Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why I love Yoga and wish I'd started years ago; TFT

I know yoga isn't for everyone, so if you don't feel like reading, feel free to skedaddle.

But if you're curious.. let me talk your ear off for a second.


I don't know what you think about yoga or people who do yoga, but I'll tell you what I thought:

Yoga is for the flexible. For the spiritual. For the vegans and for the people who don't want to do real exercise. For people who don't need to lose weight or who don't care about strength training. It's for people who like to meditate and care more about breathing than getting their heart rate up. It's for people who can afford lululemon and want to spend days away from civilisation on a retreat in the rainforest. It's for people who have never struggled to touch their toes and do nothing but yoga every damn day.

Let me apologise to all the yogis out there. What an ignorant idiot I was!

I haven't been doing yoga long, and it took me a long time to even accept that what I was doing was yoga, it was worth dedicating time to and it counted as exercise. I am so thankful that I finally took Alyssa's advice and started Erin Motz's 30 day yoga challenge.

Guess what? I am not flexible. I am not spiritual, or a vegan and yoga is real exercise. I do need to lose weight (in my opinion) and I never knew true strength training until I attempted crow pose. I don't meditate although it has 100% made me calmer and able to do my version of meditating. I've learned breathing is important, and so is getting my my heart rate up - which it does during yoga. I still can't afford lululemon and I don't think a retreat is for me, but probably for financial / time reasons than anything. I can barely touch my toes - but I'm closer than I was when I started and that is important. I don't do yoga every damn day, but I sure try.


Obviously, the title of this post gives it away - I do yoga regularly and I love it. If you really think it's not for you, I just want to know why. Are you like I was? Full of misconceptions? Do you stretch after a workout? Then you can do yoga. Yoga is more than glorified stretching, of course, but when I first started it helped me to view it as that. Just stretching.

The thing is, yoga is harder than it looks. But it's more rewarding than it looks as well.

A few weeks ago, I started doing planks and push ups at home again. I had taken so much time off that I stupidly did them with incorrect form and of course, my lower back started hurting after the first day. I hoped it would go away and kept doing the planks and push ups, and my lower back hurt even more. Rage (at myself) ensued. I was feeling so.. ugh. Blech. Mad at myself and my body for being so inept.

The next day, Alyssa just happened to be talking about lower back yoga (it's like she could read my mind!) and then we talked about it further so I had a plan to get rid of this pain. Now, I'm not trying to pretend I know real pain, but my lower back hurt. I couldn't bend down to pick something up, I couldn't even pick my cats up. Sitting hurt, standing hurt, tossing and turning in bed hurt. It was a constant throbbing pain. Ouch. So I went home that night, still mad at myself and feeling very un-yogi-like and did all the poses Alyssa told me to, twice, and ... waited. The pain will still there.

Screw you yoga, I wanted to say. Instead, I grabbed a tub of ice cream and turned on hug TV.

The next morning, I woke up and checked my emails and such. It wasn't until I saw the email from Alyssa telling me to let her know how it went that I remembered my back was supposed to be hurting. I forgot because it wasn't hurting. Boom. I jumped out of bed and twisted and turned and down dogged and all sorts of things to try and aggravate it. It was all but 98% gone. Because of a few poses and twists. Like, really? That is bloody brilliant.

I know I caused the pain myself, but it sure is handy to get rid of it myself as well.

A photo posted by Kristen (@seeyouinaporridge) on


I had a couple reasons why I didn't want to start yoga. 
1 - I already run and strength train, I did not have time for another exercise.
2 - I didn't need yoga. I couldn't see any benefit to starting. It certainly wouldn't help me lose weight.
3 - I couldn't even touch my toes which was probably a good indication of all the other things I wouldn't be able to do.. and I hate when I'm not good at something. I'm not the fastest runner but I can run. I'm not the strongest, but I can still squat with weights. I didn't want to try yoga because I knew I wouldn't be good at it.

If you don't want to do yoga, that's fine. I dig it. You might not have time for another exercise, like I thought I didn't. Do you have 5-10 minutes in the morning or before bed? It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you don't have to go to a studio class 5 times a week, you can do it all at home (read Alyssa's posts here and here about beginning a home practice). You don't have to wear lululemon - most of the time I do yoga in my pajamas.

