I know you’re a superwoman. I am too! Doing it all is my daily goal, and I work hard to be as amazing at doing so as humanly possible. In my quest to do it all flawlessly, I have learned that excellence requires planning and a healthy balance of all things in my life that matter. That healthy balance is key to keeping me moving forward and dodging self-imposed burnout.
Almost 2 years ago, I found myself searching for that balance. My day to day was an internal tug of war between my sanity and keeping up with my own definition of being a superwoman. I was close to breaking, and oh what a bad break it was going to be. I knew that I couldn’t just drop everything that I had my hands in, but I knew that something had to give.
Enter yoga. Yoga was my saving grace. I needed respite, and for me yoga was everything I needed and wanted. Before beginning my journey I spent some time researching the basics and principals of the practice. Youtube, Instagram, and Tumblr were huge points of reference and support. Seeing women with bodies shaped like mine who were my age completely rocking yoga, was all I needed to dive right in. I began my practice on a Wednesday evening with nothing but me and this beginning yoga video on Youtube.
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As I became more comfortable with the practice, I began to purchase a few basic pieces of equipment as aids. In keeping within a reasonable budget, I set out to spend no more than $100. Here are a few of the items I purchased. Yes, I have a purple fetish! Don’t judge me!
1. Gaiam Yoga Blocks, Purple – The purpose of the yoga block is to provide more comfort while practicing and help to improve the alignment of the body.
2. Gaiam Yoga Strap 6′, Purple – Yoga straps are useful for aligning your posture and easing into poses, especially if you have tense muscles or are recovering from injuries.
3. Nu-Source 25 x 16 in. Rectangular Yoga Bolster Canvas Cover, Purple – A yoga bolster is like a body pillow. It’s main purpose is to aid in relaxation, help soften a posture, or aid in opening the body.
I already had a yoga mat from a poorly planned previous attempt at working out at home, so I was all ready to begin. You can grab one pretty much anywhere. No need for an expensive one. My 1st one cost $9.99 from Walmart. Yoga became part of my daily routine, and sure enough, after a couple of months my mind and body began to reap the benefits. Some days I only had time for 5-10 minutes but it was worth every fleeting minute. I was more at ease and found myself experiencing an increased ability to simmer down quickly in stressful situations. My chronic back pain had improved slightly, and my extremely tight hips and shoulders were opening up more and more each practice.
During month four I decided it was time to take my at home practice to a yoga studio. That was a one hit wonder, but I enjoyed the experience for what it was. It took that experience for me to realize that I was a home yoga person. Being in my space with familiar sights, sounds and smells was comforting to me. It also allowed my children to see me being active. Baby girl really enjoyed my home practice because she had the chance to participate occasionally, which just tickled her silly.
I really became sort of a yoga enthusiast. The benefits were too amazing to ignore and I felt great, even after a difficult practice. I could see my progress as I had gone from being able to only make it through 10 minutes of a video to being able to complete the whole 30-40 minutes. I was yoga rock star! Nothing could stop me! It was time for me to add something else to my practice, and after much research I decided on the Dharma Yoga Wheel. The wheel helped me begin to deepen and enhance my yoga poses.
Now that I am almost 2 years into my practice, I’m in a comfortable place. I don’t get to flow daily as business has picked up quite a bit, but I do still make it my business to hop on my mat whenever I feel the need to release some mental and physical stress. I still practice at home and don’t see myself heading back into a studio any time in the immediate future.
Yoga has taught me a few things. First, is to acknowledge when you need a break or a change of pace. Don’t ignore that inner voice. Take that time to find yourself again. Next, it has helped me to be comfortable in my skin in a way that I wasn’t before. Finding that inner peace comes only through full acceptance of who we are. Lastly, yoga has shown me that my body needs as much attention as my mind, my emotions, my family and my marriage. I must take care of it if I expect it to take care of me.
Do you practice yoga? I’d love to hear all about what led you to begin and how your journey has been thus far.