I’ve been thinking a lot about reasons for sharing my yoga journey with you. I mean, it’s not as if there’s a lack of yogis on social media. There are so many amazing people, sharing their journeys and asana awesomeness. In so many ways, I can’t even compare. But I started sharing in the first place because of my yoga community on Instagram. I was learning new poses and feeling motivated by so many awesome people, and I wanted to share all the progress I was making!
Now, as my journey continues, it’s become about more than sharing my own practice. It’s become about inspiring others to start a practice of their own. It’s about showing others that you don’t have to be the strongest or in the most spectacular shape of your life. You don’t have to practice two hours a day. Actually, you can come from any background, any level of interest, any level of strength. You simply have to be interested in starting.
In support of transparency and complete authenticity, here’s a little of my own background. Although I can bust out a pretty cool looking pose on occasion, I assure you, I am not the strongest, I don’t do really long yoga practices, and I have SO, SO much to learn. I’m 37 years old. I’ll be 38 in March. I started doing yoga consistently about two years ago. Before yoga, I was pretty active. Like most people, my level of activity has ebbed and flowed throughout my life, but I’ve been pretty consistent since my mid-twenties. I used to move from activity to activity every few months because I would get bored. I was totally okay with this (and I still don’t think there’s anything wrong with it). I would do traditional strength training for a few months, get bored, and move on to calisthenics. Sometimes I would run. Sometimes I would walk long distances. I ran a marathon once, and that training took over my life for about a year. I’ve tried a little bit of everything, and I always thought I would continue that way…moving from activity to activity, depending on my mood during that time in my life.
I had tried yoga off an on throughout the years. I liked it, but it never really satisfied me. I’ve always preferred doing my workouts at home (rather than a gym), and at the time, exercise DVDs were my go-to. With yoga DVDs, they either seemed very relaxing (great for a calm practice but not great if I wanted to sweat), or they were far too difficult and far too long for me to commit to. So I always, inevitably, gave it up.
Here’s my motto when it comes to exercise: I can commit to 20 minutes a day, five days a week.
I’m not saying I’ll never do more. I often do. Right now, I do 30 minutes or more each day, five days a week. But let’s be honest, there are days when I’m rushed and short on time. If I can’t get in a good workout in 20 minutes, I have a problem.
So about two years ago, I started following the yoga community on Instagram. I started trying to do all the cool poses I was seeing (particularly arm balances). And I discovered CodyApp. Cody is an online platform that streams fitness videos. You purchase the series you’re interested in, and you can access it anywhere there’s internet, for life. And the cool thing? Cody had teachers I followed on Instagram (so I was motivated to learn from them), and the plans were often focused on 20-30 minute practices. I was in heaven!
And so, the yoga journey began.
I had no idea yoga would affect my life and well-being the way it did. I had no idea I would feel more calm, more present, and more grateful. I simply had no idea. I just wanted to arm balance and be a strong bad-ass. But all of those things came anyway. I’ve honestly never felt such a strong sense of well-being. And I credit so much of this feeling to my yoga practice (don’t get me wrong, I do realize other parts of my life have influenced this also). But when you know something is right for you, you just know. And I know yoga is right for me.
As a matter of fact, I’ve registered to complete yoga teacher training in Spain this July. I am SO excited! I can’t wait to bring even more of my practice to others that need it. I love the idea of teaching yoga. I love the idea of inspiring others to start a yoga practice.
So let’s come back to my original thoughts — why is it that I want to share my yoga practice with this community? It’s simple. I’m a woman in my late 30’s, I haven’t been practicing all that long, I don’t practice for unreasonable amounts of time, yet I’m still making big strides. I sometimes see my Instagram Yogis doing AMAZING things, and I feel intimidated or weak — I feel like maybe I’ll never be that flexible or that strong. I’m pretty normal, just like you. So I want to inspire you to start anyway. I want you to know that we don’t all have to handstand while balancing on one arm, simultaneously eating a plate of spaghetti.
I want to invite you on my journey to strength, and I want to be real. I want to allow you to see me struggle. I want you to see that, sometimes, I want to give up too. I want you to know you’re not alone when you feel hopeless and you wonder what’s wrong with your body. I wonder too. All the time. And I think there’s a place in the social media yoga community for people that are like you and me. I think there’s a BIG place.
So I invite you to join me, and to you, I say, let’s do this thing together!