I had a startling realisation this weekend. Well, two. 1) I gained a fair amount of weight when I moved back from Ireland. 2) I have lost it and am in better shape than ever now! My intention when I started exercising again was initially to get my energy back up and hopefully have better quality sleep. Sure, I have some days when I am tired- who doesn’t?- and yea, there are some nights where I don’t sleep terribly well. But overall? A massive improvement. I’ve posted about my running before, and I am still running 3-4 days a week, but the other piece to my fitness puzzle is yoga! I have a few of my yoga tips for you; please remember, I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTOR. This is VERY important. None of these tips are related to technique. With that out of the way, my tips:
1. Start with a sequence/video/class that you think will be easy for you. IT WON’T. Learning to properly engage your muscles and correct your alignment is going to take all of your energy. Don’t jump to advanced because you think you will be good at it. Start from the beginning and really learn.
2. Don’t be afraid to repeat a sequence. From my personal opinion, I wouldn’t recommend doing the exact same sequence every single day. You wouldn’t really be using all of your muscles and it will stop being a challenge. But when I started doing yoga again the fall, I was doing yoga every second day, and alternating between two videos. It felt nice to finally be able to really work on the poses because I wasn’t trying to figure out what was next.
3. (If you are practising at home:) Don’t be afraid to swear. I turn into a regular Sweary Poppins when I am holding a particularly difficult pose. Sometimes, just getting that out helps. I use Erica Vetra’s videos a lot, and she tends to have you hold poses for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. She talks you through it and is great at distracting you, but sometimes swearing up a storm can make a huge stress-relieving difference.
4. Don’t eat immediately prior. I’m pretty sure every yoga instructor will tell you this, but it is grody to try do down dog when you can feel your supper moving around in your stomach.
5. Know your own limits. I know that right now, 30 minute sequences are better for me than 60 minute sequences. I don’t lose focus, and I can fully commit myself for 30 minutes. I don’t start taking breaks or pulling back, I just go for it. If you are just beginning yoga, an hour is a looooong time. Also, because I run at lunch, I think any more than half an hour of yoga on top of running would do me in.
Yay me to getting in shape! Hopefully I continue to improve and work on myself!