So as I mentioned in my February Favourites post I have recently taken up yoga and I am totally loving it, in fact I can’t quite believe how much I’ve enjoyed it and the difference it’s made to my overall well-being so I wanted to share my ‘journey’ (ick I hate that term) with you all.
So I guess the first question you may have is, why yoga? There are a couple of reasons, first I like the fact that it isn’t competitive and is all about you and your body. I struggle sometimes with classes where everyone is treated as one group and it isn’t specialised and the joy of yoga is that even in a room full of other people – it feels like you can specialise the class to you and your limits.
I also used to be super flexible – having done ballet for years I remember the feeling of being open, flexible and energised and I really want to get back to that place. Sitting at a desk all day is so bad for you, especially your lower back and hips, even if you do have a back rest – so being able to stretch all that out is amazing.
So as part of a work initiative I was running I organised two yoga classes per week for 6 weeks in total, and I committed to myself to attend them all (minus one week I was in Disney). Now, my yoga experience prior to these classes was well…lacking. I had downloaded the yoga studios app on my phone and had done some practice at home, and enjoyed it but I hadn’t ever had a proper, scheduled class. I was a little nervous, more that the teacher would tell me all the practice I had been doing at home was wrong or was making things worse but luckily I have been told by both teachers that I have a nice practice – bonus!
So in the 6 weeks what have I noticed has changed? First of all, I am without a doubt more flexible – within 5 weeks I was able to put my feet on the floor during downward facing dog – I can’t tell you how chuffed I was! Related no doubt but I feel more open in my joints, especially my hips and my lower back area. After a class I honestly feel like a stretch Armstrong – it’s amazing.
I have also noticed a difference to my energy levels, focus and concentration. I feel more alert during the day and I have been sleeping so much better, even if I’ve practiced in the morning and not right before bed. There may be a combination of the mindfulness course I am doing and the yoga but I have found my anxiety is more under control than normal.
And the biggest question people have – have I lost weight or toned up? The answer, I’m not sure. I try to avoid scales but I think I am a little flatter in the stomach and my arms are starting to feel stronger – I am not going to lie and say I’ve lost a stone through yoga alone but I think if I keep it up I should see real differences eventually, I definitely feel the after workout ache the next day!
So will I keep it up? Damn right I will! I plan on practicing at least 3 times a week and I have engaged one of the yoga teachers to do some one on one sessions every month, to really hone my practice and focus on any areas I am struggling with (which is upper body strength in case you are wondering!) so I can eventually get to the stage of inversions and headstands – think of the Instagram possibilities!
I will aim to keep you all updated on my progress!
Little Lemon xxxx