3 Ways to Jump into a Yoga Routine // Yoga for Beginners

Everyone seems to sets a goal to get healthy at the beginning of each year.  This year, since I'm focusing on my work authentic I want to continue to participate in a exercise that serves me.  This exercise is Yoga.  About mid 2017 (maybe earlier) I decided it was time to start trying this thing called Yoga out!  During my journey with mindfulness, Yoga kept coming up for me.  I realized that Yoga was a way to show up for yourself & for your health.
First off, and I'm sure a lot of us are like this - exercise isn't fun.  I don't get anything immediately out of it except soreness and a resolve that I don't have time for this.  But yoga....man yoga connects a lot of you.  It can be as easy or as challenging as you want, which is what I like.  (I may be wrong, but there's no easing into something like running....you're either moving, or your not.  And I have zero time to be lifting weights).  Yoga gives me the instant satisfaction that I've gotten something out of the last 10, 20, 30 + minutes of my time spent on the mat.  I feel like I've actually achieved something.  Yoga connects you to your soul.  Yoga connects your mind to your body.  Yoga asks you to show up to the mat and it gives you the opportunity to show up in the way you are able & the way you need to.  Do you need a block? Great, grab one, keep going.  Do you need to put down a knee? Great, do it, keep going.  It only asks that you show up for yourself, in the way you need, today, tomorrow, and the next.

I love yoga for that reason.  As a plus size lady a lot of exercise isn't built for us in the way we need it.  Some may disagree with me, and that is fine, but I feel a lot of exercise asks us to push ourselves only on the physical level - you're burning calories, increasing stamina, building muscles.  And that is fine & dandy if that's what you need.  But I feel like yoga asks you to talk to your body.  How are you breathing?  Where are you feeling the stretch?  Are you stretching farther than yesterday?  What is your body feeling in this pose?  It is a connection.  It is a flow.  And that is why I love it.  You're flowing with your body, one fluent movement after another.  You're challenging your body all while you're listening to it. 

So if you're interested in starting yoga but not sure if you're totally down for it, here are some of my thoughts :

Get clear on your goals

Why do you want to start yoga?  What will you get out of a yoga practice?  For me mindfulness & a connection to myself all while participating in an activity that gets me moving is the reason I do yoga.  Depending on the level of your yoga flow you can really work up a sweat!  I am just trying to build a flow so when I am looking for a routine online or a class I am looking for beginner yoga, mindful yoga, or stretching sequences.  I'm not looking for fat burning or extremely fast paced yoga.  Under this umbrella, decide when yoga will fit into your life.  Are you going to go to a class?  Is this a morning routine?  Is this something you'll do on the weekend?  Personally, I choose to do yoga as a part of my morning routine.  This means I'm getting my blood pumping and my mind connected to my body at about 5:30am on the weekdays.  I'm looking for stretching sequences or longer flows.  My favorite routines to follow often have the words mindful or stretch in the title.

Grab your gear & props

I'm going to focus on the fact that I'm a plus size gal, but a lot of this is the same for beginners as well.  You may not have as much range of motion or even any work out gear so these are great for beginners as well.  The first thing I started out with was a mat. leggings, and a sweatshirt.  Honestly you don't need a mat or any clothes (if your down for that!) but it helps.  The mat mainly gives you the scope of the area you need to be working it.  It helps you to understand where your body should be and, for me, helps me align my feet since I can see the contrast between my mat and the floor.  I also recommend blocks & a strap.  If you're range of motion isn't that expansive or your just not used to putting your body in certain poses, blocks and straps can help you modify poses so that you are able to move into them.  I love that the flow of yoga supports modification with out you feeling like a loser for needing it.  For me, if I can't follow you, do what you do, and keep up then I feel like a failure.  Why am I doing something I can't do?  When I can't get through an exercise routine and feel successful....you can bet I'm not going to do it again.  Yoga isn't like that.  There are plenty of yoga flows and routines that allow you to feel connected & successful....with or with out modifications!

Don't wait for a class

We live in the age of the internet, folks.  That means there are a ton of yoga instructors to follow on social media & places like YouTube.  I think that I was super lucky to have found Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube as soon as I set my mind to embark on this yoga path!  She is amazingly gentle, easy to listen too, and offers side by side modifications.  Don't wait to go to a yoga class!  If you have that in your mind (and you're like me) you'll find every excuse not to go.  Or, you'll build up so much anxiety on the judgement that might be passed on you.  People can judge...yoga can not.  If you're searching for yoga flows on YouTube try using terms like beginner, mindful, and stretch.  To ease yourself in do shorter flows, 10 to 15 minutes, so that you're feeling successful and therefore motivated.  I know shorter flows helped me to feel like I was able to do this...that yoga was something I could feel successful at!  I save longer routines for when I'm really pumped or have more time (like the weekends!).  One of my goals this year is to work longer flows into my self care on the weekends.

These three areas can really help you decide if yoga is for you and why it might serve you.  Connecting the mind & the body is a key part of yoga.  This can really help you move into a healthy routine & get moving.  You can get a ton out of yoga, not just mindfulness - you can build flexibility, build muscle, burn fat, build stamina, and gain strength.  Just start & see where you go.

Why are you considering yoga?  What had yoga shown you?

xoxo, Moe

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