My Yoga Journey

April 27, 2015

As part of my fitness journey, I've been practicing yoga for almost 6 months straight now and it has been unlike anything I have ever experienced. I took my very first class having never done anything yoga-related (except maybe the unintentional corpse pose when I lay in my bed utterly exhausted after a long day).

I had no yoga mat, my pedicure was looking horrible (didn't realize most of the time yoga is barefoot fun because you'll slide in socks - trust me) and I had no idea I'd be sweating as much as I did. (Note to self: there are yoga towels for that.) I left that first class feeling stronger and so relaxed and I knew I had found something wonderful.

yoga, yoga pose, side plank, side plank with tree variation

After that class, I couldn't get yoga out of my head (and still can't). To me, I felt challenged in a different way than when I'm doing dead lifts or hack squats. Holding these poses is not easy, don't get me wrong... but throughout the whole process, I feel so relaxed and stay focused on my breathing that it makes the process so much easier and fun. Breathing is so important in yoga.

yoga, yoga pose, king dancer

With Christmas approaching I wanted a yoga mat from Santa, but I was impatient so I bought my own. (Sorry Mom.. Santa!) When you have the right tools, in anything you want to do, you become so much more motivated to learn. And I knew if I had my own yoga mat, I could practice in my dining room since it had no furniture.... so, I set up my own yoga space where I practice on a weekly basis.

yoga, yoga pose, camel pose

Yoga has also changed me physically. Just like when I started weight lifting, I had no clue how much yoga would challenge my body and make every. single. muscle work during a class. There are many times my body is literally shaking, but that means it's working to be stable and strong. Sometimes, as much as I want to fall to the ground, my will power to keep going shifts into overdrive. Yoga is a different kind of strength training and I can't recommend it enough. You gotta start somewhere, right?

yoga, yoga pose, warrior II pose, warrior 2 pose, namaste

yoga, yoga pose, crescent lunge pose, namaste

I am still definitely a beginner yogi... but I have already learned a ton physically and mentally. I'm making it a point to practice weekly (or more) and encourage you to try it. I promise you that you will feel invigorated and amazing! Below are some tools I use on a weekly basis to grow my knowledge - and strength!

yoga, yoga pose, pigeon pose, namaste

Here are some tools I use:

YogaJournal.com - This website is amazeballs. You can learn poses by beginner, intermediate and advanced and watch videos on how to do each pose. I use it all the time to practice and to work on remembering each pose name.

YouTube - When I started taking yoga classes, I literally searched Instagram and YouTube for inspiration and found a ton of yogis that I now follow on the daily. My favorite YouTube videos are from Kylan Fischer. She is great at explaining poses and has a lot of videos for different levels.

Friends - It can be intimidating to step into a yoga class but if you have a friend that practices yoga going as a pair will be less scary and way more fun! (For me, that friend is Alison. She is a strong, beautiful friend and amazing yogi.) If you don't have a yogi friend, who cares! Try a class with a friend who wants to check it out too. It can be a fun first experience together.

Also, for those in the DC area, Yoga On The Mall is May 9th. I love the idea of practicing yoga - on the mall - with hundreds of other yogis. I can't wait to try it! Will anyone else be there?

You can also shop some of my favorite items below to get started.

Namaste!

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