How doing 20 - 30 minutes of Yoga (almost) daily has changed my life
I'm no Yogi!
Let me just say from the outset, I am no long-limbed fluid yogi, I'm a shorty at just 5"4 and let's just say I'd have no future in ballet. I love walking and dancing, Zumba is my happy place usually.
I am often amazed at how easy Yoga looks whilst it makes me feel like a tight pretzel!
Must Have Leggings
Figuring out the Way
Working from home and having a toddler to care for has limited both my work hours and my "me time", I also can't just hop off to the gym anytime I like anymore.
I still regularly take long walks and get busy in front of a Zumba video in the mornings but I was getting really frustrated at how my weight just wouldn't shift and those curves seemed determined to stay put.
As a healthcare practitioner I just knew something was up, so I did a BodyTalk session and ta-da! cortisol came up. That little hormone that just loves to sit around the belly and cause trouble.
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Cortisol is the stress hormone and we've moved countries, changed our lives around and been through a miscarriage, so of course something was going to give!
Yoga with Adrienne
You will need a Mat
Bring the Earth up to You
Support Your Body with Great Nutrition
Thank you Adrienne!
Whilst doing some research on the neural and chemical effects of stress, I suddenly thought, "Hang on a minute! What exercise will help me be more flexible and strong and manage stress by reducing my cortisol levels - YOGA!"
I've not been on a mat since I was pregnant and the more I thought about it, the more it just made sense!
So I jumped onto YouTube and there she was, Adrienne with her 30 Day Yoga challenge. Boom.
The great thing about yoga too, is that you need very little to get going. A mat, some comfy pants and a tee and you're all set to go. Blocks are really helpful at times too, Adrienne often refers to them as a means of bringing the earth up to you, a really novel concept and idea about just taking the poses in our own time and doing what we can manage first, gently easing into more space with regular practice.
Adrienne's video's are 20-30 minutes a day, so not too long to interfere in my day too much and if I only did it on weekdays, I was still getting in a minimum of 100 minutes of yoga a week, which also makes me feel a bit like a SuperMum!
Having only ever done an hour long weekly class, I wondered if this would be any different and if the daily accumulation of exercise would make a tangible difference.
The answer is yes, yes and YES!
Within the first 3 days I could genuinely feel movement getting easier, my expectations were settling down and whilst I couldn't do all that Adrienne could, I was definitely having fun.
By the end of the second week, I was noticing some real benefits. I felt leaner, stronger, more peaceful, I felt radiant. It must've showed because my friends kept asking what had changed!
I'm a generally positive gal with loads of energy but somehow this support is very personal. This is me, learning to rely on me. Building my own strength, testing my own limits, gradually day by day.
By the end of the 3rd week I could manage a plank for 5 whole breaths and I love being in the pose. In the first week I'd barely managed one, this stuff is working!
My core is more engaged, I am far more aware of my breath and I am defintely feeling more flexible. Some morning's I wake up and feel my abs are aching and can't believe how much they've been worked when it felt so easy the day before. Not only that, but I am actually more aware of when I am out of balance too and need a few minutes of stretching just to push the reset button.
I'm really enjoying Adrienne's version of Yoga, she's relaxed, friendly and encourages you to not be a "yoga robot" but stay curious, explore your own body and find what naturally feels good for you. Its a wonderful celebration of individuality whilst still being true to Yoga.
You may find that a completely different style of yoga practitioner appeals to you, there are thousands to choose from and of course there are also massive benefits derived from a group class in person. My advice is, find what works best for you and go with it.
Yoga Positions for Weight Loss
So here I am, I have completed the initial 30 Days of Yoga (in about 36 days as I skipped some weekend days) and am onto Day 2 of Yoga camp.
I have lost 6cm around my hips (that dreaded area for us ladies!) and my clothes all fit better. I have lost 3cm around my thighs, which doesn't sound like much but it makes a huge difference in the comfort of my jeans.
I have a leaner more svelte shape and a definite reduction in my muffin top which has become my new area of concern after our second baby was born.
My food cravings have settled, I committed to better nutrition too and have been taking Supergreens daily to support my body, getting in my 10 servings of fruit and veg a day with ease.
I feel more comfortable within my body than I have for ages. I have never been more proud of my mat, felt more in tune with my body and felt such a general sense of ease in movement.
I couldn't have added a better exercise to my regime of self love and care and combined with BodyTalk, Mindfulness, HeartMath and good nutrition, I think I'm onto a winning formula.
Hope to see you a mat! Namaste