yoga

How Yoga Changes You

 

IMG_5718Recently I’ve become more aware of the journey of yoga students from the first class they ever take to their current class years later.  I’m in awe of the vast journey that they have gone through and how much they have changed over the course of their practice.  Here are three big ways that yoga changes you.

More Good, Less Bad

At this point we all know how good yoga is for us.  When we start to add good into our lives, we naturally let the bad fall out.  You might not even realize it happening.  It might start little by little with food choices. You took a yoga class, you’re feeling good and have that glow about you, now what will you have for lunch? You’re normal burger will make you feel down and tired so you opt for something more nutrient dense and green because you know that will keep your post yoga glow going strong.  You’ll start to notice the things in your life that make you feel good and the things that cause you pain.  As you become more aware of each, you’ll be more inclined to keep the good and clear the bad.

Community

A good yoga studio will have a thriving, supportive community that surrounds it.  I’ve made so many friends from yoga and we’ve got each other’s backs.  If you’re new to yoga or a studio, make new friends and become a part of that community.  Not only will it will hold you accountable to stay consistent with your practice, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who only want to see you grow.  Plus it’s pretty amazing to be able to talk to someone about the joys of Ayurveda or how you flew your first ever bakasana and have them totally understand what you’re talking about.

Confidence

Yoga will 100% build your confidence.  On a physical level, you’ll start to feel more graceful, stand a little taller and become more aware of you posture.  You’ll feel less stiff and will move with more ease and lightness.  Mentally, you’ll feel powerful in your own skin. You’ll become proud of who you are as an individual and the unique qualities only you have.  You’ll understand your breath and how you can use it to your advantage.  Your skin will look better (see number one) and you will remove the negative from your life leaving you to feel like the superwomen you always knew you were.

lifestyle, Lifting, yoga

Be in this for the long haul

Change does not happen overnight. Change takes months of consistency and hard work. fullsizerenderYears of pushing yourself to your max and doing things even when you just don’t feel like it doing it. Nothing is easy and everything takes time.

We live in a world where we can get pretty much anything we want relatively fast. And it’s created this sense of urgency in everything we do.  We want to lose 10 pounds in 5 days.  We want to be able to do headstand after 1 week of practicing yoga.  Let me just tell you now, that life is not sustainable. It’s not real. The work and time has to be put in if you want long term success.  You could probably throw yourself up in a headstand after just a few yoga classes or drop a few pounds in a week but you wouldn’t have built the foundation it took to maintain that long term.  You would soon crumble down or throw yourself into a rut or worse, delay your progress because you did too much, too fast, and too soon.

It’s so beautiful though — when someone dedicates an appropriate amount of time to something and accomplishes it. Even more so to someone who has spent a whole year working towards it, grinding at it, relentless and determined.

When I fall in love with something, like yoga or lifting, I want to be able to do it for the rest of my life. So short term goals are fun but I’m in it for the long haul, I want to be able to do these things when I’m 70 years old. With that in mind, I set appropriate goals for myself, I listen to my body when it needs a break and I honor my edge.  I’m not scared to push myself but I respect that things take time. Foundation needs to be laid in order to build.

Build your foundation, trust your body and jump when it’s ready. You’ll know.

yoga

It’s not the pose, it’s the struggle

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Yoga is not about the pose. It’s not about holding handstand or doing some crazy arm balance or even being able to sit in pigeon comfortably for several minutes at a time.

It’s about the struggle along the way.

When I see someone take flight in their first bakasana, I’m so freaking excited for them not because they finally got the pose but because I know all the struggles they pushed through to get to that point. I know the hundreds of times they tried it, failed and tried again.  I know the time they put into it, the frustration they pushed passed and the countless times they might have told themselves they’ll never be able to do it.

Yoga is not about the pose, it’s about the struggle.

Lifting is not about the weight, it’s about the struggle.

It’s about finding something that is challenging for you and pushing yourself to 10 to get to where you want to be. Who cares what someone else lifts, who cares about all the crazy arm balances the person next to you in class can do.  Everyone has different struggles, everyone has different goals and as long as you can focus on yourself and push through the struggles, you’ll come out a better and stronger you.

Fitness Friday, Lifting

Fitness Friday: 20 Minute Full Body Workout

Grab two dumbbells and get to work! You’ll do this for as many sets as you can in 20 minutes, with 45 second rest in between each set.

  • 12 Squats with Dumbbell Overhead Press at the top
  • 12 Reverse Lunges with Bicep Curl (each side)
  • 12 Renegade Rows (each side)
  • 12 Skull Crushers
  • 12 Lat Pullovers
  • 12 Leg Lifts

 

Fitness Friday, yoga

Fitness Friday: Quick Power Yoga Sequence

Short on time but still want to kick it up a notch?  Try this Quick Power Yoga Sequence.

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Move through these asanas mindfully but quickly.  Focus on opening your heart and moving from your core.

 

  • Childs Pose
  • Down Dog
  • Sun A x 3
  • Sun B x 3

  • Crescent Lunge
  • Crescent Lunge Twist
  • Warrior 2
  • Balancing Half Moon
    •   Vinyasa to other sid
  • Pyramid
  • Revolved Triangle
  • Revolved Balancing Half Moon
    •   Vinyasa to other side
  • Eagle
  • Bridge
  • Shoulderstand
  • Frog Pose

Savanasa