Monday, 27 April 2015

Vibrant Health: In Love with Yoga

Hi, everyone! So, a new week has started and, instead of sinking into the doldrums of the Monday blues, I'm attempting to approach the day mindfully, moment by moment. Don't get me wrong, I can worry with the best of them, but I've been purposefully aiming to be in the present more often, more whole-heartedly. A huge impetus of this mindset has been my re-connection with yoga. I have done yoga on and off for years, but had gotten out of touch. With my New Years resolution of diving back into the practice, I have actually rekindled a passion. I have been doing online-based yoga videos 2-3 times per week since January and am now properly addicted. Given that I'm also addicted to expensive lipsticks and frozen yogurt, it's nice to have a healthy vice in the loop as well. 

Soaking in some serious sun in Mountain Pose

So why do I love yoga? Let me count the ways:

  1. It encourages me to be in the present moment. To quiet my mind, feel my breath, and experience every sensation in my body without judgement. To not scold myself if I'm feeling stiff and to embrace my inner power. Cheesy, but true! 
  2. It makes me feel incredibly strong! I noticed my muscles returning after the first couple of weeks and during every workout I find myself being able to hold some badass move I didn't think I could do. 
  3. It is so, so easy to notice progress! Every time I hit the mat, I notice that I'm able to hold a pose a little longer, lunge a little deeper, or take fewer breaks. It's wonderful reinforcement that keeps me going!
  4. It inspires a mindset of self-compassion. This doesn't mean letting yourself off the hook (pushing yourself is important), but it encourages you to laugh, breathe, and smile when you fall or slip up.
  5. It's tougher than it looks! There is something beautiful about a pose that looks gentle and still, but feels incredibly challenging. 
  6. Not only am I getting stronger, but more flexible too! It is always so exciting when you find yourself comfortable(ish) in a pose that you couldn't quite reach a few days before.
  7. When I finish a yoga workout, I feel simultaneously strong and relaxed. It's truly blissful!

In search of a home-based practice that would keep me positive, motivated, and engaged, I was lucky enough to come across Yoga with Adriene. I instantly connected with this Austin, Texas based actress and yogi. She is incredibly positive and encouraging, goofy, and ultra knowledgable about the practice. She pushes her viewers to put everything out on the mat, while also focusing on options for all levels and connecting mindfully. Her motto is "find what feels good", which is a quest I'm always willing to pursue! The Yoga with Adriene videos I visit most frequently are:

Energizing Morning Yoga- a quick 25-minute video comprising of sun salutations and balancing, grounding moves. It lets me break a sweat without having to invest a full hour on busy days. 


Yoga for Weight Loss 40-Minute Fat Burning Workout- this is an amazing workout for building strength! It gets the abs seriously burning and will get your planks and lunges in tip-top shape. 


Yoga with Adriene Power Yoga- this is perfect for a serious sweat! It's fast paced and combines classic yoga moves with squats and jumping jacks for extra intensity. If you want to see me with a serious tomato face, pop on by after I've finished this one.


And here are some shots of me in action! When I first saw the photos (taken by my talented and patient boyfriend, Adam), I first thought- "ugh, I'm not posting these. I look awkward and chubby. Eeek". But I quickly realized, I am passionately for people of all shapes and sizes loving their bodies and for promoting yoga (and all exercise, really) being embraced by every body. So here I am!

Twist it out


Cobra!!

Heels touching the ground in Downward Dog. Like a boss!



In terms of yoga gear, this curvy gal does not run from bright colour and bold prints! I find that dynamic exercise clothes make me feel just a few notches stronger and more badass. I recently picked up the printed tank (seen above) and patterned leggings (below) from Addition Elle and am totally smitten. 


And to wrap things up, I have to brag about my at-home yoga coach. Sadie is the toughest yogi out there. Here she is giving me the death glare- "don't stop now, Mommy!" :)


I cannot wait to experience my yoga practice deepen and expand as the year continues. Maybe I'll be able to do a headstand by 2016? And if not, I'll revel in the silliness and braveness in my attempts ;)

Have you tried yoga? What is your workout of choice?

Have a wonderful week! xo

38 comments:

  1. Good for you for starting now so young! I'm starting and I'm OLD, so it's so hard for me. But i've been doing real gently yoga, like YIN...and I love it. SO good for the soul.

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    1. Yes, the soothing aspects of yoga are definitely just as important! And I'm not THAT young, Tracy- but thanks! ;)

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  2. This post is seriously inspiring. All the reasons you listed for doing yoga just reminded me of what I've missed about my practice. I seriously need to check out these videos!

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    1. Happy to have reminded you about all the good stuff yoga has to offer. Thanks for stopping by! xo

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  3. That Sadie is one tough trainer! Good on you for getting back into it. Love the leggings!

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    1. Thanks so much! She's pretty tough ;)

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  4. Yoga is seriously amazing! I wish I had a tough trainer like Sadie, I bet she doesn't stop dictating the tempo :D!

    xx

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    1. Yup, she keeps me on my toes for sure! xo

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  5. THOSE PINEAPPLE SHOES! I have never tried yoga, I feel like my poor balance and clumsiness would be a bad fit. I do love lifting weights though. Makes me feel like a Hulk!

