Yoga for Self-Care
If you follow me on social media or on this blog, you know by now that I'm in love with yoga. What you might not know is why I love it so much and how exactly I came to make it my greatest Self-Care strategy.
Self-Care is all about investing in yourself and prioritizing your mental and physical health. Yoga helps you do all those things.
You can practice yoga in a public class or you can create your own home yoga practice. I personally choose a home yoga practice and you'll come to see why as I share my journey with you below.
Why I Started a Home Yoga Practice
A while back, I was dealing with some anxiety and trying to find a healthy way to cope with it. Someone close to me told me that they used yoga as a way to deal with their anxiety. It got me curious, so I went looking online for yoga videos, articles, books... anything I could get my hands on that would help get me started.
In general, I just felt like a mess and knew I needed something to help me sort it all out. Thinking back, I probably would have tried anything. Right time, right place, listening to the right people - got me into yoga. Maybe that's what this is for you.
How I Started my Home Yoga Practice
YouTube quickly became my primary source of yoga information. There was an overwhelming amount of how-to videos for individual poses, beginner’s yoga series, and the like.
I stumbled upon a channel called Yoga With Adriene and really connected with Adriene Mishler, the instructor. Her down to earth tone and witty personality made this whole yoga thing seem more approachable. I started a regular practice with her 30 Days of Yoga video series and I have been building on that ever since.
What my Yoga Journey has Looked Like
I'd like to say that I have practiced yoga every single day and have loved every single minute of it. But really, it's been wildly inconsistent and, at times, even frustrating. Learning new things and not being able to master them right away is tough for me. And yet, it was exactly the lesson I needed to learn (and continue to learn, over and over again).
However, my home yoga practice is growing and developing into one of the greatest self-care strategies I've ever had.
I'm becoming more consistent in my daily practice, allowing myself to move at a pace that suits me, and am accepting that progress is more important than perfection.
How my Home Yoga Practice has Helped Me
In the beginning, I was looking for help with my anxiety. I was pretty surprised as I stuck with it, that I started to see small improvements that have completely changed the way I see my anxiety, the way I handle it, and the level to which it interferes with my life. I have learned to let go, to love myself, to feel safe within myself, and how to use the breath to wade out panic attacks.
What I wasn't expecting, was to find so many other ways yoga would help me tend to my mental health. It has given me to tools I needed to cope with depression, face my inner critic, let go of the beast that is my controlling nature, and to be honest about my fears. I have gained an incredible sense of self-love and self-confidence through the practice as well.
No matter where you are in life, how old or young you are, or whatever roadblocks you think are keeping you from the yoga mat, I'm here to show you that it's possible. It's not as hard or as complicated as you might think. Be open to the idea and give it a try!
Hopefully my story has given you some insight into my journey and has encouraged you to start your own. This is just the beginning!