Note from Jen: I haven’t tried yoga but keep thinking I should. This is a guest post from a blogging friend Lindsay about how yoga can kickstart a fitness journey.
When people set out on a fitness journey, the main goal is to lose weight. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does take away from what they actually want. 9 times out of 10, it is to feel good about themselves, losing weight, having clothes fit better and looking good naked are just added bonuses. One of the best ways to find this joy is with yoga.
A lot of exercises focus on the “no pain, no gain” mindset. For people who are starting out, this can be painful and put them off exercise. Yoga is designed to be gentle and isn’t really an exercise, it’s a practice.
Even doing yoga once a week can help condition your body. Yes, it will be a lot slower than hitting the gym every day, but you will be more likely to stick with a gentle practice that makes you feel good than a hardcore fitness session that leaves you in pain.
Breathing is an important part of our daily life, but could we breathe better? Probably. When you start a yoga course, one of the things that they will teach you is how to breathe.
Taking deep, mindful breaths throughout the day can be a great way to lower your stress levels and help keep you focused. The breath is one of the most important aspects of yoga.
Don’t be afraid of breathing deeply and connecting to your breath throughout the day (even when you are not at a yoga class).
Anyone can do it
As someone who started yoga over 20 years ago, it might seem as if I have an unfair advantage over everyone else. But I took a break of 10 years before I started back recently.
This meant I had to start from the beginning and condition my body to move again. Every week I would see progression and improvement.
However, after a few weeks, people would start to drop off because they weren’t getting the results that they wanted. If you are a complete beginner, it can take a few weeks for you to start to see a difference. But trust me, every time you practice, your body will be gently changing and adapting.
I know I said at the beginning that yoga is gentle (which it is) but it is also relaxing. How many exercises and fitness practices can say that they are relaxing? Not many.
One of the things that I love about attending a proper yoga studio is that they don’t skip over the spiritual part of it. It might be a bit “woo-woo” for some people but I find it very relaxing to spend 5 to 10 minutes in relaxation and meditation at the end of class.
If you think that you would be comfortable taking part in the meditation part, be prepared for essential oils, singing bowls, and the embarrassment of falling asleep on the floor of the yoga studio at least once.
If you are thinking of starting a fitness journey, I recommend starting with a yoga course to help get you used to moving your body and help you feel good about yourself.
Before you know it, you will be well on your way to the better about yourself in ways you never knew existed.