Yoga Strong Every Day

Yoga Strong Every Day | reflectivemama.comBaby finally fell asleep an hour after his bedtime, and then woke up almost an hour earlier than usual. So it goes. However, it made for a long two hours of breakfast and playtime before his morning nap. When he finally went down, the last thing I wanted to do was head back into the playroom to unroll my yoga mat.

For a second, I considered skipping practice. Almost immediately (although not as quick as I would like), I thankfully dismissed the idea. Skipping a workout would only begin a downward spiral leading to more and more skipped sessions, muscle loss, and pounds gained. May sound a little dramatic, but I’ve been there before. My brain deeply connects to one of Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood from The Happiness Project*, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

Time to recommit. I thought about taking my mat to another room in the house. Family room? Too dark. Living room? Our dog, Sirius, would constantly interrupt. Other areas just didn’t feel right compared to the traditional playroom ashram. Back upstairs I went, scooting Old MacDonald’s tractor out of the way to make room. I rolled out my mat, opened Yoga Studio App on my iPhone, and got ready to move.

Still not in the perfect head space, I decided to amp up the difficulty level. It was a strength day, and I was planning to do a beginner’s class. I changed it to an intermediate session instead. It might seem counterintuitive, but the challenging workout helped me connect to it more. I needed to focus on the more difficult poses and faster paced transitions, forcing my mind to stay in the moment instead of leaping ahead to plan out my day or backward to bemoan my lack of sleep.

It was only my second time going through the more advanced routine, and I discovered two new things to love about it. First, it took me through two full vinyasas. There is something about flowing through those moves that made me feel strong. Vinyasas are the heart of sun salutations, the movement series that feels like the true essence of yoga for me.

Second, the class connected each movement to a breath. Exhale into forward bend. Inhale into downward dog. Exhale into plank. Connecting each breath to a movement helped me feel how inhaling or exhaling can strengthen each individual pose. When I first started yoga years ago, the concept of following my breath was completely foreign. Now it’s something I cherish. Yoga breathing helps me stay in the moment as I flow through a vinyasa or other poses.

Fifteen minutes later, I felt warm, stretched, and strong. Daily yoga practice anchors my entire day. The hardest mornings for me to hit the mat are always the ones where I finish feeling my best. I have not found a more productive or more relaxing way to (re)start my day.

What is a key habit or routine that you make sure to do every day?

3 thoughts on “Yoga Strong Every Day

  1. Rebecca

    Oh I feel you on this. I haven’t done yoga in years but I want to get back into it because I’ve become a meditation junkie and the two go hand in hand. If I don’t meditate once a day, I feel all shades of crazy stressed.
    Rebecca recently posted…Confession: I Can See the FutureMy Profile

    1. farrahudell Post author

      It makes all the difference! I’ve been trying some different workouts the past couple weeks, and my body missed the stretching. I woke up so stiff this morning, and yoga immediately helped. My body just needs to practice.

      I have never gotten into a meditation practice, unless you count attempts at channeling my inner calm when my baby is refusing to sleep. Any recommendations on how to get started?

  2. GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth

    Love this post. I’ve been there with the downward spiral that comes from missing just one workout. A lot of my friends who don’t workout as much as I do don’t get it- but it’s really a thing.
    I try to make and drink a green juice every morning. It helps me set my tummy off right for the rest of the day and there’s comfort in the ritual for some reason.
    But like working out, once I miss one, it’s hard to get back into the habit of doing it every morning especially since it requires me to get out of bed a little earlier to prep.
    GiselleR @ Diary of an ExSloth recently posted…5 Things on my Fitness Bucket ListMy Profile


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