Friday, August 21, 2009

Yoga for Strength

(really, my biceps are more impressive when I flex.
But it's a hell of a time trying to take a picture of yourself that way.
By the time I got one I was happy with,
my arm was all exhausted from flexing for 15 minutes. Lame!)

I haven't talked about my passion for yoga in a while so I figured it was time I give an update. I have continued doing yoga daily for many months now and the benefits just keep pouring in! Right now I'm especially intrigued with the way it has made me incredibly svelte, slender and strong! Also I've gotten some crazy-fabulous muscle definition. I haven't been this strong ever and it's amazing how easy it's been to become this way. I have calves like I always wanted to have and never knew how to get. SQUEE!

Plus, it rocks knowing that everyday I am getting physically stronger. For whatever reason it psychologically makes me feel stronger as well. So when I'm faced with problems I'm less likely to freak out and more likely to approach it as an opportunity to grow and learn and get stronger. I also feel like it's helped me be more focused and it continues to be a major component of what keeps me calm and happy.

It's also made me much more aware of my bodily needs. Previously in my life, I'd get caught up, for instance, with working on the computer and only eventually realize that my bladder had been KILLING ME for the last hour and I really needed to get off my ass and pee. No way something like that is happening now! But more seriously than that, I really have never been this in touch with my body and how it functions and the little ways I can help it function optimally. I've always been ridiculously cerebral to the point of neglecting my body, but now I am motivated to take care of it, knowing just how awesome it makes me feel and how it can help me achieve goals too.

There just ain't nothing bad about yoga! And I like how the poses continue to evolve for me in feel and experience as my body changes and adjusts and lengthens.

It's exciting to me to be at a point where I don't do it for pain relief or stress relief, but just because I love having it be a daily part of my life and it brings me happiness. I like having positive goals to work towards much more than negative things to avoid. It makes everything seem nicer.

Also, please take a moment to check out Eat Well and Prosper, the new group blog I've joined. I'll mostly be showing off how spoiled I am because my boyfriend makes the most delicious food for me all the freaking time.

Related posts:
Yoga for the Ass and Thighs
Yoga Is Miraculous
The Best and Worst Stretch in the World

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Delightfully Healthy said...

Awesome! So how did you first begin to fit yoga into your day? Was it hard? What kept you going?

May said...

I started doing it regularly last year around April. I do a routine that takes me 15-20 minutes after I wake up in the morning.

I always woke up earlier than I needed to for work and I was an anxious person so I'd often have panic attacks. This was a way of heading them off at the pass that's taken on a whole new life of it's own. :)

What kept me going was how much better I felt afterwards. I had less back pain and better posture and was calmer. I started doing it every day because I loved how it made me feel.

Now I can't go a day without it! I mean, I could, but I definitely don't want to.

Stacey K said...

You're looking beautiful!

Alymaybe said...

I definitely think yoga is an amazing thing for the body. I recently took a mindfulness stress reduction class here in Massachusetts, which involved yoga and meditation and really helps you get in touch. One of the meditations is a 45 minute "body scan", which helps figure out exactly what's going on. It's all based on the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is an amazing man. You can read about it here:

Plus my neurologist "prescribed" more yoga today, so it looks like I'm about to embark on a journey similar to the one you're on right now :-)

May said...

Very cool. I'm excited for you! :)