Incorporating Yoga into My Wellness Routine
Yoga has truly changed my wellness routine, and it only took six months to get the hang of it… yes, six months. I’ve had a long and often inconsistent relationship with yoga. I attempted to start a yoga practice in October of 2018, around the time I began to get a grip on my relationship with food and my mental health. I realized I had an issue with emotional eating and figured yoga would be a good way to start a consistent wellness routine.
After two weeks of practicing yoga, I quickly grew frustrated; with hindsight, I’ve realized it’s because I wanted instant gratification, but we’ll get to that later in the post. As I started to build a consistent routine in the gym, I would try to start a yoga practice and would quickly lose interest because I didn’t feel like I was making progress and didn’t feel any benefits.
Fast forward to March of 2019, and I was experiencing probably one of the most stressful months in years, followed by my first car accident and the dissolution of a six-year relationship - so basically my mental, emotional, and spiritual health was at an all-time low. I bring this up because I genuinely feel like experiencing a whirlwind of chaos, life moving 100 mph, allowed me to find gratitude in the slowness that comes with developing a yoga practice. Yoga is something you simply cannot rush.
I share my on and off start to yoga to be transparent about the importance of sticking with your efforts to build a yoga practice. For the last seven weeks, I’ve been practicing yoga consistently, and I’m starting to see the benefits first hand. My body is more flexible, my sleep has improved, and my muscle recovery from lifting has improved as well. I’m also able to manage the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety (i.e., headaches, back pain, shallow breathing, and digestive issues) with yoga. If your struggle with consistency I suggest practicing yoga at the same time every day for 4-5 days for a minimum of 10 minutes to get started. This was incredibly helpful for me while I tried to start building the habit.
If you’re interested in starting a yoga practice the best resources for access to free yoga videos would be YouTube and Instagram. There are online sites such as Gaia that charge access to yoga videos and online classes. In the beginning, I really struggled with finding yoga videos that I liked and were focused on explaining flow and poses. There’s also a lack of Black women or WOC yogis that offer videos for free online which made it difficult to find accounts that represent myself and the WSB community.
Below is a list of the yogis I follow across various platforms. After practicing yoga consistently for roughly five weeks, I started relying less on YT videos and created morning flows that fit with what I was feeling in my body. Creating your own flows is one of my favorite parts of yoga so don’t be afraid to do your own thing!
Yoga Resources -
Yoga with Kassandra (vinyasa flow playlist)
I hope this post gave you some inspiration to start a yoga practice or incorporate yoga into your wellness routine!
With love, Breanna