One of the things I have had as a high priority that I have not followed up on in the past few months was to re-begin a yoga practice. I always feel amazing when I have a regular yoga practice going and it's amazing how much energy and love of life it gives you. My body has been telling me over and over that I needed to start doing morning yoga and despite that strong call I had not done it. Until yesterday.
Life Changer! Wow! Despite the fact that Sunday night was a bit of a disaster, I stuck with my goal. I went to bed far later than I intended to. I just didn't realize how late it was and was on a bit of a roll about getting some things done. I think an afternoon nap exacerbated that situation. But an hour after I went to sleep Kiddo was up and in our bedroom. I got her back to sleep about 30 minutes later. A while later The Man was having a bad dream and in his sleep asking me really nonsensical questions in bed about stuff that was totally not important at 4 a.m. Needless to say 6:30 came way too early for this family. But we all got up and got the day going and as soon as Kiddo was on the school bus The Man and I were taking a nap.
After a brief nap, I got dressed in appropriate yoga attire and found a beginner's yoga routine on YouTube that looked promising. At first I was rather horrified at the fact that I could no longer properly do any of the exercises but had to do a modified version of everything. I have known since I broke my foot that my balance and flexibility have gotten pretty bad and I knew yoga would help with that. But I had no idea how bad things were until I jumped back in the yoga saddle. I think this is a pretty normal feeling any time anyone begins a yoga practice but it's always a little disheartening.
But never fear. I progressed through the workout and worked on my breathing and extending myself a little more with each pose. One thing that has always amazed me about yoga is how far you really can extend stretches beyond what you initially think you can do with a little concentration, relaxation and continued reaching. It's incredible.
Despite my awe at how poor my flexibility has become, I ended the workout on a total high, feeling a huge wave of greater circulation, flow and ease throughout my body. I could feel the energy just pulsing and my skeleton and muscles all felt in better alignment. Boy did that feel great and continue to feel great throughout the day. Now it's clear my body knew what it was telling me (as if I didn't know that all along) and I wish I'd acted sooner.
Doing just twenty minutes of yoga was good for me to. In the past I've done a full hour workout and for some reason I felt like I had to do the full hour or I wasn't trying enough or going to have a complete experience. Guess what, that was really dumb. It goes along with the thinking we sometimes have when we overwhelm ourselves thinking we need to go to the gym 5-6 times a week and that amount of stress and pressure makes us give us on going 2-3 times a week because we're not doing it the way we think we have to do it. Doing twenty minutes of yoga was just fine and I felt amazing, my body felt good and it was the right amount for a re-beginning effort. I need to work on doing each pose better and more fully, rather than working on a ton of poses none of which I can do well. Silly thinking.
After my yoga workout, I did two 10-minute meditations. One was for beginning the day with good energy and the other was by Deepak Chopra where I heard some things that really inspired me. He was talking about judging others and said that when we make others bad or wrong we stop our own flow of Spirit and curtail our own creativity. So interesting. I think about this a lot as I see so many people in our country from all sides so desperate to make other people wrong and bad and trumpet that they are right. Not a good practice for peace, self-improvement or gaining wisdom. I'm working on this in my own life but it certainly seems like something our country at large needs right now.
After my yoga and meditation practices yesterday I came bounding up the stairs to take on the day, full of energy and enthusiasm. That feeling alone was worth the time, let alone what the efforts did for my body and well-being overall.
If you're interested, here are the three guided videos I tried yesterday. I've saved them all to do again but will keep exploring new ones too. I'll share them here with you if you are interested. Let me know!
Beginning Yoga by Boho Beautiful
Guided Morning Meditation by Mantra Malta
The Secret of Attraction by Deepak Chopra