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Have you ever felt that you want to start a yoga practice, but just don’t know where to start? Do all the yoga-perfect, flexible people that seem to go to yoga classes intimidate the crap out of you?
Yoga has always held an appeal to me. The first class I ever went to was almost 20 years ago. The teacher was really odd. The group was really big. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing and nobody in the room was open to helping out.
I have also never been great at the group-exercise thing. Going back to the years of step-aerobics and my lack of coordination… the trauma is still there.
Starting a yoga practice
I’m not a crunchy-granola kind of person. I know the healthier things to do. I like things a bit more holistic, but I have always felt like I am on a different plane than most of the teachers (and a lot of the students) in the classes that I’ve attended. They are more zero-waste, while I am more the ziploc-queen.
So, when I decided to start doing a daily yoga practice last summer to help me heal, I needed to find a way to fit yoga into my life in a way that would be sustainable.
So I started small.
Make it fit your life
It wasn’t until I really took time to relax that I started to feel better.
I managed to make it to the mat about 4-5 days a week. I thought that was pretty good.
When I went back to work in the fall, I had trouble fitting it into my days though.
Clearly, my short, 20-30 minute classes were not sustainable for me on a regular work schedule. (I am NOT planning to get up any earlier than I already do, so that is out of the question.)
Remember my goal from before? Sustainable.
What do I like best
I thought about what I liked most about my yoga practice:
- I like to practice in the mornings before I do anything else. This is much easier to do with the kids on a summer schedule.
- I have a few poses that really help me loosen up after a night’s sleep and feel very energizing.
- I’m proud of myself when I complete a practice, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour.
With these points in mind, I decided to put together a simpler practice for myself that I can do every morning. It’s much shorter than any of the classes, but it loosens me up, gives me energy, and I start the day feeling proud of myself for getting it done! I have found 2 similar practices that you can download here. The “Wake up with Yoga” practice is under 15 minutes, and the “Sun Salutations” practice is under 10 minutes. If you have even less time, you can choose to do a single sun salutation to limber yourself up. That would only take 2-3 minutes. The point is movement.
Not perfect. Practice.
I’m not managing every day. I’m trying though. That’s why we call it practice. After weeks of practice last summer, I managed to touch my toes. I’m working on getting back to that again.
Breathe in. Breathe out.