When our lives are moving too fast and our days are getting more and more full of distractions, it can be very hard to prioritise a few moments to just switch off and have some ‘self-care’ time.
I’m definitely one of those ones who spends much of their life hunched over the computer screen, constantly scrolling youtube and social media for more interesting distractions. Recently I’ve noticed just how comfortable I’d become with feeling uncomfortable in my body and I turned to Yoga to see if I could get more into alignment.
Last month I decided to commit to a regular yoga practice, whether it looks like laying on my mat being still or 30 minutes of intense asanas (yoga poses) I’ve been spending a lot more time on my mat and that is always a good thing!
Some of the benefits that I’ve noticed:
- My shoulders have relaxed and I get less headaches! I suffer from very tight upper back and shoulder muscles, and long work days on the computer certainly aggravate that! Now I do yoga after every long work session specifically working on poses that open up my back and shoulders. It’s magic!
- My back doesn’t twinge after working any more. As I’ve strengthened my core and upper back, my lower back seems to be coming more into alignment too. It’s amazing to see the body starting to balance itself out.
- I feel more calm and steady within myself. Just knowing that I’m prioritising some ‘me time’ really helps me feel more relaxed and taken care of.
- I’m feeling healthier and my body is getting stronger. I’m noticing increased core and upper body strength in particular, which is something that I definitely wanted to work on.
How am I sticking to a regular yoga practice?
At the beginning of this journey I bought myself a pretty magical yoga mat. I invested in the LuLuLemon Reversible 5mm Yoga Mat which is widely known as one of the best grippy and well cushioned yoga mats on the market. I spent my $80 because I’ve always struggled with non-grippy mats in poses like down-dog and I really wanted to support myself to have the best tools for this new adventure. I’m here to tell you that though you don’t need a fancy yoga mat, it’s the best $80 I’ve spent and would thoroughly recommend you invest. Especially when you’re starting out having that extra grip allows you more expansion in poses and in my opinion just more of an enjoyable experience!
I do my yoga as an ‘at home’ practice, and i’ve had the best results with getting on my mat in the morning or straight after I finish my work. It’s a great idea to create a regular schedule where you know from the beginning of the day exactly when you’re going to set aside time for yoga. You could even schedule in 30 minutes in your calendar for yoga throughout your week. It’s worth experimenting with which times of the day works best for you, you might be more of an evening yoga person!
Once I started to settle into the teaching of listening to my body I realised just how many different styles and intensities of yoga practice there are! Depending on my mood I will practice slow relaxing sleepy yoga or more intense poses that really work my muscles if I want to reenergise myself for the day ahead. Knowing that yoga doesn’t need to look a certain way has been a great realisation; how you practice yoga can be determined by what feels good for you in the moment!
What Yoga resources do you use?
If you live close to yoga studios I highly recommend you make the most of the classes they will have on offer. There are often amazing beginner offers that you can use, or cheaper monthly memberships. There’s something magical about being in a class full of people practicing yoga together and I highly recommend you find a teacher near you that you really resonate with. Yoga is so varied so it may take you a few attempts to find a class that you really connect with!
If you live deep in the country like me it might be over an hours drive to your nearest yoga studio, but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice!
One of my all time favourite yoga teachers is Yoga With Adrienne. She has hundreds of yoga videos online that you can watch over and over for free. I like to scroll through her playlists and choose any of her 20-30 minute classes. If I’m especially tired or low energy then her ‘bedtime yoga’ classes are wonderful but she has a range of intensities available.
Some other yoga teachers that I enjoy watching are:
If you’ve been nervous to start your own yoga practice then I’m here to tell you that you really don’t need to be. You can start small with 15-20 minute classes online and build up your confidence to heading to your nearest yoga studio for one of their beginner friendly classes. The benefits that you’ll experience from stretching your body and giving your mind some downtime will outweigh the nerves of starting something new!
Until next time,