Hello! Welcome Back! As some of you may know I have recently started to do yoga. I first started it to help with my anxiety and depression but, continued it as a way to be kinder and more mindful of my body. One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to love myself authentically and doing yoga is one way I have been able to follow through with that. Body image is something I have really struggled with for as long as I can remember just like most people, and knowing that I am carving time out of my day for myself and my body has really helped how I see myself. I try practice yoga at least two times a week although I want to work my way up to every single day, but baby steps. I participate in at home yoga practices and today I am going to share with you my favorite yoga videos! Let’s get started!
I have made a playlist on Youtube of all the videos that I am going to be speaking about today, click HERE if you are interested in doing any of these videos yourself. The instructor that I follow and the creator of all these videos a woman named Adrienne, you can find more of her videos at Yoga With Adrienne. I have really enjoyed her videos because she’s more focused on you getting the most out of your practices rather then you folding yourself into these crazy poses. Most times when people think of yoga, you think of those insane poses where you’re balancing on your head with your legs high in the air. While that absolutely is yoga, that can sometimes be intimating to people and turn them away from trying yoga. However, it doesn’t always have to be those intricate poses, it can be much simpler. My fitness level is fairly low so something you’ll notice about each of these videos is that they are all very calming and gentle. I suffer from lower back pain and after a long day at work these videos feel like sweet bliss.
I love doing this sweet bedtime yoga when I’m having a hard time falling asleep or on a night that I really just want to fall asleep quickly. A few weeks ago I had one of those nights where I just could not fall asleep, my eyes were heavy but I just couldn’t sleep. So I turned on this video, it’s only about 20 minutes long. After I finished, I climbed back into bed and fell asleep in 10 minutes. The movements in this video along with the breathing techniques are really slow and gentle setting you up for a restful nights sleep. Adrienne really focuses on not cranking your body right into the pose. You take your time getting there so you can get the most out of it while also slowing your mind and body down for bed.
This is also a video I like to do before bed, fun fact I actually do all my yoga before bed. I have noticed that stretching out my body before bed helps me not wake up with terrible back pain. Anyways, this video is really great if you’ve had a stressful day at work because again you really focus on your breathing and moving gently. As I mentioned above, that will be the reoccurring theme throughout all these videos which is why I think they are good for someone who is just starting yoga. What I like about this one is how mindfully you approach relaxing, again it’s not about cranking yourself into positions your body can’t do. It’s more about the journey of getting to the final pose that way it’s modified in a way that allows you to get the most out of it.
This video is nice to do either in the morning or night, it helps you redirect your energy into a way that is more useful to yourself. Something I really like about yoga is that to me, it’s all about carving time out for yourself so that you can transform into the best version of yourself. This video has a nice mix of gentle and core engaging moves. While I do love my gentle yoga, it’s nice to engage your core from time to time and see how strong you are both physically and mentally.
I do believe yoga is a workout, it’s more of a “easy” workout but for some like myself who as I mentioned has a low fitness level it’s a good starting place! You use the weight of your own body to tone your muscles. With that being said this is my favorite workout yoga video. It’s a long one, it’s 50 minutes and sometimes I have to take a break during it. Which I’m okay with, I do believe you need to push yourself in exercise of course but not so much that it discourages you from returning. I won’t lie, I don’t like working out but I understand we all have to do it in some capacity. So doing a video like this sometimes at my own pace is a way for me to make it work for me so that I do come back to it. I’m glad I do it that way because I have done this one multiple times and, I always feel really good about myself after I do this video. (and all of these videos tbh)
This is a really nice quick meditation, it’s not a workout since you’re just focusing on your breathing but sometimes we need that. We live in a very fast pace world and sometimes we just need to slow down and take a minute to be with ourselves and our breath. What I find really great is that it only takes about ten minutes. I know with everyone being so busy we always say we don’t have the time to tend to ourselves, but it’s important that we make the time. With this being such a quick video, I know we can all find ten minutes to carve out of our day regardless how busy we are and recenter ourselves.
Now I’m gonna be honest with you, I don’t know what Ahimsa yoga is. I know it’s a special type of practice but what it means, I’ve got no clue. (If you do know what it means, please leave me a comment down below) That being said this video is yummy. You don’t have to worry about doing a lot of quick movements, you are moving slowly and being present with your soul. With all these videos I like that while you’re following an instructor, you can still personalize it for your body. Adrienne encourages you to trust yourself through the practice and to tend to your inner self so that you can present your best outer self. For me personally, I really enjoy doing my practices with my eyes closed. I feel that it allows me to connect with my inner self on a deeper level, which always has me leaving my mat feeling refreshed.
Ohhh man this yoga for flexibility video is one that I will do moves from even if I’m not watching the video. This video has helped me becomes much more flexible which is nice because it means I don’t hurt as much from tight muscles. Honestly, flexibility wasn’t something I thought I would be able to achieve but, I did this video a few days in a row a couple weeks ago and each night I found I was able to go a little deeper causing me to get a deeper stretch. So if you try this one and feel like you you’re muscles are too tight for it, keep working at it because your body will surprise you. I might actually do this one tonight, I went for a bike ride, walk, and worked in the yard yesterday…my body could use a really nice stretch!
This one is for all my fellow anxiety sufferers, while I do believe all these videos help with anxiety and depression this meditation is specific for it. What’s really nice about it is, you can make it your own. You can practice it in whatever way makes you feel most supported, Adrienne actually says something along those lines in the video. When I’m feeling anxious and I’m able, I will turn off all my lights, light a candle, roll out my mat and for 15 minutes I will follow this video and focus on my breathing. Obviously it doesn’t make the anxiety go away completely but I have found this video to be very helpful in my mental health journey.
I want to reiterate once more, all these videos have the same underlining feel. They are gentle and loving, it’s really important for me to remember that doing these videos are an act of self love which is my goal for this year. I don’t use these videos to get my “summer body” because quiet honestly, I don’t really believe in the whole “summer body” thing. I don’t think you should feel like you have to change your body for a specific season, if you want to for you absolutely. However doing it so that you meet society’s standers is unfair to yourself, in my opinion, but that’s a whole other post in and of itself. My point was, I do these videos for myself. So that I can be nice to my body regardless of what season it is. I have noticed such a change in how I see the world, and I think part of it is due to yoga. As I mentioned above I believe tending to your inner self, allows you to be more of a positive energy to the world. Once you are able to appreciate the beauty and strength of yourself, you’ll start to see the true beauty and strength in everyone and everything. If you are into yoga, let me know your favorite practices to do at home! I am always open to suggestions! If you’ve never tried yoga, I recommend you do I think you’ll really surprise yourself! I hope you enjoyed and don’t forget to check out the playlist that I created! Thank you for stopping by today. Namaste. Until next time…
Be Nice. Be Good.