About 4-5 years ago, I decided to start doing yoga in order to improve my agility, flexibility, and overall strength. When I searched for free online yoga videos, Yoga with Adriene kept coming up. I did a few videos but wasn’t sold. Then, in January of 2017, I decided to participate in Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day yoga challenge, Revolution. It changed my body, my mind….and I haven’t stopped doing yoga since.
Slow Is Good
If you go back and watch some of Adriene’s earlier videos and compare them to recent ones, you’ll realize that Adriene’s flow has slowed down quite a bit. And some people don’t like her because her practices are not fast and don’t make you immediately break a sweat. I didn’t like her videos at first either, because I thought I wasn’t getting a “workout.”
But slow down. Seriously. By slowing down, you gain an abundance of strength. Holding a plank or a down dog for 2 seconds is a breeze. But try holding those for 5, 10, or 20 seconds. That’s how you build strength (and improve balance). And that’s how you learn to listen to your body. By slowing down, you recognize the nuances within your bones, joints, and muscles as you move. And by doing that, you gain mindfulness.
“Mindfulness” does not mean meditate. Sure, Adriene has videos on how to meditate but mindfulness is more about recognizing the changes in your body and moving with your breath.
I’m not, or will ever be, a person who views yoga within a religious context. Nor do I think doing yoga goes against other religion’s principles. How can breathing, moving, and gaining strength of body and mind be against anyone’s religion?
I do yoga because it’s good for my body and mind. It’s made me stronger (bring on the planks!), more flexible, and more confident in my body. I know what my body can and cannot do. And by knowing that, I prevent injuries and know when to push further or just stop. It’s also made me more conscious of my breath and has, in many ways, lowered my stress level on the days when I need that most.
If you’re looking for a yoga practice to help you re-center and re-connect with your body, Adriene is fantastic. She has a practice for everything. And even though the practice may be for your lower back, you’ll work all kinds of muscles in order to focus attention on the lower back.
You can’t go wrong with any of her videos!