Saturday, 22 March 2014

Getting Started With Yoga


Yoga has become a bit of an obsession for me lately.

Its been something I've been interested in for years, but making the move from just watching yoga videos (oddly relaxing, fyi) to getting on the mat and actually doing it has made a significant difference in my wellbeing. And no, I'm not talking about weight… Lets just say, those thighs aren't made from quinoa and running marathons.

Since taking that first leap, yoga has become ever-more a part of my life and although I'm far from being a full on 'yogi' I appreciate and love the practice for what it does to my 'whole' self. I'd say I've only really taken yoga seriously since the beginning of this year and so there are plenty of new things to learn, but here are a few of my hints, tips & recommendations for yoga newbies alike :)

1. Get a mat! Technically speaking, you can practice yoga anywhere; in bed, on a chair, on the hard floor - but I find my mat like my sanctuary. Once I've rolled it out, it's officially the start of my practice and it has become my own place to relax, stretch and de-stress. 

There are hundreds of different options out there but a couple of things to consider are; the thickness and the stickiness. Personally I know that rolling on my spine is painful, so I opted for a thicker mat, but if you want or prefer the feeling of being connected to the floor - then a thinner mat is for you. As for stickiness, or grip, I found that my first, cheap yoga mat offered little to no support and as soon as I was remotely sweaty I would be slipping all over the place in downward dog - which often resulted in some kind of face-first plank 'pose.' No bueno.

In the end, I bought a 'Yoga Warrior' 6mm mat as it seemed like the best product for my price range. I've had it a good few months now & I really do recommend them. Super comfortable and great grip! 

2. Connect with an instructor. Yoga is all about finding what works for you and I think that applies all the way through to finding an instructor that you enjoy learning from. This doesn't necessarily mean attending classes, but even finding a Youtube or My Yoga Online teacher that you connect with can be just as important. 

I attended my first 'proper' yoga class at the gym at the end of last year and absolutely loved the gentleness and free flowing style of the class - only to find out it was that instructors last class before she left. I then attended another session with a different instructor, and it was so structured and so focused on achieving the ultimate 'perfect' yoga pose that I just ended up feeling uncomfortable and frustrated by the end. It put me off completely and I didn't practice for a long time after; until I found Tara Stiles, Yoga with Adriene (my absolute favourite) and Samantha Brown (MYO) and it completely changed my perception of what yoga is all about. 

3. Be true to yourself. Instagram, pinterest and social media in general can be a great source of inspiration but I also found it to be detrimental to what I wanted to achieve. I started comparing myself to these other 'people' (super-flexi-may-aswell-be-gymnasts types) and became frustrated that I couldn't do the same. So I unfollowed them all. And it was the weirdest sense of relief I've ever experienced. Since then I've been more than happy with what I can realistically achieve and not what I think I should be able to achieve. Don't get me wrong, a couple of yogi's I find particularly inspiring have stuck around on my radar (mynameisjessamyn - I'm looking at you), but I don't expect to just bust out crow pose or a headstand without actually practicing!  

Having said that, I think the most common misconception of yoga is that you have to be flexible or thin or a contortionist to do it; I'm a happy size 14 and yoga has taught me that my body can do wonderful things just as it is. Don't let your current size, shape or flexibility limit you - it's an injustice to yourself.

That mermaid pose above? Although it may not be technically perfect (my fingers are looping on for dear LIFE) and it may not be particularly elegant looking - that gave me such a great sense of achievement. I felt like putting on a cape and becoming my own super-hero. *ahem*

4. And finally, ENJOY IT! Enjoy your practice. There will be days when you don't want to or you're just not feeling it, so adapt it. Enjoy it for what it is and how it makes you feel. Don't take it too seriously. Smile. Laugh if you fart (guilty). Laugh if you get stuck with your legs somewhere behind your head (guilty). Laugh if your boobs are suffocating you in plow pose (again, why?!). Take the time out of your day and commit to yourself & I'm sure with practice and patience you will begin to love it :)

Do you practice yoga, or want to? 
Who's/what's your favourite instructor/mat/pose?

xo

SHARE:

16 comments

  1. I actually saw you tweet about Yoga with Adriene a little while ago and subscribed! I haven't started yet, as I've been very disciplined with doing my blogilates calender workouts every single day (and those take up like an 1+ of your time sometimes!), but yoga is definitely something I wanna try as I already love Cassey's stretching videos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure they will seem like a walk in the park after that then! Well done for sticking with them though :) that's great. Xx

      Delete
  2. I love to watch Tara Styles video's, she has such a calm and relaxing voice. Plus, her yoga video's are just great even for beginners :)

    Melane | Oh Sweet Remedy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She really does! I found some of her stuff a bit tricky in the beginning as they're quite fast (so of them) but after a bit of practice they do become easier & that's one of the many joys of it all! Development! Xx

      Delete
  3. I've been really wanting to start yoga and I haven't got around to going to a class (as it doesn't always fit in with work), and trying to find someone good amongst all the videos on youtube was a bit overwhelming. Thank you for recommending people I have subscribed and am going to give it a go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good :) I highly, highly recommend Yoga with Adrienne as her beginner videos are just so easy to follow and so down to earth, she really is great. Good luck! :) xx

      Delete
  4. Love this! Im a bit of a yoga beginner but never see anyone ever blogging about yoga so sometimes its tough to find any inspiration at all! I hope you continue to post about yoga with more tips or even a beginners guide. Sometimes its really tough to know where to start!
    Xx

    www.inspire-magazine-online.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Louise! I'm definitely happy to blog about yoga, even if it hasn't particularly been one of my most popular posts :) so maybe it's something to do more of in the future. For now I'd recommend Yoga with Adrienne or even the Yogify app is quite good, but a little quick, but if you know some of the basics I'm sure you'll be fine :) xx

      Delete
  5. I'm a new reader and I'm so in love with your blog! <3
    www.faithfullymarissa.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've been meaning to start yoga for a while now, I even downloaded a yoga app! I really need to bite the bullet and do it, but being in a tiny box room doesn't make it the easiest thing to do!

    Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd love to take up yoga, just need to find some classes running in my free time (sadly no room at home). I did try following vidoes a few times in my old uni room, which was massive and it was good fun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are ridick gorgeous and now I want to take up yoga <3

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this! Im a yoga teacher and it makes me SO HAPPY to know that you have found a certain amount of freedom and enjoyment in your yoga practice :) So so happy!!
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I totally agree with your attitude towards yoga. No matter what size you are you can do yoga and still enjoy it but as you said, it's better not to compare yourself to others who've been practicing for years. I tried yoga in the past and a couple of months ago I started going to classes with my mum (who is size 16) and she enjoys it as much as I do plus it's a nice daughter/mother time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. The way of how to write dissertation proposal service works is simple. You place a demand giving us as much information as you can and it is dispatched to a professional writer. This safeguards the content you receive is free from errors or and correct according to the task.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for stopping by, I reply, read & appreciate every comment left!

© Tiny Paint Pot. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig