How to Start Doing Yoga
Many of us are so busy in our daily lives that we likely don’t have time to drive 20 minutes, change clothes, and get in a good hour-long workout at the gym. Yet, after a long day of work, we still need to de-stress and be physically active. As our lives grower more stressful and faster paced, the need to slow down and relax is imperative now more than ever. I have found the answer in yoga and have seen tremendous benefits in my own life. I love the gym, but if I don’t have time to get away, I can at least knock out a 20-minute yoga session at home. There are a lot of options for getting into yoga including DVDs, gym classes, yoga instructors but my personal favorite has been the following instructors on YouTube.
So maybe you have decided you want to try yoga but you are unsure where to start. If you are like me when I started, you aren’t quite ready to jump into it with a public yoga class. That’s OK. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it yet, and was a little embarrassed about it. In school, I was taught a lot of interesting sports and physical activity like basketball, hockey, badminton, pickleball and even roller skating, but not once did I get the opportunity to try yoga. School teaches you subconsciously what activities are normal and which ones are exotic so I knew very little about yoga, but as I grew older I grew curious about this 2500-year-old Indian practice. I started out with my typical approach to learning more about something. I googled it. I believe the exact google search was “Yoga for Men.” and this is what came up: 10 Min Yoga for Men Beginner Routine by Sean Vigue Fitness on Youtube. For some reason, yoga can be intimidating as a beginner. I have spent a lot of time in gyms and playing sports, but yoga seemed foreign. Sean Vigue helped me get comfortable with the ancient eastern practice. It was comforting to see this guy come out and just be lighthearted and funny. His dog jumps on him and he is very cavalier throughout his videos but he does a great workout and helps teach you the fundamentals of the practice. I was also thankful that he mostly skips the talk about energy and chakras, which are great and important, but not what I was ready to hear when I first started out.
Now maybe Sean Vigue is too DudeBro for you which is fine, though I think he is entertaining and providing a great service for anyone who can put aside their judgment. My personal recommendation to get into yoga is hands down Yoga with Adriene. Her videos are absolutely amazing for people of any skill set. She has great beginner videos, intermediate and advanced. What makes Adriene so great is her bubbly personality. Adriene is energetic, positive, a little goofy and always wearing a smile. She currently has 393 videos on her channel so there is plenty of content for yogis of every level. Each new year she starts a 30 day yoga channel which is how I started following her. If you can stick with it for 30 days, it is so fulfilling. Some mornings are more hectic than others, but I try and get up early enough to do one session of yoga, and Adriene always manages to put me in a good mood. It is so beautiful and serene to listen her calm voice while you stretch as the sun slowly rises at the beginning of the day. She has a refreshingly positive outlook on life and it is infectious. She also has slower and more relaxing night time yoga for those long days where you need to unwind before going to sleep.
If you are up for a challenge or if you want to spice it up a bit, there is also BohoBeautiful. There channel is a lot of fun. This Canadian couple left the material world for a life of wanderlust. They feature yoga sessions set in beautiful backdrops such as Cambodia, Bali and Thailand. They have inspirational videos and diet videos. The inspirational section is particularly touching as they will travel to beautiful locations and they care greatly for the welfare of animals. They even go to an elephant sanctuary. I must admit that their videos have influenced me and contributed to my more mindful lifestyle. Their content is a lot of fun but it is very challenging. I often break a sweat, but it is a wonderful workout. These videos are a bit more diverse. Here you will find yin yoga, which is focusing on holding a pose for a bit longer which is a nice challenge and has helped me to get better at stretching in some of the more difficult positions. She also does Pilates classes which are a true workout. Boho Beautiful even offers guided meditation videos which are amazing. Who knew that sitting still for 5 minutes could be so difficult, but in our fast-paced lives, it definitely can be. Slow down and take 5 minutes to go on a little journey of self-discovery. These guided meditations are a great way to get familiar with the practice.
What you need
An open mind
A positive attitude
A yoga mat
For thousands of years, the practice of yoga has been helping people across the globe, but only about 150 years ago did it make its way to the West. Now in America, it is more popular than ever with 36 million Americans practicing yoga. With all the health benefits to Yoga, it is no surprise to see the practice thrive. It is the exciting new trend with 74 percent of American practitioners starting yoga in the last five years. Many of these yogis practice it in their own homes, so maybe this is America’s latest secret: that many of your friends are quietly doing yoga.