You might think that you're fine without yoga in your life. You might be like me and simply didn't feel the need to - why, when you do other exercises? What benefit could yoga possibly bring to your life that running / barre / weight lifting / whatever doesn't? If your goal is weight loss, you might think yoga won't help. I didn't think yoga would bring anything to my life. But it did. It made me stronger, more flexible and it has helped me sleep better (a big deal for me). It's helped with my running, my strength training and it is a huge stress reducer. It's helped with any anxiety and other not so great thoughts I have sometimes. It's improved my posture, my self esteem, my mood and helps me make better choices in other areas of my life. It helps me focus, and ensures that I have dedicated relaxing time where I don't think about anything else going on. It has absolutely helped me lose weight. I don't have a lot to lose and overall it's not the scale I want to go down, but rather I want to feel good about myself and fit into my clothes. It has 100% helped with that.

You might think you won't be good at it. That's totally fine. I'm not. Just check my instagram. But seriously. You don't have to be good at it. You don't have to be as good as the person next to you, or on instagram, or in the video you're watching. You have to enjoy it and not hurt yourself. That's all that matters. Your practice is your practice. That's why I love it.

A photo posted by Kristen (@seeyouinaporridge) on

Linking up with Alyssa and Tracy for Training for Tuesday!

alyssagoesbang

If I had known how much yoga would benefit multiple aspects of my life, I would have started it years ago. So that's why I want to share with you today. I never thought I would be someone who does yoga, I did not think it was for me. But it is, it's for everyone and anyone who wants to do it.

Do you yoga?

53 comments:

  1. Dang girl! Look at you killing it in crow pose! Love it! I used to love yoga and now I haven't done it (or anything else workout related in forever) I really need to get back into it though. It really is such a good workout and helps me unwind and find balance.

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. Love this post! And crow pose is no joke! The first time I finally pulled it off, I was way too excited and my husband had no idea why lol. I started yoga about a year ago, and had all the same pre-conceived ideas about it as you did. I'm so thankful I got over it, and tried it out. One of my favorite workouts now :)

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  3. I'm a big yoga fan too, though I haven't been making enough time for it lately. Glad you were able to see past your preconceptions to discover something new that you really love! And wow, look at you go in crow!!!

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  4. im SO glad you got into yoga!!! isnt it the BEST! i remember doing a yoga class in college and it was mostly breathing and it was SO boring so i was convinced it wasnt my thing. then i tried it again a few years later and i had the most amazing teacher and that made all the difference! side note i STILL cant do the crow pose so props to you! and dont worry lululemon isnt that great.. i have a few tanks from there and i still prefer my GapFit tanks! just sayin ;) xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. yoga is amazing, i love it and i wish it weren't so dang expensive but it's great for a different kind of exercise. when i got my 30day yoga pass, i went 3-4 times a week and i loved every class :)

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  6. I do yoga every now and then. It's not something that's in my permanent schedule but more so something I do when my back is aching and I need to stretch it out. I should just do a little every day though because I'm sure it would help my lower back significantly!

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  7. this gives me hope--because when i see people doing yoga, i always want to assume they're all flexible already and then became even more flexible through yoga. but this gives me hope!!!

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  8. I am glad you gave yoga a chance! I actually do love yoga. I don't practice it very much in extended sessions anymore, but I do a daily stretch routine that incorporates a lot of yoga positions. So I do a yoga-hybrid every day I guess? At any rate, I think flexibility is a hugely underrated component of physical fitness and more people should yoga.

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  9. Ooh this post has inspired me! I love yoga, but have been away from it for a long time. Perhaps after baby is here I will get back into it! Especially since my friend Kim is one of the best yoga instructors in all of Salt Lake City!

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  10. I think it's so great that you gave it a chance and love it so much! You've been rocking all the poses! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  11. I keep saying I'm going to start taking yoga and I never do. You've been kicking ass at all of these poses!

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  12. I should really look into yoga, I'm procrastinating doing my Barre video right now though lol. I love the fact that it is a natural way to reduce anxiety. That itself makes it worth looking into. xo

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  13. Great post! And I am super jealous of your crow pose. Something for me to strive for, I suppose. I was very similar to you. I tried yoga a couple times and really didn't like the whole foofy spirital aspect of it. It felt like inefficient exercise because of all the stretching and I'd rather just lift weights and be done.

    But when I broke my ankle last year, I started stretching with my mom, because I knew my foot and ankle were going to lose a lot of flexibility and strength while in the cast, and then gradually that turned into yoga. I didn't really start to enjoy it until a couple months in, when I noticed how awesome it makes my back feel and now I can finally touch my toes for the first time in years, so that's pretty exciting!

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  14. I love doing yoga and really need to be better about making more time for it. Your posts on Instagram are always reminding me I need to get to yoga class soon!

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  15. I keep thinking I should try the 30 day challenge. May might be a good time.

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  16. I started doing yoga last fall to supplement my running. Seriously - some days yoga makes my legs shake from fatigue after a session worse than running does. I just bumped up to an "intermediate" yoga for runners DVD, and the first part literally makes me sweat with all the planks and sun salutations. I never really thought it was much of a workout either, but lately I am changing my mind!

