Yoga: The Best Way to Wake Up
I'm not a very athletic person. If you asked me two months ago how I started my day, I would have said sleeping in until 8:30am, doing my makeup, rushing off to work with time to spare to still end up five minutes late because I needed a blueberry muffin from the coffee shop next door.
Quarantine forced me to look at my health and my daily habits in a new life. Fun fact, that way is stressful and exhausting. I always felt rushed and still wanting to lay back down the entire time I spent getting ready.
One of the thing quarantine gave me was a health coach. I had a really bad mental breakdown about three weeks into being home full time and spent two days eating really really unhealthily. I mean like an entire box of Oreo ice cream bars instead of lunch unhealthy.
Courtney gave me macros to track, workouts to complete, and once a week, I weigh and measure myself and we chat about how the week went. It's been a truly positive addition to my life because like I said, I typically don't have a lot of self motivation so having someone to keep me in line and encourage me is crucial.
One of the things added to my daily workout is ten minutes of yoga. My only experience with yoga before this was in college when I went to a class with a couple friends of mine. It wasn't a beginner class and I struggled a lot which made it not a great experience and put me off from trying it any further.
I decided to check out YouTube for beginning yoga because I can put it on my TV and follow along. I started by scouring the Blogilates channel because I know that Cassey Ho's sister Jackelyn is a certified yoga instructor. That was not a good idea lol. The poses she did in the first video I watched was super hard and I couldn't do half of the moves. Not to be discouraged, I tried again.
I found Yoga with Kassandra and that turned out to be just what I was looking for. I'm currently in the middle of her 30-day morning yoga challenge, and I have to say, I kind of wished I would have gotten into this sooner. Here are some reasons why yoga is one of the best things I could have added to my morning routine.
It Gives me Ten Minutes to Focus on Now.
I don't ever really take enough time during my day to just think about me, my body, and nothing else. Whenever I do something, whether it be working out, cooking, writing, hanging out with the cats, etc., I always find myself thinking about a million different things.
Yoga is all about focusing on the present; so when I'm doing it, I don't think about my day or the things I need to get done later. The most I focus on besides what I'm doing is the cat trying to snuggle with my arms while I'm twisting myself into weird shapes.
It's Making me Stronger.
I'm not a very strong person; the only reason I'm not completely useless physically is because the last couple jobs I've held have been very physically demanding (bartender, kitchen manager at a summer camp, ballroom teacher, nanny and so on). I struggle with working out because my body hurts so bad the entire time. My husband tells me this is normal and part of the process, but it's still very discouraging because it doesn't ever seem to get better. The moves are still difficult even after a year of working out and doing dance cardio. Plus, who actually likes being in pain? Psychopaths.
Yoga isn't simple. It requires a lot of muscle work, but since I'm starting with beginning yoga, there aren't as many difficult moves I have to do. The 30-day morning challenge I'm doing right now started out super simple and increasing is getting harder. I've noticed that I've been able to keep up and do moves I wasn't able to do when I started.
My Body Feels Better.
This kind of goes along with feeling stronger. Working all the time and being on my feet meant that my back and my neck hurt almost consistently and feeling stiff was my normal. Since starting yoga, I've noticed that my body isn't as tense or sore anymore. My neck doesn't hurt all the time and I've noticed that my posture is way better. I'm way more flexible now too and my balance is getting better. My body may still look the same, but it feels different and it's definitely in a good way.
My Mental Health feels Refreshed.
I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety, and being in isolation during this quarantine isn't doing me any favors. While yoga doesn't fix my mental health, like I said earlier, it gives me time to only think about the present. When I'm having a bad mental day, that is kind of like pressing a reset button. My brain gets a chance to start over and just focus on breathing. My mental health is something I'll probably always have to deal with, but anything that makes it even a little better is something I want to continue in my life.
Yoga Helps me Wake Up Smoother
I'm not a morning person. Not working has made that 1000% worse because I have no where to be and no responsibilities. Ryan gets up at 6am to go to work and while he's getting ready, I cover my head with the blanket to block out the light and go back to sleep. I don't drink coffee to wake up so most of the time, I've just been laying in bed until I feel like getting up. Now that I'm doing yoga, it's just enough movement to getting the blood flowing and shake the sleep away without being completely exhausting.
I'm no expert and I'm not the person you should be asking for advice on how to take care of yourself. But, if you were going to ask me my thoughts, I would say that a little bit of yoga goes a long way. I start my day now feeling refreshed, ready to go, and more in tune with myself. That's the best thing I could wish for anyone.
Take a shot for the sore muscles and toast to getting stronger,