Hello fellow bloggers! I hope you have been having a wonderful first few weeks of the new year and have been successful so far in working towards new goals that were perhaps inspired by the fresh start. As for myself, I’ve gotten back into the swing of school and have been working on eating clean and healthy, particularly when I’m on the go on campus (my Healthy Cookies provide a great go-to snack here; haven’t heard of them yet? Check it out here!).
When I began this blog a mere three weeks ago, I had said that I hoped to experience new things through this process and try out new hobbies that I could end up loving. With that in mind, I am happy to say that I have begun my first new activity: yoga!
Pilates and yoga are very complementary, and since I enjoy doing Pilates so much I thought it was about time I tried a tree pose (which is surprisingly harder than it looks!). Furthermore, I am going to reveal to you all a crazy but ambitious goal that I set for myself in the new year: I challenged myself to be able to do the splits by the end of 2013. This is not so much for the sake of being able to do the splits as it is about improving my flexibility, which not only benefits overall health but also improves the ability to perform many Pilates exercises. My motivation in doing yoga, therefore, is not so much for the mental aspect (yet) but is focused on the physical aspect and becoming more flexible.
Being a student, paying for professional classes is unfortunately not something I currently have room for in my budget, so I instead invested in a beginner’s DVD and have utilized the plethora of content available on the Internet. As a set goal, I try to incorporate 10-20 minutes of yoga at the end of each of my Pilates workouts. It not only helps me relax but stretches the muscles I’d been working earlier!
The DVD is Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners. I took a gamble purchasing it, but I’m loving it so far. I’d have to say my favourite part is that it includes a pose training section that explains each of the moves used in the other sections in great detail. Since I can’t afford to pay for a teacher and have no background knowledge whatsoever in how to perform yoga poses, this was a great feature. And while it is heavily focused on the mind-body connection, it is still perfect for learning the basics and giving a novice yogi the foundation to move into more physically challenging moves.
As for being able to do the splits, I found this wonderful guide that gives 8 poses that are supposed to help you work towards that goal. It currently takes me about 8 minutes to do, holding each pose for 30 seconds and doing it on both sides where necessary, and working up to holding them for 1-3 minutes, and hopefully I’ll start noticing changes in my ability after a while (as of now, each pose holds its own particular challenge – I don’t even know how the seventh one is possible!).
So far I’m really enjoying the different aspect of exercise that yoga provides, and it’s fired me up to really pursue this crazy goal. If any of you already do yoga, I’d love to hear what your favourite poses are or any DVDs that you recommend. If you’re not yet into yoga, maybe you’ll consider doing a test run and trying it out! That’s what I did, and it’s now becoming a new experience to add to my list.
Have a wonderful week, and here’s to trying new things and working towards goals!