(this is me…. not to brag or anything)
First off, I would like to say that there was a day when I had stated, “eh, fitness just isn’t my thing.” Then I turned thirty and my metabolism vanished. Here is part of that story.
I love running. I love roller derby to pieces. But I really, really love yoga. All of which I used to do on an almost daily basis. Alas, I’m getting old. Roller derby, the love of my life for three years (and we still have strong lingering feelings), has taken a toll on my knees and hips. And running, my true first love, has just made matters worse i’m afraid. So that brings me to yoga, which is pretty much the only thing that doesn’t make me feel like I’m 75 years old these days.
I have had several brushes with yoga in my past. Once, or maybe even twice, I belonged to a gym where I dabbled in a class or two….. maybe a friend cajoling me to go with her to a hot flow class here and there….. always intrigued, but never sticking with it. Heck, I even trained to teach Body Flow at that gym I belonged to….. and that was very short-lived (read: I was no good at teaching it). Then one day things just changed. I don’t know if I had an attitude adjustment, I had a bout of bad anxiety, I was feeling like a giant blob or all of the above. I can’t put my finger on it, but something in me changed, and I now consider yoga a priority. It keeps me feeling fit, toned, helps my anxiety, levels out my stress and is the only thing I do for myself that keeps my head above water when life gets crazy. It really has turned out to be one of the most important parts of my day.
Having a knee injury from a rough season of derby, I couldn’t run and I was in a major funk. Not running (or skating for that matter) was making me feel miserable. I started practicing yoga simply, at home, in my living room. I decided, hey, I spend most of my down time pretty stupidly (ahem, internet) – I can totally do 20 to 30 minutes of yoga a day. With a goal of practicing 21 consecutive days (you know, to form a habit….. does that even work?), it worked! I set my mind and I did it, using my laptop and Jason Crandell’s podcasts. Btw, I love Jason Crandell. He is hands down one of my favorite yoga instructors. His cues make sense to me and he has a very structural “how to” instruction and my brain and body understand with ease.
Eventually though, I needed more variety. I’m not gonna lie. Living room yoga gets boring and there are a lot of distractions (oh, it’s you again internet!) I don’t really have too many tips on how to make it more exciting, but one for sure – buy cute yoga clothes! I know I’m more likely to actually get up and do it with some cute yoga/workout appropriate clothing on, than if I were, say…. still in my pjs sitting in front of my laptop drinking tea (damn you internet!!). Also, shopping is fun! New workout clothes are fun! Also, also…. options. I need variety! Enter my introduction to Yogaglo. With a TON of classes and instructors (and a 15 day trial) and at only 18 dollars a month, sign me up! This site, which I use on my laptop as well, lets you choose duration, style, teacher (Jason Crandell! He’s on there!), level of difficulty…. and pretty much rocks. It has tons of beginner videos if you’ve never practiced before and tutorials, from how to down dog, to how to safely and successfully get into more difficult poses like head stand. LOVE IT. Can’t say enough good things about it.
Sometimes doing yoga in the living room is awesome. Sometimes your five-pound chihuahua want’s to climb on your back while you’re in child’s pose. Sometimes your fiance comes barreling in the front door during savasana. Sometimes finding an uninterrupted hour for yourself is pretty hard. Recognizing this as well as listening to me talk about how one day I would like to try the hot yoga studio downtown – Empower, my amazing fiance bought me the gift of 10 classes last Christmas. I was totally nervous about going. Having practiced at home for the past few years, getting in a classroom full of other people was a little intimidating to me. I think it took me until the end of February to get there. When I finally did, I never looked back. With Empower offering over 40 classes per week, I have no problems getting there at least 4-5 times a week. Life gets busy and sure, I miss a day sometimes, but I also MISS it. I need it. Which is what keeps me motivated to practice often and keep making time for myself.
Do I still run? Heck yes! And though my derby days are done, I still bust out my roller skates several times every summer, for a spin around town. But I will always be practicing yoga. One hour a day. That’s all you need. How much time do you give yourself a day with no interruptions, to breathe and disconnect and just be? Yoga isn’t hard and it isn’t easy, and like anything I believe you get out what you put in. It is super accessible to every body type/fitness level. You should try it, because it feels awesome. So watch for a New Year special or for a groupon in your area. Give studio yoga a shot if it sounds like your thing. Sign up for the Yogaglo 15 day trial. Try a couple of podcasts. Do it. I don’t think you will regret it.