26 July 2012

Just for Kicks: Yoga


#24 - Yoga-mizer
I've been doing yoga now for about a week and a half.  I would love to be able to recount an amusing anecdote that tells of how hard it was and how I fell on my face all the time but now I've succeeded!

Despite my few extra pounds, I've always been relatively flexible, so taking on yoga wasn't such a stretch for me.  What I can relate to you is how AH-MAZING it's been since I started.

So like I said, it's been about a week and a half now.  It used to be in the morning (rather religiously, I might add) but now it's extended to twice, maybe three times a day.  I can see that crazy look you're giving me -- stop it!  I'm going to explain it.

Yoga made me feel incredible.  Just after trying it for the first few times, I found myself sitting and standing up straighter, pulling my tummy in a bit, breathing easier...all these small changes that equated to me feeling great about myself!

SWEETLY by Jackson Pearce chillin on my yoga mat
I've been following Tara Stiles on youtube for about two weeks now, carefully going through her videos and writing down the steps so I can do them myself.  I've got myself a yoga mat (already had it -- came with a Wii set of something) and I've got myself a plan: Tara Stiles' four week weight loss yoga routines.

I'm on day three of week one right now and I think I'm noticing something.  One of the things that yoga does for me is take away the craving for junk food.  When I make myself lunch, I look for healthy things to eat, and if we don't have something healthy that I want, then I just exclude the idea entirely instead of substituting it with something unhealthy.  In the afternoon, during the painful hour before dinner when I'm dying to eat something (though not necessarily hungry), I just grab myself a water bottle and do a yoga routine.  I don't even think about grabbing something to eat.

Regardless if I actually lose weight, I'm pretty stoked.  Doing yoga is fun.  I know some people look at it like it's not serious or that it's "easy" or super hard.  Try holding a plank pose and then tell me it's easy. ;)  At the same time, though, it strengthens you like never before.  It's hard at first and then, like anything you have to practice, it gets easier.  I've been mixing up moves just to make the routines longer.

I don't know if it's letting me de-stress or not, though.  I assume quite a few people use it for meditation or to address particular problems in their bodies (like weak shoulders, or bad backs, etc.), but I relish the physicality to it.  I've always wanted to find a sport that brings greater body awareness, but let's just say softball didn't really do the trick.

If you're interested, I suggest you check out Tara Stiles on youtube.  When I first discovered her, I thought she was just a yoga master making videos out of her (really fancy, really nice) New York apartment, but she's legit.  Like, got a glossy book, going places kind of legit.  She's so nice and personal and friendly, you would never know it!  And the stuff she shows you a person could do on their bedroom floor -- if it's carpeted, anyway.  I went a week without my yoga mat because I thought it wasn't helping me friction-wise.  (Then I realized I was just doing the move wrong.)