I started going to yoga classes run by work at lunchtimes a couple of years ago. I managed to go twice a week for quite a while, however over the last year I’ve travelled on so many business trips that my yoga sessions have been few and far between. I’ve always intended to practise at home (and even bought a yoga mat), but somehow just never got into it.
Cue 2017, and a recommendation on Facebook for Adriene’s 31 day yoga revolution. Adriene is an actress and yoga teacher, based in the US, and she has an excellent YouTube channel with a vast range of yoga videos. Throughout January, she is posting a new yoga video every day, each one with a different theme. She also sends an accompanying email if you sign up.
I almost didn’t bother with the video on 1st January. I’m not sure what made me do it, other than thinking that it would be good for me, and I was trying to do more of what I enjoy. I did it in the evening on 1st January, and enjoyed it so much I did the next day’s when I got up the next morning.
As I said in my last post, I’m trying to be much more mindful about what I do, and how I do it. With it being winter (and with it being such a trendy subject), I’ve also been trying to make my home a bit more ‘hygge‘, with candles, nice lighting, cosiness etc. I’m lucky enough to have a spare room (my craft room) that just about has space for my yoga mat, so after tidying a bit, I also finally put up some pictures I’d had printed a while back, and hung up some fairy lights. Before starting the yoga video, I just made my room feel really cosy so that I really wanted to be there – I turned on the fairy lights and lit a few candles. I then did the second instalment of the revolution, and found the space really relaxing. Every morning since then, I’ve got up, made myself a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon (I got into this habit last year and love it), then gone up to my craft/yoga room. I’ve turned on the fairy lights, lit my candles (I’m really going to need some slow burning ones!) and settled in for my thirty minutes or so of yoga.
Some days the sessions are very restful, others involve crunches, there are a lot of planks, and my extremely tight body has been very well stretched. I can’t do everything on the videos, and that’s okay – it’s the constant practice and what we feel from it that matters. What I didn’t anticipate was how much good it would do me to do yoga every morning consistently. Not only does it make my body feel good, it’s doing wonders for my mind. I start the day feeling refreshed and calm, and the feelings on the mat have started to transfer into my life off the mat as well. I really think sorting out my ‘yoga space’ was key. I can’t wait to be in the prettiness of fairy lights and candles when I get up in the morning. Even on these dark mornings (I get up at 6am), it feels comforting and snug.
I fully intend to continue doing yoga every morning, even once the 31 day revolution is up. My yoga mat now stays in place (I’ll move it only if I need the room, and keep it ready otherwise). There are more than enough videos on YouTube to keep me going (or I’ll just do the 31 days again and again if I get stuck). It seems to be doing my mind as much good as my body, which was unexpected, but very welcome.