Monday, 25 June 2018

Naked Yoga

For the last month or so, I've been spending a portion of my mornings or evenings naked on my yoga mat. In an effort to try and work in some exercise into my daily routine, I decided to give yoga a shot. I've done a couple of classes at my gym before and enjoyed it, but fitting in half an hour at home every day seemed more achievable than weekly classes, in part because it's so bloody hot right now and at home I can do it in the nude. The Youtube channel Yoga With Adriene is one I've watched in the past, after seeing The Anna Edit recommend it years ago. I did the odd video a couple of years ago, but never consistently tried to work it into my life despite enjoying it. This time, I decided to attempt one of Adriene's annual 30-day yoga practices

Yoga with Adriene True
Sorry for the uninspiring picture, but y'know, it's NAKED yoga. And also I'm pretty damn chubby and not super willing to put semi-clothed photos of me trying to do downward dog with my boobs brushing the floor.

I bloody loved it. I won't lie to you, I was frequently a sweaty crying mess on my yoga mat at 10.30pm on a Friday night, but the moment when I finally nailed that movement I'd been struggling with for days was so sweet. It reminded me a lot of when I used to do Couch to 5K, something I'm considering starting again if the temperature ever gets low enough for me to entertain the idea. 

Adriene's wacky encouragement, talking me through the moves and telling me to smile and enjoy the moment without pushing myself too hard really worked for me. It was never about throwing myself around or forcing my body to move in a way that wasn't right for me; it was about stretching myself, finding my limits and gradually pushing them a little further each time. I definitely exceeded my own expectations, even if I did have to repeat a couple of days when I became flustered and failed to get through the video in its entirety because I sucked at downward dog. 

By the end of the thirty (maybe more like thirty-four) days, my body felt a little more limber, and I felt like if I needed to move my body a little after a long day sat at my desk I knew how to. It's been about two weeks since I finished the series, and I honestly miss it. I miss the downtime it gave me to put my phone down and focus on my body, to concentrate on how to move and trust someone else to direct my movements in a way that left me feeling good. Find what feels good is Adriene's mantra, and I'm really here for it. Pushing yourself is good, but pushing yourself in way that is kind and respects your body's limits. No more of this "push past the pain" that I remember from when I used to attempt Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. It's not for me at all, and I'm not sure that punishing your body is a positive mind set for anyone.

Find what feels good, folks.

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