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Like many people, I thought I couldn't do yoga because I wasn't starting out as my most flexible or healthy self. I had done gymnastics and cheerleading in the past (over 16 years ago), but that flexibility I once had was long gone. As I got older, I experienced tendonitis in my knee and killer lower back pain. See, when I was younger, I had an X-ray done of my spine and although it was very subtle, I had a little curve on the end of my spine which the doctor did not write down as Scoliosis at the time. Since I have gotten older, the pain has of course gotten worse and I'm sure that "little curve" is not so little anymore (I haven't gotten it checked again, although I should).
Anyway, these were all of my excuses of not wanting to start yoga or better yet, not thinking I could do yoga correctly. At the time, I also didn't have money to pay for monthly membership costs at the new yoga studio that just opened down the street. I slightly just didn't want to embarrass myself as I didn't even know the difference between a mountain pose and tree pose at the time. So, I went wherever you go when you need something these days, other than Google of course: YouTube. I began to type "yoga for beginners" and the first video that pops up is a lovely, vibrant yet extremely calm woman named Adriene. Her channel is Yoga With Adriene and I fell in love with yoga after my first class with her.
The beginner video's she does are amazing, slow and you're able to retain a lot of information about yoga. She also has FREE, yes, FREE 30 day yoga challenges you can do, all throughout the comfort of your own home! I learned how to properly stretch certain areas of my body, especially my back. She also gives you alternatives you can do if you're experiencing pain in certain poses (which I certainly do with my knee and use a blanket for extra support!). I still refer back to her YouTube videos sometimes when I have specific pain in problem areas—most likely she has a video for it! I would have a horrible day at work and on my drive home would look forward to doing yoga to her anxiety and stress flow. It worked wonders for me to blow off some steam after a long day. She also has a refreshing personality that actually makes me bust out laughing in the middle of a pose!
The moral of my story is, I have now been practicing yoga for a little over a year now, mostly in the comfort of my own home. But you can venture out anywhere to practice, get creative! Yoga has taught me self-love, to accept my body the way it is, to show my body, mind, and spirit some love I wasn't really tending to in years prior. Everyone has their bad days or a bad week, even a hard year, or two. Once you start incorporating love, attention, and time for yourself on a daily basis you start to see the benefits. In your lifetime other people are hard on you but you can't be too hard on yourself, we only have one body and one life to live. We all need to find a healthy escape to cope with stress and mine happened to be yoga. Give it a try, you've got nothing to lose!
Follow me on my newly made Instagram just for yoga: AlysYogaLifestyle