Yoga to the rescue {video}…

Warning… When you want to wear your yoga pants all day because “they’re comfortable” it’s not necessarily a good thing. You need to do more yoga in those yoga pants and less drinking coffee, snacking and studying. I speak from experience.

So here’s my confession… I’ve gained weight since I started grad school. The truth is that I wanted to wear my yoga pants 24/7 because my jeans were a little too snug for my liking. At first, I beat myself up and had tons of self-destructive thoughts. I called myself fat while inspecting my thighs in the mirror, I even beat myself down during yoga when my clothes fit a little more snugly. My thoughts were making me feel horrible. I knew I hadn’t been able to exercise or attend as many yoga classes as I would like, but my diet was still pretty good and so I didn’t understand why I had gained the weight. I then realized that I was turning to late night coffee to keep myself up to study. And of course, I was snacking. A lot.

The remedy… I switched from late night coffee to early morning yoga and it made all the difference in the world. Who needs coffee when yoga naturally caffeinates your body?!?! I also started up my no-processed foods diet again: Click to view: Fuel your life… which I wrote in my pre-vegetarian days so I just made some vegetarian modifications. I feel so much better! None of my outside stresses have changed, the choice to be more proactive about my health and well being came from within. Does that mean that I have to get up earlier to practice yoga in the mornings? Absolutely. I just look at it as a time-investment in my happiness.

So the thing about negative self-talk is that you can read all you want about how bad it is on your mental/emotional health but you just can’t change your thoughts because you’ve read one article about positive body image and/or daily affirmations. Even though that all sounds great, like most things in life… It takes work. For me, when I am conscious about my diet, get plenty of exercise and plenty of me-time I feel like I have done all that I can to make the best version of Lindsey. I’m still working on it, but my thoughts about my body are slowly turning back to happy ones!

Practice self-love… Whenever you catch yourself comparing yourself to others (“He’s so much smarter,” “She’s so much prettier.”) or when you catch yourself in negative self-talk (“I’m so stupid,” “Ugh, I’m so fat.”) STOP and name 3 things that make you special, make you unique, or that you’re really good at. Plant seeds of positivity and honor yourself as the miracle of light and creation that you really are!

Morning yoga routine… Today must be the most beautiful day I ever lived.

Shanti,
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Aim true yoga challenge…

I kicked off National Yoga Month with a 10 day yoga photo challenge via Kathryn Budig & Instragram! Kathryn Budig is such an inspiration to me so I really wanted to try this challenge. It was so much fun to think of a pose that best fit the theme of the day then try to get a good picture of it! I loved this challenge because it reminded me why I love yoga so much. Each pose does something for my spirit.

Now… the rules. There is one cardinal rule to a yoga photo challenge… IT’S NOT ABOUT WHO CAN DO THE MOST ADVANCED POSE!!! A yoga challenge is about finding poses that go along with the theme and that fit your practice best right now, in this moment. It’s about the descriptions you give to the photo explaining why the pose is important to you. It’s about the real you.

Here are my 10 days of yoga pictures and description of why I chose each pose…

Day 1… EMPOWER

EMPOWER

Day 1 is a pose that makes me feel EMPOWERED. One day in class I told my teacher, “I don’t have the upper body strength” and he had a surprised look on his face and said, “Lindsey, you are so strong.” His sincerity made me realize that most of my weaknesses were mental. I finally landed the pose and I feel so empowered and strong.

I had to squish this picture to make it fit into Instagram so here’s the original… That’s my Bailey girl in the picture with me! She’s my yoga buddy.

