May was a bit of a month of firsts for me. It was the first month I tried journaling (read more here), the first month I set myself intentional goals, and the first month I aimed to do a yoga with Adriene video every single day.
Every month, Adriene posts a calendar and a YouTube playlist of carefully thought out yoga sessions for the whole month. I’ve always seen the posts go up at the beginning of the month and thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to do yoga everyday for a month?” Well, now I had the time. I felt as though it was meant to be as I had also planned to start trying meditation throughout May to see if it helped with my anxiety and Adriene named May, ‘Meditate‘ so it all came together quite nicely.
On the first of May, I got up, popped on some leggings and a top, rolled out my yoga mat and got ready to start. I love starting something new but my issue is keeping it going as I’m sometimes not very resilient. I imagined myself throughout the month and promised myself I would keep going as best as I could. The first video was around twenty minutes long and was followed by a ten minute meditation. Perfect! Not too long that I would struggle to get through it and end up getting frustrated but long enough that I thought I had done myself some good!
After my first practise I felt amazing! I’ve done yoga before and I always love it but this time felt different. Probably because I knew it was going to be for the whole month and I was really looking forward to seeing what benefits I got from it. After the meditation I felt calm and less anxious than I normally do so I was really pleased with the results so far. I kept it up every single day for the first couple of weeks but I started to flag a little by week three. I missed one day and started to feel awful about, I had ruined my goal and was there any point in carrying on when I knew I hadn’t done the full 30 days? I tried not to beat myself up too much about it because even if I only managed 50% of the days, it was still more than I had ever done and still the best I’d done to achieve a goal ever!
By the end of the month, I had done around 85% of the days. Even though there was a little part of me that felt disappointed to not have done the full 30 days, I was still over the moon at how well I had done! The thing I was most pleased with was the way that I felt. I’ve read for years about the benefits of yoga for flexibility, calming anxiety, helping with muscle pain and so much more, but I truly believed in it now! I would often wake up with a sore back from sleeping in strange positions but that stopped happening. I found my posture was better and I was walking a little taller rather than slouching like I used to.
The biggest benefit for me was the affect it had on my anxiety. During lock down, my anxiety has escalated a little bit and I’ve been struggling with simple things like going outside or being near to other people even with social distancing. But on the days when I was doing yoga and meditating, I felt much calmer and more able to control how I was feeling. I’m not saying that my anxiety has completely vanished because it really hasn’t, I’m still struggling daily with simple things, but I now don’t feel like there’s nothing I can do about it. Because I have pushed myself to do a yoga pose that I didn’t think I could do, I feel better able to push myself a little through my anxiety.
As the new month starts, I’m going to carry on trying to do yoga every day, even if it’s only a five minute session, I’ll still feel the benefits. I’ve even got my other half involved and he is loving it too! Here’s some tips for getting started if you’re new or even if you’ve done it before:
- Invest in a yoga mat. It doesn’t have to be a top line or expensive one but mine really helps my practice. This one on Amazon is ideal. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no extra cost to you.)
- You don’t need fancy workout clothes. I practice in leggings or even pyjamas.
- Don’t feel like you need to do every single pose perfectly. One of the reasons I love Adrienne is because she gives you a couple of options for each pose if you’re a beginner or you’ve been doing yoga for years.
- Mostly, enjoy yourself. Think about the reason you want to start doing yoga and just enjoy each practice and reap the benefits!
So with the new month here, I’m going to continue with a daily yoga practice as much as I can following Adriene’s June calendar. Why not give it a try and let me know what benefits you get from it.