The Diary of a Beginner Yogi | #FitLife

When my friend Kimbely offered to write a post about her experiences with yoga, I was thrilled. I actually have recently decided to try going to yoga classes again because it embodies everything that I want fitness to be more me - something to improve my mind and body. Especially if you love books, definitely check out Kim's amazing blog.

The Diary of a Beginner Yogi
I don't know if it's just me, but yoga has been all over my news feed lately. I see the practice on Instagram and Facebook, and I pass at least three studios on my way to work, so I've definitely been thinking about it a lot. I've always wanted to get into yoga because I think it's such a beneficial practice for the mind and body, but I never stuck to the classes either because of time constraints or fear of inadequacy.

I've been consistently going to the gym for about two months now (yay!), so I decided a fun way to mix up my fitness routine in 2018 would be to add monthly challenges to my schedule. In February, I tackled a diet challenge (check it out on my blog in a few days) where I cut out carbs for a month and I also decided to incorporate yoga into my routine twice a week.

Typically I work out in the morning before work, so on my break days, I decided to do thirty minutes of light yoga instead of completely forgoing physical activity.

So, Here's the Thing About Starting Yoga...
When I first started to practice yoga, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I remember queuing up the first video, which was a beginner's morning yoga session and feeling so bored with the first ten minutes. Then, all of a sudden it got hard. I feel like yoga seems deceptively easy because it's all about stretching and breathing, but it requires an immense amount of strength as well as discipline.

Something I love is that I can do yoga from home. This means the two days of the week I do yoga, I have a little extra time to drink my tea at home or go into the office early to get some work done. There are amazing resources online (I'll get to those later), which means yoga doesn't have to break the bank.

I love the way my body feels during and after yoga. It's a much subtler practice than heavy weightlifting, but I can already feel the muscles in my legs and arms growing stronger and leaner from all the downward dogs and warrior poses. I'm also much more aware of my posture while sitting at work and I take the time to roll out my joints (like my neck and my wrists) more frequently than I used to.

These changes aren't astronomical, but it does make me feel a little better to have more awareness of my being and leads me to believe that that awareness will continue to grow as I grow in my practice.

Things to Remember
Yoga is not going to automatically be easy for you. It takes a lot of discipline, continued practice, and patience with your body. I've never been a nimble person, so I'm reminding myself every day that getting into the practice takes time and the little changes I see every day are leading up to big growth.

Don't stop before you've even started. You might not be able to hold anything other than a child's pose for a while, but you're trying and that's what's important. Keep doing your best and know that change will come.

Resources for Your Practice 
My favorite channel to turn to for longer yoga practice is Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. She has a full playlist for beginners and a range of videos from 10 minutes to a full hour. I love how focused her practice is on perfecting the movements and focusing on the breath. I feel incredibly centered after a yoga session with Adrienne and I've never felt that way before. I also usually have a difficult time following along to yoga videos, but Adrienne makes it so easy I don't even realize I'm not in a class setting.

I also checked out Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube, which I think is a lot better for people who are looking to do a little bit of yoga every day. I found the videos to be a bit more fast-paced and a shorter time period. I don't think I'd recommend Sarah Beth Yoga for 100% newbies like myself, but if you're just looking to do some additional yoga practice at home, these videos are a great aid.

Yoga is a wonderful addition to any lifestyle in my opinion. It doesn't require fancy equipment or $100 memberships. You don't have to be crazy strong or bendy - you just have to be you and you have to be willing to put in the work. I think it's a great way to center our minds and calm ourselves before the insanity of the day gets the better of us. It's always a good idea to incorporate practices into your life that better your mind, body and spirit, and yoga does just that.

I'm no yogi yet, but I'm excited to see where this practice takes me.


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