I didn't start doing yoga to lose weight. I could use some tightening of my "wobbly bits", as Bridget Jones would call them, but that isn't the reason I do yoga. I wanted to give yoga a try for two reasons. First, I've been trying to learn to meditate. I'm a high anxiety person and need to learn to relax my mind. I think this will always be a work in progress for me, but I wanted to add yoga to the mix. Couldn't hurt, right? Second, my body hurts. Back, shoulders, neck...they ache. Just sitting. This was a new thing for me and I didn't like it. My goal is to gain strength and flexibility so my posture improves and I carry my body better. Guess what??It's working! I'm already less achy. As for the meditation thing, we'll just have to see.
Below is what I've done so far and what I would recommend for true beginners, like myself.
For starters, you'll need a sticky mat, a yoga strap (or belt in a pinch), and I like to use a yoga block too. The best prices I've found were at Marshall's & TJ Maxx.
I attempted to take a photo of my gear for you guys, but someone wanted to help and never did get out of my shot. This is Satchmo, by the way. If you follow me on Instagram (@retr0phot0), you'll see him and the other furbabies quite a bit.
I decided to do yoga at home because I didn't think I would benefit from going to a class before I even knew the names of any of the postures. Also, I there are lots of different kinds of yoga and I wanted to find one that I liked.
Turns out, I prefer slow flow yoga. That means you hold your stretches, which I like because I feel like I get the full benefit of the stretch. (Btw, in my 20's, I wouldn't have had the patience for slow flow yoga. I probably would've liked power yoga, if I'd known what I was doing or bothered to learn.)
Yoga for Beginners with Barbara Benagh has been the best DVD I've tried. I tried 4 different DVDs that all had excellent reviews. I like this one the best because she moves slow and explains everything. Also, she says that she's not teaching you anything new. She's helping your body remember the openness and flexibility it was born with. I like that idea. It reminded me of how my nieces folded in half (for easy storage) when they were babies.
I really like the way yoga makes me feel. I think my posture is improving too. Good posture definitely has a slimming effect. I haven't lost any weight, but my niece keeps telling me I look skinny. Go figure.
I started a free 21 day yoga challenge from the Yoga Journal website in September. It'll take me longer than 21 days to get through the whole things because I don't do it everyday. I really like that it lets me try out different instructors and techniques. That'll be helpful when I choose my next DVD. Who knows? Maybe I'll feel comfortable enough to join a class.