I suppose you could call me your average 21-year-old. I follow a healthy diet (most days), I exercise regularly and while my weight fluctuates from time-to-time I tend to sit at around the same size pretty consistently.
One thing I am not, however, is disciplined. Sometimes I jump into my active gear, pumped to get to the gym and hit the treadmill for 45 minutes and other times I will lay on my bed for 45 minutes in said active gear stalking other fitness girls Instagram accounts.
I used a YouTube channel called ‘Yoga With Adriene’ to find my yoga sessions because she offers new yoga workouts all the time and you can choose different kinds of yoga depending on how your feeling that day (Since I have back troubles I did a lot of stretching videos). I also took advantage of her 30 day Yoga Journey- TRUE. Which I fully enjoyed and would recommend.
I completed one 30 day Yoga Journey video every single day and if I was feeling up to it, I’d do one or two other videos on top of that. I have booked marked tons of my favourite videos and will share them with you if you are interested.
Soon it became part of my daily routine and I would do Yoga with Adriene whenever I could (at home, in the staff room at work, in the airport and even on the cruise ship while on vacation) sometimes even getting so lost in the moment, that I’d look at the clock and realize I’d been doing yoga for 2+ hours. Here are the most significant things that happened over those 2 months:
1. The yoga sessions were hard, especially in the beginning:
I suppose this is because of the kind of yoga I was doing, but I swear to you, never in my life have I had to do so many planks. I thought I was pretty strong (I go to the gym regularly and train arms twice a week) but I found myself struggling to lower myself into a cobra over and over again. Even when I tried to cheat the system and choose an easy, flowy yoga session I found myself struggling some days!
2. I felt stronger:
While 2 months is not the longest time, it was enough time for me to start to feel stronger in my poses. There was a noticeable difference in how I held myself in the end and how I felt going to the gym every day. I suddenly started doing shoulder presses and dumb bell curls like it was no one’s business and even started seeing more muscles on my body then I have in months of weight training.
3. My body felt less stiff:
Living with scoliosis and working on my feet all day tends to make me wake up stiff and sore more often than not. However, my daily yoga loosened up my back and legs and I found myself sitting more comfortably, bending and crouching more easily and just overall, feeling much more flexible.
4. It helped quieten my mind:
Taking a bit of time out each day to focus on yoga alone was an incredible way to switch off. I wasn’t finding myself in a social media wormhole for the majority of the day or obsessing about what happened at work that day. I was going to my yoga practice with my mind wandering and coming out feeling peaceful and full of bliss.
5. I enjoyed it:
There were days I really didn’t feel like diving into a downward dog, but without a doubt, every time I finished a session I felt better than when I began. Even if getting onto my mat was a bit of a struggle that day, as soon as I did, I felt like it was exactly where I was supposed to be.
6. I Learned To Love Myself:
Probably the most important of all, I began to look at myself in a new way. I started to love things about my body that I was always picky about before. For example, my thighs went from being something that I always considered being big and bulky, to something that was strong and beautiful and working so hard in my Warrior One pose. And my stomach never seemed to be flat enough, but now I see it as one of the hardest working things on my body that needs to be treated with love and care. I learned to laugh at myself when I would tumble over during a balance pose and smile when I got that twist just right.
I’m not saying that you need to do yoga every day to feel this way, but every once in awhile is a great way to start. If the spiritual and mental aspects are not quite something you’re looking for right now, I highly recommend doing it for the gym gains and seeing what you learn about yourself along the way. Namaste.