On January 1st I decided to try yoga again in a bid to improve my mobility. I say try again because I have tried yoga classes. People rave about the benefits and I can certainly see that the postures improve mind-muscle connection and develop mobility but my experience has never been a “zen” one. I find it impossible to focus on my movement and breath when a total strangers bottom is inches from my face and any loss of balance will result in a domino cascade of falling participants. So I turned to YouTube.
I chose Yoga With Adriene principally because her dog Benji is super cute but also she started #30 days of yoga in January. 19 days in and I have gained more than I expected. Yes, my mobility has improved but her humorous teaching style and mantra “take what you need and leave what you don’t” let me open up to the possibility of really connecting with myself by using the yoga mat as a place, to be honest about my fears, needs and wants. To accept what is not in my power to control, let it go and give myself love.
Her introduction to pranayama (breathing control) has been challenging. My lung damage meant that I need 2/3 breaths more and initially left me feeling a failure as I was unable to breathe at the instructed pace. Slowly I came to realise that her advice “find what feels good” applied to my breathing as well as my postures and I really connected with what my body was telling me. Incidentally, be prepared for these needs to change daily. This was a surprise for me.
I look forward to day 20 with a happy heart, deeper movement awareness and above all else a budding sense of how awesome I can be if I breathe lots of love in and lots of love out!
Check out Adriene on Instagram and see inspiration from around the world through the #30 days of yoga hashtag.