My sisters YOGA STORY YAY! :) She's fabulous!by Rachel E. Reilly - "Mrs Villegas" on 10/16/12
This is MY Yoga story!
Hey my fellow Yogis, Yogini and Oxygen filled bodies! My name is Elissa Slater, my health nut title is RYT 200, translation please, Registered Yoga Teacher Yoga Alliance certified 200 hrs! Also mother and wife!
Today, I want to extend a few tips for a yogi lifestyle which will ultimately lead to less stress and most importantly a healthy YOU! I started my yoga practice more then 9 years ago. I was your average gym member and wanted a change to my typical workout. I literally tried every single workout to try to lengthen, lean, and tone my gymnast body. Yes gymnast body. I started gymnastics when I was just 4 years old. All of the compression from tumbling and flipping really condensed and thickened my muscles. When I was in middle and high school I continued these muscle bulking practices by cheerleading. I literally had the thickest (yet healthy muscular)thighs of most of the teenagers I knew. After high school, I continued my active lifestyle and to counter the cheering and gymnastics I began the only logical practice to keep my body lean RUNNING! What did I find? Although running is a drastically wonderful exercise, great for your heart, mid section, and overall health, the pressure and impact of hitting the ground made my bulky muscles even firmer! I love a strong healthy body but I desperately wanted a long lean body.
This is when I found yoga…. annnnd a husband annnnd that lead to being a new mom! Being a young wife and mother can really add additional inches to your waistline as well as critical stress to your mind. I remember my first time taking yoga. It was a "chain" gym that I had been a member of since high school. Luckily for me, they had hired a Yoga Alliance instructor from a well known yoga studio in Charlotte, NC.
Walking into a yoga studio or class can be very intimidating. The coconut water, lu lu lemon and incense in every inch of the room look strange, especially for those that thought coconut water was for pina coladas and when you heard of lu lu lemon you thought it was a special fruit at your local grocery. Then there are lean sweaty bodies that are refilling their water bottles and the class hasn't even started, or did they have a pre yoga workout?. The still silence doesn't add comfort to your pre workout endorphins. The instructor tells you to grab your mat and lay in child's' pose and she will be in the class in a minute. Child's pose, you wonder? Are there crayons and a school desk? And then you see the other yogis calm on their mats with their hips pressed firmly against their heels and you decide to follow suit.
Yes, I've been there, it's been 9 years and I still remember every detail of how intimidating it was just trying a new form of exercise. If you want your lean body, press through this very temporary unfamiliar feeling. Before my first yoga class ended I felt like a new human being. My mind, what happened? I couldn't think hard enough to get overwhelmed, my mind was at ease for the first time in weeks. My body felt stretched and long.
I was hooked from that very first day doing yoga, but I didn't consciously know I was hooked. It took about four months of doing yoga daily to visibly notice a difference in the way my body looked. After every class I knew my body was changing but after those first four months my clothes fit different. Next article will be will focus more of results of yoga but every result starts with a beginning so lets get prepared!
Below I will provide tips for beginner or practicing yogis to go to yoga with intention so you can make yoga a habit and see and feel the results you will achieve if you practice yoga!
GO TO YOGA PREPARED
#1. Proper dress
**I recommend new yogis to wear cropped or long yoga pants and try to avoid shorts. Sometimes a newbie can feel intimidated in the yoga postures if they wear shorts and you really want to make this practice as relaxed and stress free as possible. If you are comfortable showing your legs and want to wear shorts make sure they are fitted and not loose, three legged dogs is only the beginning of what you will flash to the person practicing behind you if you have loose shorts.
*Wear a fitted top. Flowing tops are fun for yoga, however when you are just beginning, the top may cover your face in certain postures and make you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.
*Light, breathable clothing unless you do not get easily overheated
*Sticky bottom socks or no socks at all. Yoga mats can get very slippery even if not wet. You want the best grip to your mat as possible. So if you are a woman or man who won't show their feet with out a pedi, make sure you know your feet will be an essential asset to your yoga practice, your feet is where you find your grounding. Note** yogis will not be judging your un-pedicured feet!
#2. Bring your own essential yoga needs.
*Most yoga studios and gyms provide mats, yoga straps, and blocks and as they are fully functional, I recommend bringing your own mat. You can find very inexpensive mats at your local superstore for as little as $8, which is a great item for a beginner, more advanced yogis should invest in a pricer mat for added support!
**water bottle, coconut water, or electrolyte drink to keep you hydrated.
***a small towel to wipe your face, body, or mat in case your practice gets super sweaty.
****HAIR TIES/bands if you have long hair!! Yes many yogis practice with their long hair magically swept out of their face with their luminous sweat, this is not a guarantee for the newbie yogis! Hair in your face can be very irritating while trying to become zen and you must keep your mind focused only on your breath and movement!
****Shower needs for after your practice(Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, razor, after shower lotion, makeup and MOST IMPORTANTLY CLEAN TOWEL for after shower!!!! and a change of clothes). You may have to go to work after and some yoga classes can get very sweaty. Make sure you bring a clean towel to dry off with after your shower I always forget this!
#3. Minimal accessories!
** It is okay to wear a some jewellery if you don't mind it getting sweaty, however if you are new to the practice I would wear little extras. Gorilla pose can be very painful if you have rings digging into your knuckles. If you fall out of your plank or crow you do not want a sharp cross necklace poking your neck!
#4 Minimal Valuable items!
** Most yoga studios do provide cubbies for your clothes and non valuables but most do not have locks. I would leave purses, money, and wallets at home and just bring enough to pay for the class. The worst thing in a yoga class is to be thinking about the diamond ring in the zipper of your jacket or the money you have in your purse that you should have deposited before yoga class.
#5. Let the yoga instructor and assistants know that you are new to the practice. She/He will be able to focus on your poses so you don't over stress your body and also asset you so you can challenge yourself!
#6. Loose any and all expectation. Instead set an intention for yourself. Whether it be to leave yoga relaxed, exercised, or rejuvenated for your day!
I love sharing yoga secrets and tips! Until next time, relax, unwind, and lengthen!