While I’m working on becoming a badass, I realize that thus far, manifesting the shit out of some positivity and abundance in my life has resulted in a lot of sitting. I know I need to move my body – that hasn’t been a big priority in my life in the past, honestly, and I’ve made that one of my biggest intentions for this year.
Yesterday was the first Monday of 2019, making it the unofficial New Year’s Day of Starting New Stuff. I made yesterday my bitch. I took a brisk 25 minute walk outside with my dog, I made and consumed healthy meals and snacks, I accomplished some other tasks on my to-do list, drank half my body weight in ounces of water like a non-garbage human, took vitamins, and felt pretty darn good about it.
Now, I live in the Midwest and January isn’t known for being terribly hospitable when it comes to outdoor physical activity regimens. We’re currently going through a little bit of a warm spell – it’s been in the forties and fifties here for the past few days – but that won’t last, and neither will my outdoor walking plans.
I knew I needed an indoor workout that I could do a.) without equipment because I have a1.) none, and a2.) no space for that, and b.) without a history of “working out” under my belt. Several people have recommended giving yoga another try recently – I suppose my insulting hot yoga’s mom probably didn’t help – and pretty much everyone agrees that Yoga with Adriene is the best place to start.
Definition of yoga
1 : a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation
2: a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation derived from Yoga but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being
Adriene, the totally not-Instagram-perfect, not-pretentious, not-super-woo-woo instructor, started a new 30 day series on January first called Dedicate. The nice thing is that you can actually start it at any time! Clearly, I didn’t know Adriene on January first, so she and I started our relationship today.
You can find her videos on YouTube, but if you sign up for her emails, you’ll get a nice little breakdown of each day, plus the video link, in your inbox every morning. The best part is that it’s FREE. The second best part is that her dog wanders around in the background of the videos, and he looks like just the nicest, sweetest, bestest doggo ever, yes he does.
Since today was Day One, I got totally ready. I shaved my legs. I put on yoga pants for something besides couch-sitting, Netflix-bingeing, and competitive-snacking. I put on my favorite Star Wars shirt, because from what I can understand, “namaste” means the exact same thing as “may the force be with you”. I gave myself a Yoda-level pep-talk, and I was ready to go.
I don’t have a yoga mat, but I do have one thousand blankets, so I laid one of those down. I opened Adriene’s Day One video, Discern, and hit play. She started slowly, talking about breathing and really helping me, a newbie, to understand some of the different ways you can breathe and move and listen to what your body is doing.
Adriene talks to you in a very calming way, but isn’t stuffy about it. I don’t know why every time I think about a yoga instructor, I think in extremes: it’s either picture-perfect Instagram influencer in full makeup on the beach at sunset, or it’s the love child of Professor Trelawney and Yoda. Thankfully, Adriene seems to fall in a nice, safe, middle ground. Also, do not Google “Professor Trelawney and Yoda fanfic” or you will see things you’ll never be able to unsee.
She talks you through the movements, but explains them both in technical terms, and using the proper names for each pose so you can catch on if you’re new. She also offers alternative options for poses and adjustments if your body just won’t, or can’t, do what she is asking. She reassures you many, many times throughout the video that “this is normal”.
By the time I completed the video, I could definitely feel the stretching in my muscles, and while I felt more relaxed, perhaps even centered, my heart rate was up and I had clearly done some good for my body. Today’s instruction was 49 minutes, but I looked ahead and most days appear to be in that 40-minute sweet spot.
All in all, it was a good burn. I liked it, but it was hard. I’m sure it’s going to get harder, and I am doing my very best to manifest bendy-vibes for the days to come. My hope is that once I start to get the hang of this, I can use the time to focus and meditate while moving my body. I’ve committed to 30 days of this, so I’ll update you as I go along both here, and on social media!
Will I gain muscle strength and flexibility? That’s the goal!
Will I harness the woo and find more inner peace, intentionality, and joy? I sure hope so!
Will I figure out where in the hell my third eye is? TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO FIND OUT.
A few friends have been talking about an app called Daylio for tracking your activities and moods day to day. I just started using it!
It’s nice because you can customize the activities that make the most sense for your lifestyle, and you can set goals to accomplish and track them through the app. After time goes by, you can start to see patterns, and if you’re obsessed with data like I am, this is a very cool thing.
If you’re looking for something to help keep you on track, try Daylio for yourself, and track your goals, moods, and activities for 2019!