So I don’t want to get “all yoga on you” because that gets on my nerves, and I sincerely apologize in advance for all the cliche talk! But I do want to respond to those of you who have asked me how I got into yoga in the comments and by email. You might recall that I’ve tried it on and off for years (I went through a DVD phase in college) but have never really enjoyed it. It was always a chore, and being very inflexible, I wasn’t good at it.
So this time around, I decided to use the “just do 20 minutes” approach with audio yoga in my living room. No class to attend, no mat, no obligations, no schedule, no challenge. I didn’t want to bore myself with long, slow sessions that I wasn’t mentally ready for. I just said I’d do 20 minutes of stretching in the AM on the days when I didn’t have to get to the gym early. Anyone has 20 minutes. (Start with 5 if that’s all you have!) I started with Gentle Hatha I = 100% stretch and relaxation. I didn’t want any lunges, warriors, strength. Just stretching. I studied the PDF pose guides beforehand so I was familiar with the poses, which made them easier.
After about a month of doing 20 minute sessions about 4 days a week (most of the beginner + advanced beginner 20 minute ones), I got better at the stretching poses and noticed an improvement in my flexibility. Then I started to literally crave something a little more focused on strength – lunges and warriors – gasp! I was inspired when I started to see my muscles respond (a huge surprise!). Then I started to crave something with more of a flow. Then longer sessions. As I’ve said before: motivation follows results. Not the other way around.
I also think that the past two months have changed my view of my body. I really do enjoy feeling my muscles work with such focus, and it has made me appreciate my body so much more. It’s made me want to focus more on strength training for the sake of strength and less because “I should do it twice a week to maintain muscle mass.”
- I love that I have tons of variety in classes to choose from as opposed to just a couple DVDs.
- I love that I do it after rolling out of bed in my pajama pants.
- I love lighting candles.
- I love having no distractions of other people.
- I love how un-corny the YogaDownload instructors are and their choice of background music.
- And I’m glad I listened to my cravings and let it all ……for lack of a better phrase….flow naturally.
So my advice to anyone who hates yoga would be to just start slow and with the minimum time you can devote without dreading it. If you hate it, try another version. If you still hate it, cut back to just 5 minutes! But once you start going through the motions, you’ll probably crave more. And maybe you’ll get hooked. I think this probably applies to lots of different exercises – running, weight lifting, etc.
Today’s big surprise? YogaDownload.com has noticed my frequent visits and blog raves about their audio yoga and is giving all KERF readers 50% off all downloads for the month of February! The magic coupon code to enter at checkout: KathEats.
Sweeeeeeeeeeeeetttt!! So this morning I downloaded a handful of 45 minute classes. I did Power Vinyasa Flow #2 for Intermediates for 45 minutes. It was hard but exactly what I’ve been looking for these past few weeks. My arms definitely felt the burn and while there were one too many chair poses, I’ll forgive them 🙂
OK, enough yoga talk! Back to the focus of KERF: Oatmeal!
I considered an alternative breakfast, but I really wanted a steaming bowl of something warm.
- 1/3 cup oats, 1%milk, water, pinch salt, 1/2 medium banana
- 1 dried fig, 1 dried apricot, 1 tbsp ea. of craisins and raisins
- ~1/2 cup cottage cheese, stirred in at end. (I actually kept the heat on and it overcooked so that it kind of melted into a very liquidy soup, which thickened again when it slightly cooled. I thought I’d ruined it at first, but it ended up really good!)
- ~2 tbsp almonds, walnuts + peanuts
- 3 M&Ms from trail mix
- Coconut butter
- Naturally Nutty Cinnamon PB, scattered
Butterscotch Toffee, pressed
Boy was this good today!
I’ve got a ton of school work that I have been neglecting. I’m just not in the swing of things yet! I have 2 exams next week and while I woke up to 16* this morning, it’s supposed to be 65* on Sunday so I want to enjoy the weekend!!!