out? I honestly can't remember...that's bad.
Anyway, fast-forward to the year 2012, I'm in Anne Of Green Gables at the Theatre Guild, and the director thinks it'll be a nice way to warm up for a rehearsal by having her yoga teacher come in and give us a quick 15 minute session. It was optional, and my first reaction was, "Optional? Hazaa! Count me out!!!". But then, peer pressure......geez. So, I (very, very reluctantly!) went, and somehow, despite myself, enjoyed it. Sort of. It was quick, we held each pose for just a few breaths, the teacher was easy going and nice.
It didn't convert me though, I thought, "well, I guess only most yoga is terrible, and the rest is barely tolerable". Yes, I am super optimistic! Whomp whomp.
Fast forward to March 2014, I started exercising again, and really started to appreciate the value in having at least 5-10 minutes of really good stretching after a workout to help keep my muscles from getting too sore. I would usually just do some random stretches, trying to get each muscle group, then I decided to ask my personal trainer, YouTube, to find me some good cool-downs, and I found one I was happy doing most days.
Then I suddenly got sick of that particular cool-down video. Seriously sick of it. Not sure what happened, but all of a sudden I found the video irritating (well, the music in the video and the girl leading the stretching). Fickle me. Moving on.
So, looking up "1o minute post-workout stretches" on YouTube again brought up the video below, among many other videos, but I clicked on this particular one, I think because I liked the look of the stretch in that title shot looked amazing!
I clicked on the video to watch the first few minutes, and really liked the lady (Anita Goa) who was teaching, and I liked the not too slow, not too fast pace she had, so I decided to give it a try.....and I kinda loved it. What the-?!?
Well, now I'm willing to admit that I kinda love yoga. I still don't (and never will!) like the crazy slow, super spiritual yoga, that's just not me. I do love a challenge though, I love opening up parts of my body that I never even knew existed (seriously, some yoga poses make muscles I didn't even know I had work really hard!), and I love finishing a session and thinking, "I can't believe I managed to do some of those poses!" It's wonderfully fulfilling and gratifying!
One thing I've learned to love about yoga the more I do it, is the idea of being forgiving to yourself (which is important in any workout!).
This principle is so applicable to every area of life, and I've always struggled with it! I tend to beat myself up if I didn't get a good enough sweat on, or if my flexibility isn't as awesome as I think it should be, or if the house is super dusty, or dinner is late, or I'm staring at a basket of clean laundry that needs folding and I just don't wanna fold it..... Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and be forgiving!
Below is a 22 second time-lapse video of a 40 minute workout and yoga session I did from a few weeks ago. I often workout in the great outdoors because I love the fresh air, feeling the earth under my feet, touching the grass with my fingers (seriously, this perks my brain right up!), and filming it in time-lapse is just sort of hilarious! : ) For real, it makes my kids laugh out loud!
So, I promise you that you can find some yoga you like if you actually take a look! Ok, if you already like it, I'm just preaching to the choir, but if you think the way I used to (that yoga is the absolute worst!!!), don't write it off completely! It is a fantastic stress reliever, your body starts to strengthen and gain flexibility, and (even if you have a slightly ADHD brain like I do) you'll find that you will be able to focus better.
Here are my absolute favourite yogi's on YouTube that you should check out!
~Yoga By Candace- I've only done her 5, 10, 15, and 20 minute videos because my attention span (even though I now enjoy most yoga!) is still limited. Ok, I also do a 30 Minute Power Yoga of hers, and it is awesome, but I usually stick to under 30 minutes!
~ Sarah Beth Yoga- I will be honest & say I don't do all of her videos, but I do love her Power Yoga playlist, and her Yoga for Flexibility playlist.
~ Anita Goa- I generally go to this channel for her stretching & restoration yoga. Her playlist Stretch, Restore , Meditation//All Levels is generally where I'll find the videos I wanna do
Oh! I also want to be sure to mention that I do not own a yoga mat! If I'm outside I'll use a towel, if I'm inside I'm on an area rug, and that works just fine! You don't need anything special to do yoga!!!
In conclusion (I do love ending posts like a bad high school essay!), I hated yoga because it was boring, not challenging in the right ways (I was only challenged in that I couldn't stand it because it was boring!), boring, overly spiritual, boring, did I mention boring?
Now, I love yoga because I've found a style that fits me, I can find a class length I can tolerate, it's helped with my flexibility, being aware of my breathing, being forgiving, and I really do find some challenging poses (ever tried a forearm stand? Geepers!).
If you have your own yoga time-lapse video, share it with me! Or make one to share with me! P.S. "time-lapse" is an option on (most?) iPhones in your camera. There is likely something similar on other smartphones, but I couldn't tell you for sure 'cause I ain't got one. : )
It's Me, Amy-Lyn!
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