Okay, so, before quarantine started, I did a maximum of two yoga classes at my school gym, and I wasn’t really that into it. I don’t know if it was a slower pace, as I am usually used to fast workouts, or maybe the excessive stretching. Whatever the reason, I truly didn’t let myself commit to it, or to even give it enough of a chance. A month into quarantine, as I started working out again at home, my workouts weren’t making me feel better in terms of my mental health and thoughts about my body. I knew I needed to try out new workouts, and the 30-day yoga revolution came up on my YouTube suggested page. I told myself “listen, might as well try it, right?” So I did, and here are a couple things I thought about it and had learned for myself, personally:
Yoga doesn’t feel like a task on my to-do list, much like other workouts I have done. Working out in the past, I would dread that one hour of doing HIIT workouts or running on the treadmill with the same playlist on loop every day. But once I got it done for the day, I felt better. Starting out doing yoga, I would look forward to it every day when I woke up. I was able to customize it to my body’s needs for that particular day, and it constantly made me feel better and reset.
I discovered how to listen to my body. A while back, I am sure I wouldn’t have understood that phrase. Now I am open to whatever my body is trying to tell me, pain-wise, or what I know feels good on that particular day. It even has helped me improve my eating patterns, to truly listen to when I am genuinely hungry, and what I actually crave. Listening to my body has become so important to me.
Yoga has improved my ability to meditate. I used to meditate every morning, but I constantly felt it wasn’t helping me. I thought I was doing something wrong, which is a silly thing to say about meditating, because you aren’t supposed to be doing anything, anyway. Since starting yoga, I have been able to truly sit down, and cherish the moment of just “being.” I became a lot more accepting of my thoughts popping in my head, and being distracted because I am constantly learning. And each day will be different in terms of my focus. Either way, I truly have begun to learn how to recenter myself with meditation.
I am more loving towards my body, with my actions and thoughts. Yoga truly puts one in a position of vulnerability with oneself and to work with the body. As I started yoga, I discovered how to be more kind and gentle with myself (as Adriene might say), and discovered even more beautiful parts of my body that I would dismiss in the past. Moving on with yoga, each day I have become more accepting of my body, than negative towards it. I believe this happens, as I see more of what my body can do, and how it is benefitting me mentally and physically. I feel even more grateful each day for my body.
Yoga has given me a strength I didn’t believe it could accomplish. I have arm muscle and am gaining a stronger core that has been helping with my dance practice, as well. It is such a strong, yet gentle practice that has really allowed me to connect even more with my muscles and strength.
I thought this yoga challenge was just going to last for the thirty days, but I have continued since then, and am now on day seventy of doing yoga. I do it because I love it. It has been such a wonderful addition to my 6 a.m. morning routine, and I truly don’t know how I was able to manage without it, before-hand. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an exercise that is loving to the body, or maybe even if you are just struggling with body issues. I know the universe has put yoga in my path for a reason, and I am so grateful for it. Thank you for letting me share my own personal yoga journey with you, but mine is not yours. Yours is very different, so I suggest you discover it for yourself. I am curious about what it can positively do for you…