my yoga journey started at age 12.
my mother has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. i always wanted to go with her so she enrolled my sister and i in a kids yoga class at the studio. the class wasn’t renewed. as a christmas gift in 2015, she got me a series class pack. i started my practice as an adult that next summer. i’ve been doing yoga ever since. i’m currently enrolled in yoga teacher training.
my favorite types
in yin, asanas (postures) are held anywhere from 2-10 minutes. by getting deep into muscle tissue, you release all that you’ve been storing there.
the flow is slower, almost like two breaths, one movement. you’ll get deeper into the pose, which can help you stretch to new heights.
not to be confused with bikram yoga, hot yoga includes any variation of asanas (postures) but the temperature is hot! normally ranging from 85-95 degrees, it’s perfect to get into a good stretch and sweat out all your worries!
one breath, one movement. this faster paced class increases your heart rate, promoting healing. if you’re okay with sweating a little, vinyasa is for you.
through the combinations of mudras (hand positions), asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), you’ll connect to your spiritual self.
what yoga did for me- on and off the mat.
discomfort vs. pain
there is a difference between discomfort and pain. discomfort can help you grow and stretch to new heights. pain only hurts you. by identifying my limits on my mat, i got better at identifying my limits off the mat. once you practice defining boundaries with yourself, implementing them with others becomes second nature.
the best thing to do when you’re anxious is to breathe. my first therapy experience was a group therapy session for yoga and anxiety. we worked on yoga poses and other techniques to manage anxiety. these poses included toe stretches, child’s pose, and savasana. incorporating different pranayamas, such as viloma and ujjayi, i’ve been able to calm myself down.
“be where your feet are” is always a goal for me. while doing yoga, i am present. i am focused on my breathing and doing the poses. by practicing staying present on the mat, i can use pranayama, or breathing techniques, to stay present off the mat. i have been able to let go of SO much during yoga. letting go of the past has helped me embrace the present- by clearing my heart, i’m more open to love from within and from others.
yoga has helped me become more flexible physically, emotionally and mentally. through my practice i am constantly trying new poses different ways and growing. i have learned that every day is a new day and it’s okay to change things up. since every day is a new day, every day you get to define new limits for yourself. i get to feel what feels right for me TODAY and make decisions based on that.
what materials do i need for yoga? where i buy them from?
- yoga mat- how thick do you want it? there are many different heights, which just give you more cushion. i use a thicker mat so my knees are comfortable. i currently have a pink gaiam mat (with an orange mandala)
- yoga mat strap for holding- this stylish extra just makes it easier when you have to walk to yoga! i got my strap from target. it’s a pink gaiam.
- blocks- props are so important! i have two blue foam ones that i got from tjmaxx. there are wooden blocks and foam ones, all available in different sizes (thickness).
- strap- a simple strap can be so helpful. they’re especially helpful for the cool down portion of the yoga class. i have a grey one, gaiam from target.
- sweat mat (specifically for hot yoga)
- blanket- many yoga studios offer blankets. i got mine from a gas station in the northern part of michigan (very random i know!). but i’m sure you’d be able to find a blanket online.
- bolsters- this is one of the only yoga props i don’t have! i currently just use a pillow. if i find one, i’ll update it and have it here!
brands- i really like gaiam. i buy most of my yoga/athletic materials from tjmaxx/marshals they have blocks, sweat mats, and yoga mats. all are very well priced. i’ve heard that people say the expensive ones are “worth it”, but i’ve been doing it for four years and i will tell you, my stuff gets the job done (well!) and is college student budget friendly.
i also write a lot about yoga. check out more below!