In case you didn’t know, yoga is not about finding all the cool ways your body can bend for that perfect Instagram shot. 😛 Yoga is so much more about how your body and your mind connect in practice. I’m not naturally someone who thought that yoga was a necessity in my life. I love boxing, spinning, and always being on the go. I’m used to moving so much both physically and mentally, but it wasn’t until earlier this year where I truly felt like all of this high intensity and high energy, was really working against me. I needed to find a way to balance myself and slow down in all aspects of my life.
Before we get into the “how” of incorporating more yoga, very briefly, let’s talk about the “why”. Why yoga is so important is because it combines and connects various parts of your being – physical, mental, and spiritual. It helps you slow down, focus on breath, meditate, and relax. How many times in a day are you truly present? Focusing on the ins and outs of your breath, and consciously letting go of all stress – meaning no emails, no phone calls, no work thoughts… It can feel so uncomfortable when trying to let go, but those are the days when I need to practice yoga the most. Yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety, increases peace and uplifts your mood, and from a physical standpoint, it does increase your flexibility and improve your balance.
If you also struggle with incorporating yoga into your daily life or even your weekly life, I have a few tips that can definitely help you get started in incorporating this healing practice.
Take a class
This one might seem so obvious but as with any other new form of movement, hobby, or skill you try to pick up, it always helps when you have a teacher by your side to guide you. While our bodies are strong and capable of so much, if we move in a way that is unfamiliar to us, it’s much easier to injure or harm ourselves unintentionally. Doing a quick Yelp, Google, or Classpass search for a local yoga studio is one click away.
Rely on YouTube
If going to a class is not really for you, or you are short on time, or just honestly find it hard to commit to a full 45, 60, or 90 minute class – I HEAR YOU. That is what’s been so hard for me personally, so that’s why I truly believe that a little bit goes a long way. If you are new to yoga, sometimes all you need is 5 minutes to get you motivated. Here is a video that I started with and still use almost daily:
Stick to a schedule
Once I incorporate anything new into my life, it helps to expect it at the same time every day. If you want to start your day off feeling connected to your mind and body, try bringing yoga into your life at the same time each morning, or perhaps you can start off in the evening and use it to wind down. Create a schedule that works for you and put it into your calendar! Once you set it as a meeting for you, it will be harder for you to just “skip” over it.
I know it can be tempting to want to do intense, difficult poses but start slow. That is the beauty of yoga – there is always room to grow and challenge yourself. Even to start with closing your eyes in a comfortable seated position and focusing on your breath – that is yoga. Make sure to build up your practice from a solid foundation.