18th September 2017.
So today has been pretty chill. It got to about 1 in the afternoon and I was weighing up in my head whether to get moving, or stay tucked up in bed. I pondered for a while, avoided making a decision, but eventually I decided to work out. I didn’t quite feel like going to the gym so decided to do my own work out, and then go through one of the yoga videos on my playlist on Youtube. I wanted to reflect on what yoga has done for me, and why I think you should try it if you haven’t done so already.
I started doing yoga at home in the summer before my first year, and I’m now about to enter my third year of uni. I don’t always practice regularly, and so am not advanced, but I’m very familiar with all of the poses and popular flows etc. What I love about yoga, is how versatile it is. I’ve used yin yoga to help me sleep, I’ve done a vigorous flow to help get my heart pumping and challenge myself, and I’ve done slow, relaxing flows to stretch and..relax! It’s a shame that when people search it up they are often met with people showing off very obnoxious and advanced poses, and that it’s often presented as a female practice, because yoga is something that shouldn’t be intimidating, and is for everyone. It isn’t about pushing yourself too hard, it’s about finding what feels good. I’ve decided I’m going to talk more about specific poses in a future post, so stay tuned for that.
So up I got from my cosy bed, and on my gym clothes went. I put some house music on (don’t judge, it’s my favourite genre) and got moving. I did a whole body workout, lifting dumbbells and body weight exercises targetting the legs, arms and abs. But to get to the focus of today..I decided to do a vinyasa flow straight after, which I’ve linked in right here for you to check out. Videos, including this one, often begin with you sitting in a crossed legged position, focusing on your breath. It was interesting to do this after a work out – I was sweating, I could feel my chest rising and falling and my breath was more rapid than it usually was. But a physical practice had instantly become a psychological one, which is one reason as to why yoga is so powerful. It’s not just about moving, it’s about self-care, breathing, focusing on the present and enjoying the moment.
Yoga is tough when you’ve just done a work out. The video included a lot of downword facing dog postures, and warrior flows, which really targetted my leg muscles and they were shaking! But it gave me something to focus on. Last night somebody really upset me that I had previously written about on my post “infatuation and rejection”, and I realised that yoga had helped me to accept the person I was. Last night I was self-loathing, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that I had been swept under the carpet by someone and I was to blame. But after doing yoga, I knew I had practiced self-love by hopping on the mat, because I felt calmer, and more positive about myself. This is the power of yoga.
There are so many benefits of doing yoga. It improves your posture, it makes you more self-aware of things like your mood, your breath and your flexibility, it improves your strength, it enables you to practice fitting in time for yourself..the list is endless. Wherever you are, there are likely to be local classes run by yoga instructors, but also, you can practice in the comfort of your own home which is what I do a lot. There are endless, free resources on youtube, pinterest, google..the internet is your oyster. So why don’t you put on something comfy and take a seat on your mat, and feel the power of yoga.