Remember when I gave up booze for 30 days? Well that self challenge reintroduced me to one of my on and off passions which is yoga. I took my first yoga class in 2008 at a gym I was working at in Athens, GA. I had tried yoga on a DVD but my first class was very memorable. I loved the music, dark room and calm voice. Coming from my former days of competitive sports and playing division 1 softball, this was polar opposite of any workout I had ever done. I remember laying down at the end in corpse pose (Savasana) and getting to rest for 10 minutes and for the the first time in a long time, really meditate. My friend at the time was like “oh I can’t do this – it’s too slow.” For me, the act of slowing down was exactly what I needed.
After years of pushing my physical limits in practices, in the weight room, in running, yoga allowed me to just move and be present in that movement. I didn’t realize that I needed to slow down. I was simply unaware of how much I had being pushing and going non-stop and ignoring that I needed to physically and mentally slow down.
We all go through seasons in our relationships, jobs, passions and even our workout motivation. I think that in order for us to grow, we have to have on and off seasons. If you’ve ever stuck to the same workout split or method for a while, you can probably attest to hitting a plateau. Our bodies are smart and they figure out how to adapt to the stresses we put on them such as workout plans.
If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau or have stopping seeing results, switch it up! For me, I’m currently switching it up with yoga. While I am still going to the gym about 3x a week to weight train, I’m always squeezing in 3-4x sessions a week in yoga because right now, that’s what I FEEL like doing. It’s a new challenge and it changes things up for my muscles. When you like what you’re doing, you are going to get more out of it both physically and mentally! Nothing is worse than forcing yourself to do something, hating it while you’re doing it and regretting have spent time doing it when you’re done.
So today I challenge you to listen to your body and heart when it comes to what season you are in. Maybe you feel really motivated to grow muscle and therefore make it a priority to hit the gym 6 days a week for an hour. Or maybe you have been going at the same thing for a long time and you just need to try something different – a yoga class, spin or going for a long hike with your family. There is so much more to “working out” then just being active to lose weight or look good. There is a mental health aspect that I think sometimes we don’t pay attention to.
If you are new to yoga and would like to know how to get into it (which I highly recommend) – here are a few places to get you started:
- YouTube – Yoga with Adriene
- So this gal is funny and her yoga videos are fantastic. I can’t tell you how many times I pull up her videos on my TV, roll out my mat, light my candle and squeeze in a 30 minute practice at home. These videos are a lifesaver when you are crunched for time or don’t want to pay $17 drop-in fee for a yoga class.
- Class Pass
- If you live in Atlanta or another large city, class pass is an affordable to try different studios from yoga to spin at a discounted rate. It really does beat the $100/month for most studios or again, the $17 drop in fee.
- For Atlantans- Tough Love Yoga Studio
- I’ve been to several studios in Atlanta and this spot is my new fave! They only charge $10 a drop in (hell yes!) and they have some awesome and challenging classes. They have a Metal Yoga class which is so unique because you listen to ROCK music and do awesome poses! (PS- How cool is this mural in their studio??)
I’d love to hear from you so please let me know if you enjoy the content I am sharing or if there are topics you would like to hear more about!