Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Balance + Peace :: Incorporating yoga into my daily life.

I don't consider my daily life to be overwhelming or hectic.  I work normal hours, Monday through Friday, and don't have many social outings.  The most stressful parts of my day can be my students or co-workers.  That being said, I am an overly anxious person.  My brain tends to work in overdrive, considering all possible options and outcomes of any given situation, large or small.  This is the reason the idea of putting our house on the market and buying again is extremely stressful for me.  I get the feeling 2015 is going to be quite the stressful year for me.

Over the past six months, I have made an increased effort to bring yoga into my daily life.  I've practiced yoga for almost four years now, but that participation may vary between 1-3 classes per week.  My goal for the month of February is to practice yoga every single day and build my practice into week day mornings before work.



TIME FOR PEACE

When I started consistently practicing yoga, it was my time to relax and be at peace.  I still prefer a gentle, restorative, or yin yoga practice to any other type.  These classes allow me to stretch my weary, run-exhausted muscles and truly focus on my breathing.  My stresses and anxieties slip away, and I can {mostly} enjoy an entire hour of bliss.  I don't always have the time, energy, or ability to fit in an entire hour of practice into my daily routine.  For that reason, I always make some time for peace and relaxation even if it's with an extended savasana at the end of a practice.  Ultimately yoga makes me more at peace with myself and the world around me, and I want that awareness to become a part of my daily life.



THE CHALLENGE

I am in awe of the strength and health of many of my yogi muses.  This is the strength I want to build within myself.  I am trying to amp up my practice by challenging myself more.  With my goal of participating in an obstacle race, I know that upper body strength is crucial.  Yoga can be the perfect balance between challenging yourself and letting everything go.  I can always tell a difference in my running when I've been consistently utilizing yoga to strengthen and stretch my muscles.



YOGA AT HOME

If you practice at a studio, the cost of yoga can become increasingly expensive.  Many of the studios I've found in Raleigh average around the $100/month range.  My YMCA membership is around $35, and I certainly can not afford both.  I've been lucky enough to find a class here and there at the Y with which I've fallen in love.  While there is little comparison to actually attending classes at a yoga studio, I've found a few resources that have made my at-home practice a bit more enjoyable.

-I discovered Yoga by Candace last month when I started her 31 day strength challenge.  She has a YouTube channel with a ton of great yoga classes.  I like the options (such as a quick 15 minute pre-run warm up or even a 60 minute flow) and her style.
-Doyogawithme.com is another great, free resource with a ton of options depending on what you're looking for.  There are a lot of different teachers there, so you may want to play around to find one you really like.
-The Yoga Studio app is amazing!  Again the variety is splendid, and they even have an entire section with runner-specific classes.  You can download a class and utilize it anywhere.  I appreciate that I can easily choose a class based on the amount of time I have.

I have found that I prefer websites with lots of choices in comparison to a DVD because I get bored participating in the same practice over and over.  I'm still trying to find a space in my home where I can truly detach like I can in a class outside the home.

Do you practice yoga?  At home or somewhere else?
How often do you practice? 


6 comments:

Sydni Jackson said...

I love Erin Motz! She has two thirty-day challenges on Youtube. I think they're under "Bad Yogi." I'm trying to amp up my yoga practice this year as well :) I have one DVD that has a morning & evening (both 40 min) session. It's been great to do something longer than Erin's 12-15 min classes.

Kelly Villers said...

This is completely weird, because I could have written this post! :P For one, I am also extremely anxious (for really no reason) and two, I've been trying to do at least 20 minutes of yoga every morning and three, last month I discovered 'Yoga by Candace' and it is by FAR my favorite on youtube. Crazy :)

Katie Adams said...

I've been going to yoga 1-3 times per week for the past 2 years and have picked it up lately. It's what keeps me sane and I now CRAVE yoga. :)

Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

Thank you so much for writing this! I've been trying (kind of...) to develop a home yoga practice. While I've found some good free resources, like DYWM, I've found that I really like finding one instructor whose classes I consistently like and connect with. I'm looking forward to trying out some of the Yoga by Candace videos and also looking up Erin Motz (mentioned above). I'm looking forward to hearing how your daily Feb. practice goes and thanks again for sharing these resources!

Exploring Woods said...

Love this post! Thanks for all the helpful links; I'll definitely be checking them out. I just quit my gym, but really want to do yoga at home.

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