Wednesday, 24 April 2013

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY - From a Back Bending Love Inspired Amateur Yogi

For the record - I look just like this when I do it too ...

Get sweaty; get movin'; get boppin'; get pumpin'; get bendy; get lean; get mean; get fiesty! It's Workout Wednesday mi amigos! The midweek injection of motivation and encouragement aims to rev your exercise mojo and maybe introduce you to a few new approaches or practices that you hadn't heard of!

Today I'm talking Yoga. I am a self taught, complete amateur yoga lover. I have done a total of 2 classes and have every intention of doing more but, with tightened little purse strings since the big ole mortgage chained me down, I've settled for teaching myself. Instagram is the absolute tits for inspiration and knowledge - there are a gazillion yogis who provide an unending supply of positivity, advice and a gamut of back bended inspirational poses!

My recently adopted routine has been, get this, no routine! I flicked an email to one of the amazing girls I follow on instagram (elle_fit) and asked her about her routine and recomendations for a newbie, and she told me that she simply practices 30minutes a day 'mat time'. Mat time is where you do whatever your body likes, you just move in flow and take it moment by moment. I would definitely support this suggestion of where newbies (like me!) should start. Initially I felt weird and would try a pose and fall a and then feel stupid because 'the lady in the book held it so well - why can't I?'. The thing that I, and I'm guessing a lot of beginners too, need to remember is that everyone starts somewhere. Don't be disheartened by others' strength or abilities, that could be you if you give it your all and instead be fuelled by the success of others! I have been blown away at the (reasonably) fast progress that I've made. I almost died when I successfully held a headstand (for a whole of 4 seconds!) and I can now hold my toes with both hands and rest my forehead on my leg in a forward fold! This is a huge thing for me. I always complained that I was born with dodgy hamstrings and had no flexibility in them whatsoever but now have blown that excuse out of the water.

Choosing to incorporate yoga into my practice and daily exercise schedule has been a natural progression. I still love high energy and high impact cardio from time to time, but overall I'm finding that I'm needing to ground myself a bit more often. I'm saying things that I never thought I would like 'I just need some me time' and I crave 10-15minutes of complete solitary isolation at least once a day. This never ever used to be the case. I used to be on the verge of tears all day if I was left in the house alone (for more than 5 hours). I had no idea how to just be and appreciate time alone and cherish the present moment. Who would've thunk that this all-her-life extrovert would slowly morph into an introvert huh?

If you find yourself thinking about amping up the yoga in your life then I advise you to go about playing around with the following steps -

Invest in a yoga mat - 'Nuff said. They will set you back approximately $20-30 and you have a friend for life. Worth the investment.
+ Find a class nearby - If you have $15 to $20 spare and you want to see what it's all about, I would highly recommend first going to a class. This will give you an opportunity to have a go with some of the poses; exposes you to a variety of yoga variations (ie. hatha, bikram, ashtanga etc) and sets you up in a supportive and supervised environment. It's a great opportunity to get early direction with postures and technique, which may prevent injury or incorrect practice in future. I came across a beautifully written summary on Daily Cup of Yoga - click here to find out what class might suit you best!
+ Go the 'gram - Have a look through instagram and be inspired! Some to look out for @gypsetgoddess; @sydneybrown_xo; @yoga_girl and @beachyogagirl.
+ Read up - Browse through your local book store, library (many public libraries also stock instructive dvds too!), google, try websites like Yoga Journal and just soak up as much info as you can. Be your own teacher! Cut and paste a few images that represent the goals you have set for yourself and go out and smash 'em!
+ Have a play - Pick a few poses and challenge yourself to trying them out during your 'mat time'. Day one, you might fall a few times but day seven might see you hold one! Just enjoy it and listen to your body.
+ Take photos of your progress - Because I'm an absolute hopeless techy - this isn't something I have mastered! But if you have a loving mother/father, sister/brother or boyfie/girlfie around - ask them to take a few snaps, maybe one or two a week, and watch the progress unfold! Nothing is more motivating then seeing the changes in your own body and strength.

I hope this post has helped to clear a few things up on how best to start integrating yoga practice into your routine! If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email or leave a comment below, and I will endeavour to answer as best as I can.

Blessings and namastes x


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