Third times a charm, right? I’ve been trying to pick up a yoga habit for a while now but so far have been floundering around not quite aimlessly but pretty damn close to. Yesterday, despite wanting nothing more than to snuggle in bed with a bag of jelly beans and my Nintendo Switch, I threw on my yoga outfit, picked a session, and pushed myself to just get it done.
I chose a beginners set called Winter Warrior. The description sounded nice enough and the pose list didn’t include anything too advanced so I felt like it was a good place to pick back up!
It wasn’t awful but it took a measure of will power I wasn’t sure I had (I found out I did indeed have the willpower). The videos I use have nice little empowering statements every so often. In downward dog occasionally the narrator will say “cycle your legs and slowly rock your body, whatever feels nice here” and my internal response is “NOTHING FEELS NICE HERE, MY HAMSTRINGS ARE MADE OF LAVA”.
Yoga is supposed to be calming but I honestly haven’t mastered feeling zen yet. I think zen comes after your muscles stop shaking.
I finished my session, completed all poses to the best of my ability, and felt proud. My whole body felt like it was made of jell-o or maybe a thick pudding and I definitely broke a sweat!
I decided to document some tips to myself (and other people who are new to or restarting yoga)!
- Do the poses the best you can! I’m a perfectionist and so I want my body to match the video’s example exactly. It’s impossible, literally. As someone who never played a single sport, has never touched my toes without bending my knees, and is about as flexible as a steel rod I cannot match their stances. This is quite discouraging. It’s completely ok AND EXPECTED to modify the stances to meet the skill level I’m at.
- Water, water, and water! This is a big one for me. Have a cup of water near by for throughout the session. Sweating means there needs to be rehydration happening. It also helps muscle regeneration after the session.
- Do not, for the love of nausea, eat immediately before. It is important to have eaten somewhat before the session but avoiding eating a whole lunch or meal only minutes before starting. All those poses on a full tummy can make for a very upset stomach.
- Do eat protein immediately after. I didn’t do this. I regret not doing this. Protein helps make sure your body has the fuel to regain strength and reduces inflammation as this happens. In jargon, not eating proteins means the next day will likely hurt much more. I can attest to that today as I cry with every step.
- Focus on the breathing rhythm. I have a tendency to focus on the shaking in my arms and legs or the fire in my muscles as I try to hold a pose. This honestly is counterproductive despite how challenging the habit is to break. All it does is makes it feel harder than it is. Instead I’m going to focus on my breathing especially when I’m feeling the burn!
So there we have it, for the third time this year I’m restarting yoga and this time will be the time I stick with it!
My goal is 3 times a week with 30 minute sessions to start. I think that’s reasonable! I’m going to post most of the time about it to keep myself accountable and share my journey!
I’m sore, I’m tired, and I’m proud!
What are your favorite yoga tips? Have you struggled with keeping a yoga routine? What are your yoga goals? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!!