Since I was a teenager, I've been interested in yoga as a physical and mental exercise. I've never gotten into meditation, but I love being in my head, in the zone, while I'm practicing. For a period of time, I was able to go to classes a few times a week. Then life throws you some curveballs. That's OK. We live in a wonderful age in which you can find just about everything you are looking for on the internet.
That's how I found Yoga with Adriene.
It was just over two years ago, shortly after my beloved papa passed away. I was living with my parents, working retail, trying to figure out what to do with my life. I wanted to do some yoga, so I did a search for "yoga challenge" or something like that. The results took me to a YouTube channel--Adriene's. I started a tentative practice with her videos. She had recently done a 30 days of yoga for the month of January, which is what I began with. But she posts new videos every week throughout the year. Beyond that, she has a members only site through VHX that has a lot of members only content. It's a great resource.
I've practiced yoga with Adriene on and off since then. Honestly, more off than on. Especially lately. Time--both finding it and making it--has been a major issue. There's that impulse of if you're going to do something, do it in a big way. At least that's my impulse. But that's really not how yoga works. And that's definitely not how Yoga with Adriene works. Her tagline is "Find What Feels Good." Sometimes, occasionally (but not so much for me at home), it works to do that hour long practice--and Adriene has plenty of those. More often, though, the shorter practices fit better. That's traditionally where I thrive.
Like I said, I have been more off with the practicing of yoga lately. As in for the past over a year. Not much yoga-ing going on. And I've been feeling like shit the past few months in particular. Bad moods. Bad eating habits. Bad energy level. Bad everything. Yoga has been on my mind quite a lot over the past couple of weeks, kind of like the window that's open despite all of the closed doors.
This morning I decided to take a bite. I logged onto the VHX site for the first time in I don't know how long and began looking around. There were longer practices to be sure. But I fought the impulse to attempt to commit to 35 minutes, when I was pretty sure I'd peter out, frustrated and full of self-loathing, after about 15. I found a set of videos that were flow yoga videos. Most of Adriene's videos are flow videos, but these were top videos dedicated to flow. I found one that I had done before and really liked. It was 18 minutes. Perfect. The video is available on YouTube and I've provided a link below for those interested.
I rolled out my yoga mat, sipped some cold water to clear my mind, and hit play. Sigh. I am so glad I did. The practice was short and compact and it had everything. Funnily enough, the other day I was trying to remember the shoulder/elbow/arm roll she does in this video, but I didn't remember that it was in this video. Perfect serendipity.
Anyway, now I'm off the mat. My attitude feels better. The tightness between my shoulders feels better. I feel better in this moment. I plan on going back to the mat to do this video tomorrow and for a few days after that, in the hopes of getting back to something I truly love and know makes a difference for me. I don't know how many days in a row I'll do this video in particular or yoga in general, but I hope it's a good stretch.
If I can remember that that short, 20 minute practice is enough, maybe I can remember that I am enough.
Note--I was in no way compensated for this post. I was not approached by anybody about writing this post. I simply had a great yoga session today and wanted to share some thoughts.