Before I wrapped up mile a day, I started thinking about what could be next. I still think running is rad and plan on incorporating (slow!) runs into my routine for the next few months, but I really wanted to try yoga for a different strengthening exercise.
I have been on a yoga kick before. My second semester junior year I was obsessed and took classes at my college gym and then was going to classes daily during the summer. It was great for my body but much better for my mind. I had struggled with some body image issues a few months prior and yoga was a big part of why I was able to turn that around for good. I loved the workouts. I loved the quiet. I loved the stretch. I loved seeing progress over the weeks and months of making it part of my routine.
But since then (and that was almost seven years ago!) I have fallen off the wagon. Yoga got very boring. I wasn't connecting to it like before. Classes, once I was out of college, were very expensive. I didn't have time. Yada, yada, yada, my list of excuses could go on and on.
So when I decided to recommit this month, instead of thinking about why yoga had or hadn't worked for me in the past, I thought about what had worked for me with running a mile a day and applied that to this new workout. Mile a day worked because :
- it was free. I stepped outside and ran.
- I could do it anytime of day (again, I just walked outside and started running).
- it didn't take a long time. 10-20 minutes and I was done with the commitment.
- it was physical and I got out of my chair and away from my desk.
- I was holding myself accountable through daily photos that I posted to instagram.
The reasons why I enjoyed the running adventure so much is really wrapped up in the above five reasons. It made sense to me that I should try and get the same few things out of my yoga routine.
I am doing yoga completely at home. Completely from memory. No DVDs. No youtube videos. No podcasts. There is nothing wrong with any of these methods and I love that folks have so many choices! But, for me, right now, this is working really well. I bought a book called Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond to read through and see safe and modified poses for each trimester. For the most part though, I am just using what I remember from those classes in college and doing what feels good for me.
Because of the book, this venture isn't totally free. I also bought a new mat in early January because my old one was dirty and ragged and I wanted something fresh and, don't laugh, but I downloaded an Eyna album to put some sound to my routine too (and totally love it).
I am really working to find a balance between keeping the routines short (so I don't get bored or let my mind wander) and still getting a decent practice. I have slowly worked up the time from that 10 minute session on January 1st to about 25-28 minutes today. (I did this by adding in more poses and holding each pose a bit longer). I'd love to get them a bit longer, ideally 35 minutes or so.
I have my mat, book and a few candles set up in a corner of our bedroom (finally! after 13 months of living here that odd extra space is being used!) and having a dedicated space is making a difference, I can tell. Having extra space will not always be an option, so I am very grateful for it at the moment.
And, as you've seen throughout this post, I am taking photos and posting them to instagram with the hashtag #dailyyoga. I will be the first to admit this is wierd. Yoga is internal. It's about going within, not sharing photos or comparing with others. However, this part has been inspiring and fun for me. I really like experimenting with self-portraits. I love the creative challenge of finding a new angle or pose to photograph. All of the pictures are taken with my iPhone, usually using the TimerCam app. I've enjoyed this part of the exercise so far and I have plans to expand this photo project through different ventures (crafting! baking! mothering! working! gardening!) each month of this year.
So that's my update. It's going well. I really love it. Keeping the workouts short and sweet is making a world of difference. Eventually, I'd love to work in a weekly pre-natal yoga class into the routine (something out of the house with a teacher and other students) but until I find the right one, this is going great.