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    1. Yes, I'm obsessed with those shoes! They're Frassy x Flossies- was lucky enough to win them in a giveaway! And I definitely love weights too- they do make you feel totally badass! :)

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  6. i've been doing hot yoga every weekend, and about 7 classes in, I finally get it! I look forward to it now (even the classes where I hate my teacher with a fiery passion for making us hold for another 8 seconds), but I'd love to make it a daily practice! I'm probably a long ways from that, but I've heard such great things about Yoga with Adriene that I might take the 30-day yoga challenge starting in June!

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    1. Ooh, I've always been scared of hot yoga (envisioning myself being the one barfing/fainting in the corner), but I'm definitely tempted! Glad you're loving hot yoga and you should definitely check out the 30-day challenge :)

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  7. I love the shots - we're always our worst critics aren't we? I think you look beautiful and strong (and I need that sports tank!).

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    1. Thanks so much, Rachelle! Posting these photos was definitely therapeutic and a good confidence-booster! The Addition Elle workout tops are really great :)

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  8. I am watching Yoga with Adrienne too and have been working through her videos 6 days a week! I'm now going through her weight loss videos and #30DaysofYoga, yep, two videos a day and I am feeling seriously good. My body is definitely stronger and more toned!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Ah, that's awesome, Shireen! Glad you've found Adriene as helpful and inspirational as I have! xo

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  9. Yoga is so great, but I'm too lazy to start any sport :-P
    Nati xx
    www.simplyartdicted.com

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    1. Haha, the good thing is that you can start of extra slow with yoga :) Thanks for stopping by! xo

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  10. Thanks for the yoga YouTube suggestions! I've been wanting to do more at-home yoga but there are so many videos, choosing one is overwhelming. Good on you for setting that time aside for yourself :) And for becoming stronger! That's a goal of mine for 2015.

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    1. It was definitely overwhelming at first, but once I found Adriene, I was hooked! Hope you enjoy the videos! Thanks so much, Megan :)

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  11. I love yoga! I just switched to Pure Barre-- which is really challenging but I enjoy the work out!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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    1. Ooh, I'll have to look into that! Thanks, Melanie :)

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  12. Thank You so much for sharing this! i have always wanted to try Yoga, however have either been intimidated or.. I lack the patience for it. I might just try it out gradually! and .. those pineapple shoes?!! I NEED EM!

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    1. Trying it out gradually and from home is definitely a less intimidating way of starting! But yeah, the patience can take practice if you're used to a super active/intense workout (though I'm always sweating hard after yoga! ). The shoes are from a brand called Flossy- I love them! xo

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  13. awesome new years resolution! i made the same resolution and was doing well for january and then I fell off track with grad school stress! but its never too late to get back into it! i subscribe to online yoga videos too so i have no excuse since i am paying for them! It has been my goal for some time to do a headstand or a handstand and i am getting close but i feel like with more regular practice you will definitely get it soon!! :D i need to start incorporating it into my morning routine and get up a little bit earlier to get it done, cuz when i come home from work late i dont want to do anything! thanks for sharing! :D xo
    Andrea
    www.phdfashionista.com

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    1. That's right- never too late to get back at it! A headstand is such a fabulous goal- you can totally get it! Once I'm working full-time I'll have to do more in the morning- really hoping I can make it work! Thanks :)

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  14. good!!

    www.supongoestilo.blogspot.com

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  15. Stunning post, love Yoga so much. Perfect to relax.... ;-)
    Lovely greets Nessa

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    1. Thanks, Vanessa! Glad you love it too :)

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  16. yoga is definitely tougher than it looks. So great to hear you're back to it! =)
    xo,
    nancy

    http://www.adoretoadorn.com

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    1. It really is! Thanks, Nancy! xo

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  17. Your post is really making me want to try yoga again. I tried doing it years ago, but I was kind of a mess with all the fibromyalgia pain I had. Sticking with the yoga probably would have helped eventually, though! Props for embracing your body, and for the heels on the ground in downward dog!!! I love that Sadie is encouraging you!

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    1. Yeah, I have a bad knee which can make some poses tough, but I think the increased flexibility has helped! Definitely a process, though! Thanks for the encouragement and yes- Sadie pushes me for sure! ;)

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  18. Jen you look incredible! :) Good for you for getting back on the yoga wagon. I've been on and off the wagon for a bit. Yoga and I have a weird relationship. I want to love it so much, but I don't love it as much as other things. I don't mind doing yoga after something else like running, but otherwise I find it a bit hard to do for a long time. I did have a stint with aerial yoga which was amazing. I wish it wasn't so expensive or I would totally be in that studio regularly haha

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    1. Thanks so much, Melanie! Yoga definitely isn't a favourite for everyone, but it's a nice thing to mix in once in a while- forcing ourselves to slow down a bit is a good thing! Aerial yoga sounds super interesting! :)

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All of your lovely comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your musings, ideas, and opinions. Feel free to leave a link to your blog- I'd be happy to check it out :)