    PS: I buy lululemon off ebay. :)

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  17. I have never tried yoga before but now I really want to!! I so need to try a class.

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  18. I found Dustin and I some videos this morning, we're going to start with once a week Yoga! It's a start, I'm excited to ease back into it. I know our bodies need it.

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  19. I've been doing a yoga class 2x/week for the past 2 months and love it! It has helped with my neck, shoulder, and back aches/tension and I sleep better! Sometimes, I do think the deep breathing in a small room with 10 people is a little much, but whatevs! I can touch my toes again too, which is a plus! The one downside is happy baby pose in a large group.

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    1. Look at you go! Have you read Yoga Girl? Rachel Brathen is my yoga inspiration! I've been doing yoga for years too and I'm finally starting to make it a daily practice rather than just when I take a class. I've been loving your yoga pose photos on Instgram too!

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  20. Finding something you love and is just for you......isn't that the best feeling?!?!? I need to start adding more at home yoga to my life! Maybe it will help zen out my current living situation ;)

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  21. I just love that you posted this today as I declared that I am willing to give yoga another chance. I too had the misconceptions that you mentioned above about how I felt about it but I can see so many people that I respect getting so much out of it so I want to give it another go. Thanks for being such an inspiration :)

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  22. I know I've said it before, but I've loved following your yoga journey on Instagram!! I've never been one for yoga (for some of the reasons you've said. :) ), so I think once this child is out of me, I'm going to give it a shot!!

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  23. I've have 30 days of yoga on my 40x40 so I have bookmarked the challenge. Now to carve out some time to get it done!

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  24. For me, I feel like I HAVE to sweat & get my heart rate up for it to be a 'real' exercise.
    my body is too BIG to not burn calories.
    I've done 30 minutes of yoga - & while its great stretching, I think I burned like 90 calories... gotta make better use of my time.
    I WISH I could incorporate it more. I have been doing 5:30am workouts - a quick workout - I may make more of those yoga workouts.

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  25. You rock!
    I had such a fun time doing the challenge on IG with you. I haven't done yoga in a week or so, but I'm planning on doing it this week. It really IS an exercise! I had similar thoughts before I started yoga. I didn't think it was an exercise and I thought it was super spiritual people. I was wrong. :)

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  26. Your pictures have been inspiring me to get back into the habit of doing it daily. I want to be able to balance better and so I get frustrated, but really that should remind me that i need to practice. You've been doing amazing. Keep up the good work.

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  27. You and Alyssa are definitely making me want to try Yoga again. I really need to just get my a$$ in check and start doing some home you tube videos or something. I totally know that all the benefits are there I just need to do it!

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  28. I mean, I don't even have to say it right? You know how much I love this and how happy I am that you've come to these conclusions—that your practice is what you want and need it to be. That you can sweat in yoga or you can chill. That you don't have to be flexible to start... I think that's my biggest pet peeve, when people say they can't do yoga because they aren't flexible. I really just give a dead face because... are you serious? I couldn't run a 5k before I trained to. I couldn't run a half marathon before I put in work to be a better runner. I can't run a marathon yet but I will once I put in the work. Why do people assume expertise is the starting point? Thanks so much for helping my mission to set the record straight ;) and thanks so much for sharing those posts! xoxo

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  29. I have been doing PiYo which is a combo of Pilates and Yoga and it does help with my flexibility which is horrible.

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  30. I tried (and by try, not really) yoga a few years ago and haven't since. Love that you found something YOU love (and that the kitties are so supportive!).

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  31. yoga is fabulous! I'm glad you are so content with it.

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  32. Yay!!! I love yoga too!!! I'm not very good at it but it's such a great, relaxing exercise. <3

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  33. love this encouraging message to those who might think yoga isn't for them, for whatever reason. I just got into it for the flexibility, thinking the meditation woo-woo stuff would just be something I'd ignore, but now its the part I like and miss the most when I don't get into class.

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  34. Great post, lady! I love yoga and feel so much better when i get my morning session in. My body feels better when I practice regularly even if it's a short class. Keep rocking it out, yogi!

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  35. You rock!!! I loved seeing all of your updates. I wish I was as motivated as you lol

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  36. I really should start doing this, or anything really. I had how sluggish I feel.

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  37. "You don't have to be good at it. You don't have to be as good as the person next to you, or on instagram, or in the video you're watching. You have to enjoy it and not hurt yourself. That's all that matters. Your practice is your practice." Well said! I think you may just have inspired me! I wanted to take Barre classes but I feel like I need to start off with something I can do at home first, just to get myself in the practice of making time for exercise.

