(This isn’t technically a parenting topic, but it is a part of my life and I am a parent so you know what? We’re going to talk about it anyways. Besides, I do think things like this are an important part of overall wellness, so from time to time exercise related topics will appear here on this blog.)
Recently I started a new workout plan, and part of it includes yoga and let me tell you, I hate it so much.
Very unpopular opinion here: but yoga sucks. It’s terrible and I hate it. So much.
Now, I’m probably being a little unfair here, because yoga can obviously be really awesome. It has a ton of benefits, and there’s a reason it’s so popular. But I’m terrible at it, and it makes me feel pretty crappy about myself when I huff and puff and struggle to do the things that the perky brunette with amazing abs on the screen does effortlessly. Even the person behind her who’s purpose is to demonstrate how to modify each move is doing this shit better than me.
So I hate it.
Most of the reasons I hate yoga are specifically things I know it can be really beneficial for. Bad balance? Check! Breathing issues? Check! Inability to relax? Obviously. Poor flexibility? Ugh, check.
The thing is, I want to be good at it. And I know the only way to get good at something is to stick with it even when it’s hard. So I keep trying, even though I’m terrible at it. I want to be the kind of person who does yoga for fun or to relax, or who can actually pull off some of the more complex poses (right now my favourite is the “corpse pose,” and I’m probably not even doing that right!) without feeling like I’m going to injure myself. I look at pictures of way-more-coordinated-than-me people doing weird upside-down bendy things on surf boards or horseback and I’m like, “Yeah!” but also, “Meh.” (out of jealousy, of course) and while I have no illusions that I will ever get to that level of yoga ability, I do want to be decent at it. Or at least not panting like a dog after only 20 minutes.
This awesome post over on a website I recently discovered called Freedom Genesis outlines some of the many benefits of yoga, several of which I had no idea where even…things, and several that I don’t understand even a little bit.
Now, because I’m such a baby about this whole thing, I had to go buy myself special yoga supplies to motivate myself to actually do it. And as I shopped, I found a bunch of really cool things that I think could be helpful for someone else who needs a little help learning to love yoga. My logic is that if I associate the at-the-current-moment unpleasant experience with other things that make me happy, maybe my brain will start to love yoga. Or something.
This super cool yoga mat that has pictures of different poses printed right on the mat.
This mat is much prettier though and comes in a variety of different options, and I just happen to be a sucker for pretty things. (I love the Vivid Zest one!)
Ok but while we’re on the topic of pretty mats: OMG. I think I just fell in love. This one in Night Sky needs to be mine ASAP.)
Yoga blocks can be the difference between kind of being able to do certain poses, and curling up in a ball and crying. Highly recommend.
I used to be obsessed with those metal water bottles for a really long time, until I bashed myself in the mouth with one and almost chipped a tooth. Now I like ones that are safer for a clumsy dork like me to use, like this one that has a straw AND motivational phrases on the side to encourage you to keep drinking water throughout the day. Plus it holds a gallon of water, so maybe I will actually get somewhere close to the required amount of water a day (doubtful still, but I’ll try.)
If lugging around a giant water bottle doesn’t sound very appealing, this 32oz option is likely a better choice. Plus those gradient effect colours are beautiful and I kind of want one in every colour.
With all things, I believe the most important part is just to try and to keep trying to improve a little bit each day. When I’m struggling, I try to remind myself of all the other things I’ve done in life that seemed impossible at first and before long became second nature.
Hopefully eventually yoga will become one of those things. Or at least I’ll learn to hate it a little less.
I’ve started posting some of my posts from this blog over on Medium as well and recently I uploaded one that I haven’t posted here about how to find the motivation to work out when you don’t want to, which is honestly probably advice I should remind myself of sometimes when I’m being grumpy brat about yoga.
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