Is it possible to be become addicted to yoga? Because I think I may have done so. Who would have thought I of all people would become obsessed with something exercise?!
A couple of months ago, we got a gym at work and this kickstarted my fitness again. I used to be part of a gym that was (or at least could be made to be) on my route to work. I’d chosen this one as it had a pool and swimming is one of my favourite things – I’ve always loved being in water. My plan was that I would be able to swim on mornings before work and, if I had a longer piece of time, I would go to the gym first then swim afterwards to relax the old muscles. This plan worked perfectly for quite a while, until they decided to refurbish the pool. That’s awesome, I hear you say. But in fact no, during the 2 months they were refurbishing, they were only going to refund approximately 10% of my membership…considering that I would only use the gym after the pool, I decided to cancel my membership.
Fortunately, my bosses are awesome and timed the announcement of us opening our own office gym perfectly to coincide with my gym quitting. We were super lucky as they got their personal trainer in too to have individual sessions with us and get us started on a training programme. I’ve been ploughing on with that, but in the meantime, I’d started doing yoga at home and with Laura during our lunch breaks. We started by gathering the DVDs we had between us and trying those out, but we felt like we wanted more structure – something that would start us at the very beginning of a programme and guide us through it.
At school, I used to do yoga 2 or 3 times a week. It was actually a maths teacher who ran it, but she’d trained in yoga teaching too and was awesome – I loved her classes. So I already had a grounding in what the poses were, breathing techniques and so on, but that was, ahem, a few years ago now. So I opened it up to Twitter – who did they recommend? And the recommendations came pouring in, the vast majority for one single yoga guru: Yoga with Adriene.
I decided to watch a video first to see what she was all about and whether I’d like her style. Within minutes of starting the video I knew she was The One – the yoga “guru” for me.
I started simple, with a Beginner’s 40 minute video to get a feel for her yoga workouts. This is now the first video I go to when I want a familiar and achievable yoga practice.
Laura and I decided that we would do her 30 Days of Yoga challenge. We actually started this back in May so you can probably see we’re not sticking strictly to schedule! Laura went on holiday, then I did, then she was off sick for a while. During all these times, we both sporadically continued our practice though so we weren’t losing anything but just didn’t stick to the 30 days schedule.
And that’s how I personally am committing to 30 Days of Yoga. At the moment, we’ve done up to Day 17, but there have been many days that we’ve repeated twice, three times or even four times. There have been certain days where we’ve picked a day because it fitted with our time schedules (sometimes we needed a shorter lunch) or a day’s practice has been shorter so we’ve done two practices in a row. We’ve also found that Day 6 (Abs Day) is awesome and makes your abs hurt the next day in a good way, so we’re trying to do that at least once a week, combined with another practice as it’s quite short. We’re being very flexible with our days (haha!) but aiming to complete the whole 30 days at some point in the future.
What’s so great about Yoga with Adriene is that she’s so normal. She’s a little bit weird, she laughs at herself, she makes everything relatable. She pushes you, but not too hard. Somehow it just seems that you move into exactly what your body feels like it should be moving into after you’ve done something particularly difficult or more taxing.
And now I’m determined. I’ve found that I’m not doing yoga because I want to be skinnier, but because I want to be stronger and healthier, to be able to hold poses longer, stretch further and relax aches and pains from the office. And even more so, it’s relaxing in itself – I’ve never done exercise that manages to calm my stresses and anxieties in the same way.
I’m definitely feeling the difference in my body already. My muscles are started to get stronger – for example, today I managed to hold a side plank for around 8 seconds on each side after 2 practices one after another. Doesn’t sound great, but considering that a couple of months ago I couldn’t even lift my body up into that side plank, let alone hold it, I’m impressed. I’ve also never been a flexible person – touch my toes? Yeh right! Well, I’m now able to touch my toes and even the floor with legs straight! I’m getting further every day! And my downwards facing dog is getting more and more awesome by the day 😀
I’m excited to keep going with my yoga practice and feeling the difference it makes to my life. I am at the same time still committed to the gym programme I’ve been set but haven’t managed to make quite as much of a routine out of that yet (which I’m blaming on Ben getting a new job and messing up my morning timings – excuses, excuses!).
Also I have to add that my new awesome yoga mat (pictured above right – from Cope Active) makes all the difference! Work bought these for us because the boys at work kept messing up the other mats so Laura and I got personal ones!
Have you tried any Yoga with Adriene practices? Do you recommend any other online yoga videos?