Yoga made a believer out of this mama, if you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?
I was an intense workout person. Not the kind of person who goes to the gym and grunts a lot while lifting large amounts of weights, but the kind of person that did P90X or 21 Day Fix Extreme. I felt strong after those workouts. Who doesn’t want to feel strong?! Until the day my doctor told me I had to stop.
With my autoimmune disease, those types of intense workouts only put my body under more stress, which contributed to my “flare” or inflammation to my body. When I asked what I was supposed to do – he told me yoga was my best bet.
Say what?! Yoga, my doctor said, is restorative. It’s not just good for the body but also for the soul. All I heard was “Blah, Blah Yoga. Blah, Blah boring.” You see, I had always scoffed at yoga. I would say things like, “My brain wanders too much!” or “It’s just a bunch of stretching!” or “I’ll never tone up doing that!”
I stopped the intense workouts but also ignored my doctor’s yoga suggestion.
Until COVID and quarantine.
With nothing else to do, I decided to get over my judgment of yoga and give it a test run. I’ll give it a week, I thought. So off I went to research where I could do yoga online and for free. (Free is key!) What immediately popped up was Yoga With Adriene.
As I researched, I discovered that Adriene Mishler, the creator of Yoga with Adriene, is basically the queen of online yoga. Through the years, she has created a YouTube channel dedicated to all things yoga (Yoga for a Back Pain, Yoga for Courage, Yoga for Gut Health, to name a few.) She had six million subscribers before COVID, and by April 2020 was up to eight million subscribers! (Can you imagine?!)
I poked around on her site and found a few 30-day yoga programs. I love me a set schedule, so I chose the simply titled 30 Days of Yoga. I promised myself I’d give it a week and see how I felt.
After a week, I…liked it. I liked what I was doing. I liked the movements. I liked Adriene! She has this soothing voice and is so good at describing what you need to be doing and how you can do it that I rarely had to look at the video. I kept showing up on my mat to “find what feels good,” which is Adriene’s motto. I liked how she made everything feel so relatable. She truly helps her viewers create a home practice.
Thirty days flew by, and I chose another program that offered a bit more challenge to my still beginner level, and I kept showing up on my mat. In fact, I started to look forward to it!
So here we are – 90 days in, and I’m hooked. I can see a difference in my body. I have, indeed, toned up a bit. I’m stronger in my poses and in my breathing. My posture has done a 180. To my husband’s delight, I’m also stronger and more flexible in the bedroom! Perks all around, my friends.
I look forward to my time with Adriene in the morning (and don’t even get me started on her dog, who might be the most chilled out dog on the planet). But, really, I find myself turning to yoga for all sorts of reasons. On especially frustrating or anxiety-inducing days, I can head back to the mat to ease my mind and heart (Yoga for a Rainy Day, Head and Heart Reset, Yoga for Anxiety and Stress). I can find something to help me work out the kinks from sitting at a desk all day. It’s been a game-changer.
I was always intimidated to try a yoga class, especially since I had no experience or love for it. Now I’m confident I could hang! I could do it! But, for now, I’ll stick to my home practice and keep finding what feels good.