In November during our trip south for a destination wedding a reconnected with my love for yoga by joining in some morning classes on the beach. These were fairly laid back classes geared to all fitness levels but they reminded me of how much I use to enjoy doing yoga.
In January I participated in #yogarevolution a free 31-day program created by Yoga With Adriene. Essentially it was 31 days of yoga videos on YouTube that I could do at home whenever it fit into my schedule. I doubled up on the practice occasionally to make up for the odd missed day but I really enjoyed spending some time on the mat on a regular basis. I liked the videos because they were a good mix of physical intensity, mindfulness, and occasionally had bits of quirky humor. I’ve added them into the mix in addition to my gym schedule and they have been a great way to relax in the evening.
To keep up with the positive practice fostered in January I’ve started another yoga calendar that includes suggested videos for every day in February. So far so good. One of the fun bonuses of engaging in this practice at home has been experiencing yoga with a two year old. Little Miss loves the idea of pulling out ‘Mommy’s Mat’, doing stretches, and just being silly during yoga. Her flexibility puts the flexibility of an adult to shame and it’s ton of fun to see her experimenting with yoga poses.
So anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I’m not a huge fan of structured exercise or organized sports. To put it bluntly I’ve avoided it like the plaque for many years…and my muscle tone in my arms has been fairly non-existent for many years. When I moved to Thessalon in 2010 I knew I limited number of people and was looking for activities I could do locally — so I took up running.
This lasted for about a year and then I fell off the wagon…and dived into a unhealthy gluten binge phase but that’s another story. This past fall I joined the gym on campus and I’m impressed with myself for actually sticking to my goals and going regularly. I usually go a few times a week during my lunch break- it’s not a huge amount of exercise but it’s something. Going during lunch is partially for the convenience of fitting it into my schedule with commuting but it’s also a good activity that forces me to take a lunch and get away from my desk.
Exercise is routinely mentioned when people talk about self-care and academics. Self-care is important for those engaged in any type of work but perhaps doubly so when you’re engaged in emotionally draining or emotionally charged work. For me exercise has become something that allows me to take a break, to stop worrying about ongoing projects, and just take a step back. It’s also a good opportunity for me to think through problems that require dedicated time. I’m also slightly crazy proud of the fact that I’ve stuck with this for about nine months so far and I hope to keep it up in the months ahead. And when I flex you can actually see muscle now. It’s a miracle! Now if I could just keep up with Little Miss….