Wanna know why I started yoga? I just wanted to lose some weight. That’s it. I thought yoga would be nice and easy, just something to help me stretch my muscles after a real workout.
That delusion only lasted for about a day.
While I adore yoga and would love to build something around it as my career and purpose in life, there have been plenty of times when it has left me frustrated and confused. Especially as a beginner! In today’s post I’m sharing with you all the things I wish I knew before starting yoga.
My body is a real bitch
Like, I love it, sure, but it is. This is something that frustrates me to no end on some days. Bodies are completely different depending on the day! There are days when I can easily hold a good old fashioned plank for 5
Bodies are completely different depending on the day! There are days when I can easily hold a good old fashioned plank for 5 minutes, and days when I wobble around for 5 seconds before I collapse on my mat.
The changes in your flexibility, strength, and god, especially balance, are infuriating but inescapable. Changes in poses, too! Not to mention the differences between your left side and right side.
This whole yoga thing is definitely a journey into patience, my friends. And all you can really do is take a deep breath and carry on. With the bitch of a body and all.
With the bitch of a body and all.
Yoga is not the cure for everything
Depression’s my jam, y’all. Being an anxious, overthinking wreck is another virtue of mine. Come and get me, boys.
I’m used to my heart beating out of my chest like I just robbed a bank and I’m on the run. Having a brain that’s a fuzzy goddamn mess some days. Oh, and those dark, shapeless clouds numbing everything in me and sucking all joy and hope out of my life. Fun stuff. Dementor vibes, you know.
Yoga is an incredible tool for coping with mental illness and easing your anxiety and stress.
But it is not the cure for anything. It’s not like, ‘Whoops, kinda feel like killing myself today so better go do some yoga now.’ and ‘Oh boy, that sure did the trick, I’m all cured now.’ Nope. No. Just no.
Sometimes yoga even makes it all worse. I’m someone who enjoys the sweaty, challenging, oh-god-am-I-dying -kind of yoga. The slow and gentle just doesn’t do it for me. But if I try to do vigorous yoga in a depressed state of mind… Yeah, better not. It only makes me feel about a hundred times more terrible.
You are your own worst critic. Especially when you’re struggling.
This was not meant as a scary story to keep you off your yoga mat when you’re having a really shitty a day. You have to figure out what works for you.
So, yoga as a coping mechanism? Yes.
A cure? Oh, hell no.
Yoga is not about the poses
Yoga is not about the handstands and arm balances and twisting yourself into cool, pretzely, Instagrammable poses.
Getting deep into an advanced pose takes time, and it’ll require a lot of flexibility and strength from your body and your mind.
Some days the poses just come to you with no effort at all. On other days, you’ll be back practicing at beginner level cause that’s just what your body is feeling like.
Trust the practice and trust your body.
Yoga is addictive as hell
My ‘couple of short videos per week’ turned into ‘hour long Vinyasa every single day of the week’ pretty damn fast. There’s just so much to learn! So much to do! Yoga is a never ending journey. And it’s an addictive one!
Yoga is a never ending journey. And it’s an addictive one!
This is hugely beneficial and brings amazing, sparkling, positive changes into your life. A consistent yoga practice will affect your lifestyle, like your eating habits, and help you grow into the healthiest, strongest, and most beautiful version of you.
A consistent yoga practice will affect your lifestyle, like your eating habits, and help you grow into the healthiest, strongest, and most beautiful version of you.
It’s pretty cool when you think about it.
Yoga is a real workout
I’m talking sore muscles. Puddles of sweat. Tears. Yelling and cursing, too, sometimes.
At the very beginning of my yoga journey, I was surprised to discover how much of a toll yoga actually took on my muscles and on my body. If you have an existing workout routine in place, you might have to be strategic about it!
If you have an existing workout routine in place, you might have to be strategic about it!
Yoga can really kick your butt, so you need to figure out when to do strength training or intense cardio in your schedule. Some days you just won’t have the strength or the energy for both yoga and your regular workout!
Bodies are not always that forgiving
So you skipped a day or two, or a week, or 2 months… and now you’re paying the price. Yeah, I feel you.
Back pain and sleep troubles are the first ones to make a reappearance after taking a break from yoga. Sugar cravings and cranky pants take a solid second place. Don’t skip your yoga, people.
Yoga makes you a nicer person
Yep. It’s no joke.
I still rock my resting bitch face like nobody else, but I’m not silently judging people like I used to do. Now, my mind is kind of sending them all this acceptance and kindness and courage — good vibes, if you will.
I haven’t yet decided if I like this new development and growth into a less self-absorbed human being. Time will tell.
You’re probably in for a life long journey
It’s not like you weren’t busy enough, right?
Let’s be real, I never imagined that I would be the type of person to want to immerse myself into learning more about an ancient practice. To be excited about growing into a loving person capable of inspiring and empowering others.
Yet here I am, thinking about yoga retreats and teacher trainings and planning to spend my life learning and growing more. Cause there is always something more to learn. I’m in it for the long haul and I guess I’ll just have to accept it.
Tell me — what have you learned on your yoga journey that you wish you’d known before starting yoga?
Hi, I’m Vivi! I’m a transformation mentor, writer, and yoga enthusiast. My life’s purpose is empowering spiritually curious women to be and do whatever the hell they want to. I’m here to share my journey and truth with you — unapologetically, with a touch of sarcasm and a lot of heart. I want to help you grow and follow your soul’s desire, not anybody else’s rules. I write weekly about personal growth and yoga on this blog. You can join the List to receive a weekly letter of inspiration and guidance!