How To Unleash Your Inner Yogalista

I wasn’t always a yogalista. My journey with yoga didn’t start off so pleasantly at all. I hated it the first time around, some 8 years ago and I really hated it 2 years later. But as I became determined to explore regular activity that worked for me and didn’t bore me, I fell back to yoga one last time and immersed myself even deeper by learning more about it; like that fact that there are several minority, plus sized women who also practice yoga.

This third time around, I started off strong, but with any new thing, you tend to start and fall off the wagon until it becomes a habit and I realized I needed to dig even deeper to find out how I can really sink into a yoga life and found some ideas that may be just as helpful to any one who needs to unleash their inner yogalista (or yogalisto).

Embrace It

If yoga is where you want to be then you have to embrace it with open arms and go all in with no hesitancy or resistance. Research as much as you need to fully understand it so that you can immerse yourself in the practice. You may even go one step further and get yourself a fancy mat and yoga gear or join a group/class of other yogi’s to keep you motivated.

Challenge Yourself

To get myself back into yoga practice, I decided to challenge myself and take some accountability partners with me. I went live on Facebook and asked my followers to join in on the challenge and even having just one participant was enough to keep me going. The challenge was to do 20-30 minutes of yoga 5 days straight, even though it meant practicing close to midnight on a few occasions. I’m happy to report that I made it through my first yoga challenge week and I plan on maintaining a minimum 3-days per week yoga practice schedule.

Learn the Tools & Modifications

Some yoga poses are harder than others, especially when you’re dealing with a little more weight on your chest and waist. I knew there had to be a way to do certain poses without squashing my upper body and cutting off my air supply. My creative director told me to look into tools and modified poses and that’s where I found Jessamyne Stanley.

Process & Reposition the Pain

One of the things that stood out the most for me in Jessamyn’s video was when she spoke about the sensation and the hurt we feel when we’re practicing yoga and she offers that it’s not physical but emotional pain that is leaving the body when we feel the hurt. And as I practiced with her in that video, the pain automatically took on a new position in my mind. I was able to sit through it and it’s something I now do in all my yoga practice.

One other piece of advice from Jessamyn, which I also strongly agree with, is that yoga is process and you need to be patient with yourself and keep going.

What tips, tools, strategies or mind sets help you stay on track with yoga?

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  • Erica Phillips

    A yoga block is helpful. Also try a yoga strap. I do jumping jacks (when working out a home), walk to the studio, do leg lefts etc. before starting to warm up my muscles. Think of your muscles like an elastic bands; easier to stretch when warm. My flexibility was always best after a run “Progress is incremental, not accidental.” To quote one of my instructors “Honour where you are at.” I think the quote applies to life too.

    • I will definitely be getting some blocks and a strap. Good point on warming the muscles, I’ll have to remember that. The theme of my life in the last few weeks has been to honour where I am so it’s so profound that you brought that message to me. Thanks Erica!

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