In the spirit of No Fear Friday, let’s talk about trying something new - yoga! Here are some of the benefits practicing yogis experience both on and off their mats:
1. Yoga brain. Yoga is a great way to destress, moving into the body in this way leads to what some refer to as “yoga brain” which is an intense feeling of calm & relaxation that follows us for hours after our session.
2. Increased flexibility. Being flexible leads to better posture and the ability to perform better athletically, it can also make sex more enjoyable. Flexibility is important for our muscles because it allows nutrients to enter the tissues and let toxins out with ease.
3. Increased muscle strength and tone. Fad diets and supplements are always raving on about how they can help us to lose weight, get strong and tone up; well here’s something that won’t fail and doesn’t have any dangerous side effects - practicing yoga regularly.
4. Improved vitality. Yoga is all about the breath and moving into the body - the breath is the life force energy and when we concentrate on conscious breathing we can feel the energy inside us rise up. A regular yoga practice can reverse conditions like chronic fatigue - if accompanied by good nutrition.
5. Balanced metabolism. The movement of the body flowing from one pose to another helps to boost our metabolism which burns calories. An essential component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is burning more calories than we put into our bodies.
6. Heart health. Yoga is considered moderate exercise and just 30 minutes of yoga a day can protect our hearts from diseases like heart disease and COPD.
7. Protection from injury. Moving into the body and stretching regularly prevents injuries because we are not sitting stagnant which causes joints and muscles to become stiff and tight - which makes them more prone to injury.
Yoga is not for the flexible, it’s for the willing.
My fav lowkey sexist thing that men say is when they ask about my exercise routine and I tell them how I wanna build muscle and get stronger so I can hold myself up better during my yoga practice and they say “but you’re not gonna get too muscular, right?” …….. why? Are you afraid I’m gonna be able to kick your ass or something?
1. Meditation - you check in with yourself regularly. Loving ourselves means we make time to be present with ourselves to reflect on where we’re going, what dominates our thoughts and most importantly to strengthen our intuition which helps us make decisions that will serve us rather than living through the ego.
2. “Alone” time - you spend time with yourself. When we love ourselves we know that we’re never truly alone because we are in a relationship with ourselves. Our “alone” time may be in the form of self-love dates which are a great way to nurture the relationship we have with ourselves.
3. Authenticity - you prioritise what makes you feel good. Acting in our best interests regardless of what others say, think or do is a key indication that we’re in a loving relationship with ourselves because it shows we’re not willing to compromise how we feel for the comfort of others.
4. Exercise - you take care of yourself. Taking care of the home we live in - our bodies - is a great way to create a love affair with ourselves. When we neglect the body we are neglecting our health - which has negative consequences for every other area of our lives.
5. Positivity - you love your life. Having a positive outlook on life comes from healing ourselves from the inside and making peace with the past. We move forward with the knowledge that the best is yet to come and living in the present moment, which all starts with loving ourselves.
6. Love - your cup is overflowing. Instead of seeking love from others with an empty cup we are the fountain that others are drawn to and we gladly allow others to drink without the expectation of them returning the favour. Loving ourselves first is the way we change the world around us.
2-3 Minutes of walking
5-10 Minutes of speed walking
5-10 Minutes of running
3-5 Minute cool down
Walk/Ran - 30 minutes using program above on treadmill (walking 2.8, speed walk 3.5, running 4.3, cool down increments set by treadmill)= 1.75 miles
Stationary bike - 30 minutes rpm ~80-90/14-16mph= 4.5 miles
Speed walk- 15 minutes at 3.5 consistent= 1.25 miles?
Sit ups forward and lateral with 8lb medicine ball until I wanted to die
5 sets of 10 squats with 8lb medicine ball
4 sets of 25 calf raises with 8lb medicine ball
30 minute 3.5 walk on treadmill at 3 incline= 1.75 miles
All of this done with Chopped, The Fosters, and The Bold Type on, great distracters
Ps if you’re not watching The Bold Type, you’re missing out. It’s so good
Trying to live clean and healthy is difficult, but it’s so worth it! There’s not much difference between my first progress picture and this one, but I’ve lost 7lbs since, about the start of March (cause even though I got serious in February, I cheated every week and didn’t make much progress lol I’m only human).
I feel a lot better, I look better while I’m sitting, and my pants fit a bit better! I have (ideally) another 10lbs to lose to be the way I want to see myself, but with hard work and dedication, which I have and I try hard to keep strong, you can do anything!
Of course, being healthy isn’t about fat or skinny. I started working out because when I do, I feel more confident and agile- the artist life of sitting at a desk all day doesn’t exactly do wonders for my preexisting health problems.
With some help and positivity (and a lot of avoiding eye contact), I’m able to go to an actual gym without a panic attack! Yay me!