YOGA. The ultimate go-to for stress relief, I think?
I try to catch a yoga class every now and then and I love hot yoga. Love love love. But it’s definitely been hard to go as much as I used to with busy schedules and what-not. I’m sure you can relate.
I never thought I would enjoy doing yoga at home. I was like no way will I ever be motivated enough to actually do that at my own house. I thought it would be boring and my mind would be all over the place, thinking of what else I had to get done that week. I mean.. sitting on a mat alone doing yoga with no one around you may seem like the best thing ever to some people, but to me it seemed like an easy escape to get up and do something else.
But.. with the busy schedule and other workouts being fit into my daily routine, I finally gave it a try. And you’ll never guess what happened.. I loved it.
I did it outside in the summer. ( Now that it’s cold in Boston I do it in a quiet room downstairs. ) I took my mat, went on my back deck, and started doing yoga. At first I would look up quick yoga videos on YouTube to get myself into the groove and have a teacher near me still, kind of. I did all different ones to find out what I liked best. Once I started doing these random videos once a week, I found myself putting together my own yoga poses that started to flow. Now it’s a once a week routine for me. ( Check out Yoga With Adriene on Youtube – she got me really into the whole yoga thing. )
I am NOWHERE near being a yoga instructor, I have no idea if all my poses together are actually good ( ? ), but it’s been totally therapeutic and I look forward to my 30 minute yoga flow every Thursday night after work.
I spent one week mastering the headstand and wouldn’t sleep until I got a little bit closer. No lie I would get out of my bed and start doing headstands on my floor at night to see if I was any better. I got reallllly into it, clearly..
1. It’s alone time that I don’t normally get
As much as I thought I would hate it and would want a teacher near me and showing me what to do.. I love the alone time. It isn’t often that I get to sit in a quiet room or outside and actually take in the scenery or breathe without hearing someone next to me breathing as well. I was doing the cat cow pose one day and found myself looking at the sky and not wanting to come out of it. There was NOTHING distracting me and for once my mind was totally clear. I think alone time is huge and really hard to get. As much as I love the fitness classes I take, sometimes being alone is really therapeutic for the mind.
2. My anxiety goes away
WHATTTTTTT. Is that even possible? I know. Doesn’t seem it. Sounds cliché. But FOR REAL. There is no one near you or looking at you and I think that’s really effective for relaxation. I truly believe that my anxiety drops a ton because I have no one around me. Now – at first I was a little anxious because I was trying to force myself to learn a flow that was good. Now I just go with it. I totally unwind for 30 minutes and I don’t even think about it. I think about nothing. My anxiety from the week or day is cleared for 30 minutes.
3. My core has become stronger
For real. My core has become so much stronger by doing yoga at home once a week. I can go at my own pace and even try new things without feeling weird about people watching me do it wrong at first. For example – my headstand. I was falling on my back constantly at first. I would never try that in the class. Ever since I started, my core has become so much stronger than it used to be and I can try my own flow to really focus on my core ( even if I mess it up a few times.. )
4. It’s comforting
My home is my comfort zone. I’m completely comfortable in my own home. Like, insanely comfortable. I love the feeling of being home, like some people love the feeling of walking into the gym. It’s a safe place. Mine is home. Starting to do yoga in a place I was totally comfortable in made me like it that much more. It’s almost more intriguing to go home and practice something in my own comfort zone.
5. I feel more accomplished
Like I’ve said, I can go at my own pace. I feel like I’m accomplishing more and learning more poses because I can realllly take my own time to practice them. I can focus on exactly what I want to focus on for that day and I feel better by the end of my 30 minutes. It’s almost like a self-motivating 30 minutes where you can feel good about yourself.
With that being said – go do yoga. We all need some alone time.