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  38. Great post, Kristen! I can only touch my toes because my legs are short - not because I'm a real yogi ;) The automatic relaxing time is a big reason why I do yoga too. Not that I do it every day or that it's always the most relaxing thing ever, but you know what I mean. I usually do yoga before bed and it really has become a nice transition from whatever I had going on that day to winding down and getting ready to go to sleep. It's nice to have that time, even if it's only 15 minutes, to really have nothing else going on and nothing else to worry about it. I'm so happy you've seen such positive changes and benefits! And I totally agree, no matter what other exercises or sports you might do already, yoga will only help you get better at them.

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  39. This post is awesome! I just started this year working yoga into my weekly exercise routines. I really really like it. When I was in college I got kicked out of a yoga class because I couldn't stop laughing. I just had a hard time, but I'm glad I've decided to work it back in.

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  40. I already thought you were adorable. I think you're even more adorable after this post. I did yoga years ago, then I moved from that area. I never picked it back up or found a new studio. I'm dumb. I loved it for all the same reasons that you've listed here. I need to get myself a yoga dvd and do it at home!

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  41. Love this post!! And all your yogi-wisdom. I started yoga a while ago and then fell off because it was so stupidly expensive around these parts. The other day, I was also telling Alyssa about how she was speaking to my soul with the lower back exercises because my back has been in knots lately! Tomorrow is cardio day, so I am going to make myself take the time to do the lower back poses and give my body the stretch I think it is so desperately craving! So glad you are feeling better now & there's no pain :) Your yoga pictures are fabulous, girl! Keep going! You're inspiring many of us!

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  42. I have thought about starting yoga multiple times & just never have... I'll have to look into the 30 day yoga challenge. I'm glad that you found that you love yoga & that it has helped you in so many ways.

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  43. AHHHHHH you already know I love everything about this post. I'm so glad you shared. I know sometimes us experienced yogis make yoga seem unattainable for most; your post shows that that's just not true! It doesn't need to be expensive and you don't need lululemon. You just need to commit mentally and physically.

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  44. I'm a big fan of yoga. My sister got me into it years and YEARS ago, and I always default to a few poses when I'm feeling all out of sorts. Especially when I am in a funk, I MAKE myself do yoga and it cheers me up. I'm thinking I should start this 30 day challenge because I'd like to get more of a workout from yoga. And LOOK AT YOU! You are definitely in beast mode in some of these pics :)

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  45. I can totally relate to your early thoughts of yoga. I always thought it was a waste of a workout but whenever I do it consistently I'm a better person. I'm calmer and less anxious and I swear it's because of the meditative slow aspect of yoga. or maybe just the fact that I rarely take 30 minutes a day to slow down. And like you said, who cares what level you're at!

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  46. I avoided yoga for years because I didn't think it was a real workout. I've done some yoga and now I know that it is HARD!!! I'm horrible at it and don't truly enjoy it unless it is a strength yoga and even then....
    Glad you are loving it!

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  47. Crow pose is my enemy! But I'm not giving up on it yet. I think a lot of people have misconceptions about yoga. I don't go to classes, but starting a home practice is one of the best things I've ever done. I think a lot of people think it's just about flexibility, but what I always notice first is how much stronger I feel. It's definitely something that affects all aspects of my life and I make better decisions when I yoga!

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  48. Such a great post, I love how much you love yoga. I've never tried it, but have always been fascinated by it. Your yoga posts on IG are always so cute!

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  49. I have really wanted to start yoga...it's been on my mind a lot but I admit I have a lot of the same reservations that you had! However I think it might just be time...I'm going to attempt the 30 day challenge you posted. I'm fairly flexible (I could still touch my toes when I was nine months pregnant!) but I don't have a lot of strength. I'd really like to improve that and also the breathing....maybe it would help me de-stress a bit.

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  50. THIS THIS THIS!!! I could have written this post. There are many things I can thank blogging for, but I will forever be grateful that through blogging I found yoga. Like you I thought it was for skinny vegan already in shape folks - all things I was not. At this point my focus is on splits and just general flexibility. And one other thing - i agree. it made me sleep 1000 times better!

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  51. I avoided yoga for years because I didn't think it was a real workout. I've done some yoga and now I know that it is HARD!!! I'm horrible at it and don't truly enjoy it unless it is a strength yoga and even then....
    Glad you are loving it!
    Read More About Crevalor Reviews and Crevalor and Megatropin

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  52. yoga is amazing, i love it and i wish it weren't so dang expensive but it's great for a different kind of exercise. when i got my 30day yoga pass, i went 3-4 times a week and i loved every class :)Read More About Crevalor Reviews and Crevalor and Megatropin

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