Discern

Image of Adriene Mischler reaching upward with text reading "I'm In! Dedicate A 30 Day Yoga Journey"

January is yoga month, has been for three years running now. Adriene Mischler’s 30 day yoga series on YouTube this year is called Dedicate and that’s exactly what I need to do to so many things. As blogging is one of those things, I think I’ll write up quick posts everyday based around the daily word. Today’s is “Discern.”

The idea is to recognize why you’re here, doing this, and probably to make you think about why you’re here at all and what motivates you. I got on the mat this morning with an intense desire to reestablish a daily practice and working out in general. I get distracted very easily when my habits are broken, even by one day, and I find it really hard to start up again (as evidenced even here, on these pages), so a re-dedication to a daily practice is exactly what I need. I’ve also started following the Couch to 5k program. There isn’t a 5k I’m interested in running, and there may never be, but I am interested in getting outside and being active regularly, to get my stamina up, and to get some good cardio in for my heart. I want to live a quality life for a long time, and I know exercise is the key to that.

With yoga always comes emotional and mental peace for me, and I’d like to get back to that as well. I’ve let in a number of toxic thoughts in the last six months, and I want to clean those out and fill the space up with positivity or at least more useful musings.

The physical yoga today was very basic (which is a word I do NOT associate with negativity, so you go love your pumpkin spice and fuzzy shoes all you want, girl!) The practice was 50 minutes, but the movements were slow and limited in scope. I can see it as a great practice for both beginners and seasoned yogis because it reminds you to be aware of all parts of your body and teaches you patience. Since I’m in the middle of those, I really tried to blank out my mind, close my eyes, and follow her words as intuitively as possible. No, I didn’t sweat (in fact, I shivered because I had a fan on), but I did get a little shaky in my core when I really focused on engaging all of my muscles. If you do it correctly, yoga is an amazing workout, but you absolutely must engage your whole self, including your mind, to get there.

My favorite moment when I’m following any yoga practice is when I just seem to intuitively know where we’re going next, and I get into the next pose a second before the vocal cues happen. I’m not rushing, but my body is just moving that direction already. Of course, it’s largely probably because the poses naturally flow into one another, and when you sync up your breath and your body you just kind of keep going, but I get a nice wave of belonging and purpose in those moments. There are also moments when I blindly start doing something that’s really way off too, so sometimes my spirit’s a little out of sync with the vibe of the video, but that probably makes those instinctive moments even more magical. I had one of those today, and it just brightened up my whole morning.

So I guess that’s why I’m here, to get a little brightness.

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Yoga for 2018

I’ll be starting off 2018 taking a new yoga journey with Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene, and wanted to invite everyone along. I started 2017 with the Yoga Revolution, and I’ve talked before about how that literally changed my life. Now I practice yoga nearly every day using the Down Dog app or just a personal home practice, but Adriene will always be my number one yogi bae.

yogatrueimin

She has an amazing way of making you feel like you’re already doing it and like you’re guaranteed to succeed. You literally can’t do it wrong when you’re following along with her. If you ever thought yoga was too hard or you’d never be able to get in that pose, give her videos a try. She’s great at offering modifications and getting you to trust your body. I can’t say enough good things about her and really about yoga in general.

No matter what day you start, it doesn’t matter, just jump on the wagon whenever. If you’re new to yoga or if you’ve been practicing for years, I’m certain there will be something here for you.

The videos start January 2 and will be posted on her YouTube channel, and if you sign up, you’ll get a daily email of inspiration. If nothing else, even if you’re not into yoga and don’t plan to be, starting a daily practice of anything that’s actually dedicated to you and your wellbeing is, I think, a great way to start out a new year. If you’re looking for something really easy to start out with today, consider starting here:

If you join up, let me know how it goes. You can do this!

Namaste.

Blogmas: Yogaversary

I planned to talk about bras today, but I don’t think I’m well enough equipped to do that just yet. I also keep falling asleep. So instead, yoga.

It’s been about a year since I started doing yoga regularly. I dabbled a bit with it on and off in 2016, but I practiced almost every day in December except for the week of Christmas when I was on vacation and didn’t actually end up relaxing at all (go figure). Then in January of this year, I did the Yoga with Adriene 31 Day Revolution. I was using Adriene‘s videos in the previous month, and the timing was perfect: I’d learned enough to not get discouraged and to keep myself going, but was still new enough to feel challenged by the videos and excited by the concept.

That January changed my life. That is so cheesy, but fuck if it isn’t true. I didn’t miss a single day, and I really started planning my whole day around when I was going to get my yoga in. I learned a lot of things, including you need to make time for yourself, and you need to find and practice things in life that you really love, but mostly, I learned (or realized) that I only get one body, and by taking care of it–really doing what is right for it–led to a brand new kind of happiness.

In January, I was halfway through my weight loss. I could definitely see results, but still had a long way to go. I was committed, but wanted to step up my game, and yoga filled that gap. I’ve practiced on average 5-6 days a week since then, and now I do 20 minutes in the morning every weekday, and usually one longer session on the weekend.

Usually I am not good at picking new things up. I love to try new stuff, but I rarely stick to changes, except yoga. It made me flexible, strong, and mindful. It also helped me to appreciate silence. Now I can’t imagine my life without it.

Oh! And! Spartak update: We ate it. It was fine.