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Day 2… CHALLENGE

CHALLENGE

Day 2 is any pose that CHALLENGES me. I chose handstand because it’s the hardest inversion for me. The fear of falling and fear of my arms and shoulders not being strong enough were debilitating. Every time I kicked up on the wall my elbows would buckle and I would fall down. My confidence started to build while doing this pose first in a doorway, then on the wall, and now I can’t hold it for very long… but I am taking steps in the right direction! I used a spotter behind me so I’m still working on trusting my own strength and balance…

Day 3… COMFORT

COMFORT

Day 3 is any pose that COMFORTS me. I chose Viparita Karani aka Legs Up the Wall Pose because it feels so good on my back! I spend my days working with children with special needs so I spend a lot of time hunched over, sitting on the floor, sitting in child-sized chairs, and picking up children. By the end of the day I can really feel it in my upper back and this pose gives the perfect mixture of backbend and relaxation!

Day 4… COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY

Today’s theme is COMMUNITY. I can’t think of any better community than my yoga community! But I have a confession to make… When my first wave of grad-school-ness hit me I thought about cancelling my yoga classes for “me” time. Extra time to study, extra time to sleep, extra time to just do nothing. But I realized that these spunky yogis are the reason I teach yoga. I love coming to class and seeing them touch their toes for the first time and fall in love with inversions! And most of all, who doesn’t need friends that will meet you at the yoga studio after hours just to take a silly picture???

Day 5… ENVIRONMENT

ENVIRONMENT

Today’s theme is ENVIRONMENT so I chose my everyday work environment… the playground! I chose a balance pose because being a teacher requires lots of balance in many different ways. I have a plan to create a special needs yoga program at work so hopefully there will be lots more yoga happening around this wonderful little school very soon!

Day 6… NO STRETCHY PANTS ALLOWED

NO STRETCHY PANTS

Today’s theme is NO STRETCHY PANTS… That’s right no Lululemon allowed. And to be truthful, I usually travel in my stretchy pants… But today I’m traveling like a lady… in my new dress! This is me dropping off Bailey at my parents house for the weekend because we’re headed to North Carolina for Susan & Mike’s wedding!!!

Day 7… EMBARRASSING YOGA PHOTO

EMBARRASSING

Today’s Aim True Challenge is to pose an EMBARRASSING yoga photo… I usually get on to Darren for taking the before-the-pose and after-the-pose photos of my butt… but all in the name of National Yoga Month & the Aim True Challenge here they are! It’s hard to pass up doing a yoga pose in an old-timey phone booth!

Day 8… OTHER LOVES

OTHER LOVES

Today’s theme is OTHER LOVES. I had to think about this one because I have many other loves than yoga… But I really love spending time with the little ones! I just happen to be spending time with this precious baby on the beach today and I asked her mother/my good friend what to do for today’s theme. She said, “Lindsey, you love kids! I can’t ever get Sophie away from you!” Precious babies are not only my occupation, but a true love!

Day 9… YES I CAN!

YES I CAN!

Day 9 of the Aim True Challenge is a YES I CAN! pose. Bakasana aka Crow Pose was one of those poses that I idolized when I first started a yoga practice. The funny thing about yoga is the more I did the basic poses the more confidence I had to branch out and try the more difficult poses. I started to believe in my own strength and play around… And it might take a while for it to be pretty (still working on that), and not to fall on your face (I recommend a crash pad), but it feels so good when you balance for a half second! I can now hold this pose for a few deep breaths and I’m working on a jump-back into plank. It’s so fun to challenge myself and try new things!

Day 10… AIM TRUE

AIM TRUE

Today is the last day of the Aim True Challenge and for today (Day 10) I am to pick a pose that embodies what AIM TRUE means to me. Aim True to me is a heart opener. I chose a variation of Ustrasana aka Camel Pose with my hand over my heart because I can’t even begin to explain how much yoga has helped me open my heart and at the same time taught me to listen to my heart. I realized my purpose in life during my RYT200 training and made some pretty radical changes in my life to serve that purpose. So what Aim True means to me is to be true to myself. To be the real me and not who anyone else thinks I should be.

Not only were these pictures fun to take and I had a re-connection with my love for yoga… but I had a few people reach out to me and ask if yoga was a good fit for them. My response was that yoga truly is for EVERY BODY. I love setting off new yogi’s on their new yoga path. My only want for you is that your ride is as amazing as mine.

Aim true,

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