How To Start A Yoga or Exercise Journey That You Love
January 11, 2019
Everyone’s Yoga or exercise journey is special because it is unique to them. I think 2 of the most important things to loving your own journey are body acceptance and self-love. So here is how to start a yoga or exercise journey that you love.
10 days ago I decided to join a 30 Day Yoga challenge on YouTube. The channel is Yoga With Adriene and I have been following her for some time now. My Mom was the one that found her videos and recommended them to me. Thanks Mom!
Starting this challenge got me thinking about the months that led up to it and what I plan to do once the 30 days are up. So, I thought I would share with you my own Yoga journey. From how I started, to my plans to keep going. Hopefully this can be helpful for you if you’re struggling with your own journey or are looking to start a new Yoga or exercise regimen.
I have been trying to practice Yoga on a more consistent basis for a few years, but it never quite stuck. I’ve never been much of the athletic type. I am more an artsy person. You know writing, music, painting. That sort of thing, all the sedentary activities haha.
In my early twenties was when I finally took a dive into the workout world and boy did I dive head first! I began strength training, meal planning, and would only have one “cheat day” a week. I began to feel amazing and I enjoyed it. But I wouldn’t say that I loved it. Honestly, I mostly started working out because my jeans were starting to get a little tighter. Of course there was the health aspect too, but it was mostly the jeans.
Then, of course life happens and things change. My parents (Mom and Step-dad) got married. Which was amazing of course, but we moved homes. In our old house we had a “gym” setup in the garage, it was so nice. This was hard to achieve in the new house and it became harder for me to keep up with a workout routine.
Fast forward to 2013, I began to feel very low in energy. It felt as if no matter how much sleep I got, I was always tired. And the workouts that I used to do made me feel even more drained. They seemed to be hurting me, more than helping me.
I started seeing a naturopathic doctor that my Mom went to and that’s when she diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue. I went to see a naturopathic because my regular doctor ran blood tests and would always tell me everything was fine. It didn’t feel fine! Adrenal fatigue can be a little hard to explain so here is an article that gives more information. Dr. Deville, the one who wrote the article is also the doctor that I saw, she is amazing!
So, after my diagnosis the doctor helped me with supplements and vitamins, along with suggestions for exercise and lifestyle changes. I felt I was finally getting the help I needed, but now I see that I was in denial of what my body was going through.
I thought to myself “Oh I’m gona be ok, this will pass.” But I was still trying to push myself with my workouts and felt frustrated that I couldn’t do the workouts I used to. Honestly, it made me feel weak and why I wanted to push even more.
This is what I mean by body acceptance. It’s not the outside, but the inside. We have to lovingly accept the strengths and weaknesses of our bodies. It can be hard with seeing photos of all these cool people that work out and you wonder, why can’t I do that? For me, I learned that once I put the focus on my inner self, it helped me to accept the limitations that my body has. And although I’m not completely ripped or can do crazy Yoga moves, I can feel the results coming from the inside out.
Last year, I decided it was time to let go of what I used to do and focus on learning what I can do. The road has not been easy and as you can see from 2013 – 2018 that’s a lot of years struggling with what workouts are right for me, and also me not listening to what my body has been trying to tell me. I do have selective hearing from time to time, just ask my Mom and Eric.
But, I have learned and accepted that my body does not do well with high intensity workouts. When my heart rate starts beating too fast I feel very sick and sometimes end up with a headache for a few days if I push too much.
Since I learned that I need to slow things down, I have been able to enjoy my Yoga practice. I now welcome the slower pace because I am on the go so much in life, it helps me to feel calm and be in the moment.
Now don’t get me wrong, Yoga can very much be an intense workout especially when holding poses for a few seconds. That sometimes feels like an eternity! But I’m still taking the time to remember to breath and get to know my body even more.
Yoga with Adriene had this same challenge last year. Well she calls it more of a journey, but to do Yoga for 30 days straight. I didn’t complete it on time, but I kept going! And did finish 6 months later. I had to do it for myself and even though it was so many months later I was so proud of myself.
This year it is my goal to complete the 30 days. I am making sure to get as much rest as I can and take extra steps to care for my body. We are 10 days in and things are looking up, so I’m excited!
Loving The Journey
Comparing how I used to workout when I was 22, as opposed to 30 is very different. Back then I was strong and had this awesome muscle definition in my arms. But now I am loving this Yoga journey that I am on because it is more than just what I eat and getting a 6 pack. I have found this inner strength within myself that means more to me than any muscle definition.
I am human some days are better than others. Yesterday I took a photo and was like “Ew! Why can’t my stomach be flatter?” But today, I feel amazing and I’m excited about the strength I feel in my arms.
My downward dog needs some work, it has been one of the hardest things for me to get. That, along with how to make my hands like a suction cup. But I feel good knowing that I am continuing to work on it.
I do have to say Yoga with Adriene’s videos have helped me as well. Her perspective on Yoga and life has resonated with me, and helped me slowly reshape how I view things.
What’s To Come
Before the 30 days of Yoga began, I was following videos from when Yoga with Adriene first started. She did this series on foundations for different Yoga poses. That really helped me to feel more confident in doing the poses now. I went back to the basics and I really needed that.
So after the 30 days are up I am going to continue the foundation series and see where it takes me. Those videos also led me to other videos of practicing harder poses. I hope to be able to do a handstand sometime in the future! It’s been fun and I’m happy that I can look ahead and feel motivated.
You should feel excited for your own journey and what’s to come. I encourage you to listen to your body and try not to feel discouraged if something doesn’t work for you.
Remember your body is unique to you. You should love it and give thanks. It is a blessing that our bodies breath on their own without us even having to think about it. That within itself is a gift. Love yourself and the rest will follow. The journey may not be easy and it won’t be perfect, just know that you are not alone.
Let me know in the comments below how your journey is going or if you plan to start one. To our journeys of Yoga, exercise, health, and life!