I had a few good reasons to start practising yoga. First being anxiety and all the nice stuff that comes with it, second – because I love exercising and movement, but going to the gym just didn’t feel like an option, and third finally exploring my spirituality.
Before I started my 31 days yoga challenge (Yoga With Adrienne) I was always quite sceptical of what yoga can do for you and thought it was too slow and boring since I have done it a few times before and never really fell for it, until last year. Last year I was taking a lot of time for myself, relaxing, slowing down, exploring myself and just really getting into self-love.
I kind of promised myself (without restrictions) to practice yoga at least 15-50 min a day and even if it’s just a little stretching. And once I found the right time of the day for it, it was really easy to stick to it. (Tip: if you incorporate something in your everyday routine, it’s so much easier to stick to it, that’s why for me it’s easier to do a little every day, rather than occasionally)
Often times I was struggling to incorporate other forms of exercises mostly because I use to be gym obsessed and doing JUST yoga didn’t seem like enough. I tried so hard to incorporate at least 2-3 weight exercises a week, but I just couldn’t stick to it. Yes, I do still enjoy a higher intensity exercise, but at the moment I feel like my body needs something like yoga. And this was really important realisation. It’s a part of learning what works for you and it’s important for our happiness.
Now I’ve been practising for over a year, at home almost every day for around 30 min, and I can tell you, it has changed my views so much.
Here are a few things I’ve noticed and learned practising Yoga.
- It’s about paying attention, and it feels good.
Because of my anxious mind, paying attention didn’t seem like a good thought. And I think it’s one of the reasons why I never fell for yoga before because I was struggling to let myself pay attention. The thing is, it takes a lot of practice, but after a while, you start Paying attention to the right things, and not be afraid of what you feel.
- I love breathing
Breathing is so important. Yet we don’t pay enough attention to it. At first, I was struggling actually, because thinking about breathing? That makes me breathe in and out so unnaturally and I end up achieving the exact opposite of what I want. So how it’s supposed to relax you, I thought. Well, I learned that movement helps so much with breathing. It just makes you do it more naturally, but deeper. And with time you have learned to breathe differently and also to take deep breaths off my mat.
- If you put enough effort and be consistent, you will see changes.
After practising for more than a year it’s very clear now that effort and consistency are what makes you reach some goals. There is just no other way. And because I see that in my yoga practices, I believe it also applies to a lot of other things in life.
- How to take time for myself
I’ve learned that taking those 30 mins a day and just focusing on the practice is ok. Really. After the practice, you will have the same life, but if you learn to let it go and take this time for yourself, you will have a different, better perspective on your day and life. Spend those 30 mins for yourself and set your day and troubles aside. It’s one of the most important things I’ve learned through yoga. It was quite hard for me, but with practice, it gets easier, as is everything.
- Most importantly,
I finally feel more at peace with myself and my monkey mind. Yoga is not just on the mat. A big part of it is bringing it off the mat too. You can always remember that you can achieve that same state of mind whenever you are.
And all that only in a year of practice. I am learning more and more as I grow into my practice and learning how to bring this knowledge into my life and off my mat as well. I obviously see a difference in my flexibility and body strength as well, but it’s not what I do yoga for.