One of the things on my to-do-in-life list was to take up a sport & become brilliant at it. It’s one of those life goals of mine which I haven’t figured out yet – and it’s not because of the lack of trying. I used to do horse riding – and I was pretty damn good at it, but coming by a horse here Birmingham is a bit of a hard one. When I first got dumped by a boy I took up cycling. I remember winning a local free styling competition! But again – who wants to ride a bike around Birmingham? I’m not an urban biker, I’m one of those landscape kind of types. I also tried the gym – I enjoyed that very much but the older I got the more stressful it became, I was looking for something I could enjoy in solitude of my own. And I think I have finally found it.
Let me jot this down in case I forget in the long run – I didn’t start yoga for any particular reason. One day I was lazying around the house, watching BuzzFeed and out of nowhere I stumbled across this video (if you watch one video today then I urge you to make it this one!).
In my life I’ve never seen anyone move as beautifully and powerfully as Briohny Smyth. The woman is a legend. I immediately thought what every normal person would – it ain’t all that difficult is it, I can do that too, whilst lunging straight into the dragonfly pose. Oh wait, that did not happen. I pulled about every muscle I could have and crashed to the ground like a sack of rotten potatoes. That very same I came across Yoga with Adriene – a yoga instructor who runs her classes online. I watched this video of hers which is dedicated to complete beginners. And every morning since that day I woke up half an hour earlier than usually I repeated after her. What I like about her videos is that they are not pretentious – they don’t make you oooommm and mhhaaaa, they don’t talk about your inner chi and connecting to your internal gods. That kind of yoga is not for me. I’m interested in the strength and body control that yoga gives you. The flexibility, good posture, proper breathing.
They say that after 8 weeks of yoga your flexibility increases by 35% and I’m positive that’s what I can achieve. I’m the most inflexible person in the world. At least I was 2 weeks ago. Now my forehead can touch the ground in the child’s pose and I can fold my arms and legs into the eagle pose with ease. My spine doesn’t arch into a hump behind my neck and my breathing allows my brain to get more oxygen in it.
Would you like to start practising yoga but find it difficult to find motivation? Try this:
✓ a pretty yoga mat: this mind sound silly at the start of your practice because you can’t be sure you’ll stick with it but to me it made a big difference – my wrists are much less sore and my feet are less slippery! Mine was super cheap, about £10 from TKMaxx.
✓ a sporty outfit: just like I’m not into the meditation aspect of yoga, I don’ really see the point of getting specific yogi outfit – that won’t stop me from buying something cute to wear when I’m exercising though! These shorts and sports bra are from Primarni, only £4 a pop!
✓ yoga blocks: these foam blocks are absolutely priceless (well, they were £3 or £4 each from Tiger, erm) – they allow you to take things slowly without pulling every muscle in your body as soon as you’ve woken up. Some might think they are for weaklings but in fact they make the practice safe and eventually allow you to push yourself further.
✓ yoga strap: I can’t even tell you how much difference this piece of string has made – it allows you to modify difficult poses and to stretch your limbs much more efficiently than you would be able to without it
✓ liquid intake: although you might not feel yoga is an exercise enough for you to treat it like one, believe me, it is. And it’s a powerful one. Don’t forget to drink enough liquids because it can cause dizziness just as much as a run would. These aloe drinks from Simplee Aloe (find out more here) are delish, I just wish they sold them in Tescos so I could get them on my way to work, boo!