Everyone always asks, “Oh, you do yoga? That’s supposed to be so good for you, right?”
And my answer is always, without hesitation, yes.
Sooooo many yes’s.
Well before I started practicing yoga, I had those same kinds of questions (and more):
– Is this exercise supposed to be good for me?
– Is there good reason why so many people love yoga?
– Is it calming?
– Will I actually get a good workout?
– Will I sweat?
– Will I be able to do it?
– Are there all different levels in class?
Yes. All yes’s.
There are so many things that keep me going back to yoga, year after year, class after class.
1. For starters, it’s a mind and body connection experience. If you’re looking for that type of focus that’ll strengthen not only your body/core, but also your mindset, yoga is one of the best things for that. Yoga is self-care. And, that’s important to have. If I can take care of myself first, I can take better care of those in my life.
2. Then, there’s the fact that yoga is a personal journey. There’s no competition in class. Your journey on the mat is yours alone. No matter what crazy extension the person next to you is mastering, you have your own set of moves. And, that’s really the root of yoga. As long as you’re connecting to you, you’re doing it right.
3. The other thing thing I love about yoga is that it’s centered around breath to movement. Breath is life. If we can really study our breath patterns, slow down, and breathe with intention, we are doing some serious personal research. That’s powerful stuff. When I’m in class and focused on my breathing, nothing else matters. No meetings, no drama, no stresses. That can wait for later. My breath is the now.
4. It compliments other workouts. I love working out. Zumba, free weights, walking… you name it. And what I’ve found is, yoga is the perfect compliment to other workouts you may do. You’ll feel a good stretch all around, head to toe. You’ll leave rejuvenated and toned. What’s not to love about that?
5. And lastly, it just straight up feels good. I’ve never taken a yoga class where I walked away thinking, “Well, that sucked.” NEVER. Each class is its own. Each instructor (in person or even online) has something to give. Be open to the variety that yoga has to offer—slow flows, vinyasa, power, sweat—all these classes bring something different. So find the class that’s for you and dive into it.
When the sun peers through the windows in class and hits my face, when the lyric in a song hits me just right, and when the scent of lavender wafts through the room ever so softly… I know I’m in the right space for me.
So, with that, I wanted to focus today’s “What I’m Wicked Into” post on the yoga basics.
I’ve had some people reach out recently asking where to begin and which online classes/videos I’d recommend to get started.
I’m here to help.
Though I practice yoga in person more often, I am no stranger to online resources. I used to regularly follow videos online when I wasn’t a studio member and believe me, you can get some killer workouts and knowledge from these peeps. They mean business.
I think a good place to get started is…
- Create your space. This doesn’t have to be anything over the top, but you should have an open, somewhat intimate space to practice in. For me, it’s next to by bed. Believe me, when I say my space is limited in my apartment, I’m not kidding. But, that doesn’t matter. Find a space big enough for your mat and where you can outstretch your arms and legs.This also includes setting the mood. Do you want to dim the lights? Do you want to light a candle or sage? If the mood is set for the experience you want to have, you’ll enjoy it more.
I’m all for creating the environment you want, even when it’s a class at home following an online video.
- Cut the distractions. Put your phone on silent and in another room, and make sure for the next 30-60 minutes you have no plans other than to be on your mat. Commit to that. You should be fully present in your practice, so cutting any distractions beforehand (shut the TV, close the windows if things are too loud outside, draw the blinds) will help you tune into your mind and body.
- Find the workout for you. The internet has it all. Thousands of options for yoga classes for thousands of different people. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it.Ask yourself, what kind of workout do you need today? Do you want to sweat a lot? Do you want something more calming/stretch focused?For me, it’s always a combo. I love to get in a good sweat but then cool down and do some meditations.
Further below, I’ll link to some videos for you to get started from some yogis I really respect.
- Get going and be open. Yoga can be one of those experiences that people go into thinking is a lot easier than it really is. I think that’s because people tend to view it as some hippie-dippie workout with chanting and stretching. I mean, sure, there can be some of that involved. But, yoga is intense, and not in just the workout way. It’s intense mentally because it’s asking that you remain present in the moment—and for many, that can be nearly impossible. Even for me.
So when you start your video, all I’m going to say is… remain open and go for it. Don’t worry if you feel “silly” or if you’re not “doing it right.” Adjust the moves as you need to along the way. Use props like blocks and bolsters. When the instructor offers modifications for beginners, take them. Build up your yoga practice from the basics with each day and each class.
Nothing happens overnight. Accept that and take on the experience for what it is.
Okay, without further ado, here are some great yoga video resources for you to get started on your yoga journey.
– Follow Erin’s 20-minute morning flow is a great way to start the day.
– Erin has a “30-Day Yoga Challenge” that’s really great. I love her personality and vibe, so I’d highly recommend.
-This is a faster, power yoga class but if you want to quicken things up and are ready to sweat, take this 20-minute class. I took it the other day and really liked it.
– Looking to tone it up and maybe lose a little weight through yoga? This 45-minute workout is a great longer class you can at home.
– A 13-minute hip opener video for beginners.
– I like Sadie a lot. She has a great 20-minute video for a great core workout.
– And here’s another one of hers: a 30-minute strength and stamina flow.
– I found this lady a few months ago and really like her videos. This 20-minute slow flow is a great way to get started.
– If you want to go for the full 60-minutes, here’s a group vinyasa flow for beginners you might like. Moderate as needed.
Alrighty, that should get you started in no time!
I hope you enjoy those videos and find an instructor/class that works best for your yoga style and needs.
Let me know how else I can help if you need more inspiration and help finding videos online that suit your personal goals.
Keep on keeping on,