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.
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.
With Christmas approaching I wanted a yoga mat from Santa, but I was impatient so I bought my own. (Sorry
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?
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!
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?
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