I was never an athlete, nor was I ever fit. To be honest, I claimed to have "baby fat" long into my teens. Some people would say "that's not baby fat, that's just fat, baby" (that's a story for another post). Long story short, I got tired of being out of shape. In 2012, I decided to dedicate myself to a healthy and fit lifestyle. I was graduating from USF and wanted to look good and feel good on my big day!
With no assistance from a coach and no shortcuts, I busted my butt and lost 30 pounds in about 8 months. I found myself bored, and came across the bodybuilding culture. So of course, I decided to try bodybuilding! I mean why not!? I trained for six months, was on a strict diet, competed in my first bikini division competition, and guess what? I didn't place! Again, that's for a whole other blog post.
I noticed my squat was off, and my shoulder was bothering me a lot. But being the hardheaded girl that I am (Jesus is still working on me), I told myself I would "push through the pain" because that's what fit people do right? Well, fast forward a little bit, and I had to stop weightlifting. I saw a few different orthopedists and am still building back my strength because... I didn't listen to my body, and I had developed some terrible imbalances that damaged my entire posture from top to bottom.
In the beginning of last year, I had to find something to do that would help me stay active without creating further damage. I had dabbled with yoga classes in a few gyms before and well, they were kind of boring to me! But at this point I didn't have many options. So I started to build a daily yoga routine. I looked around YouTube and found some videos that I thought would be cool to try. My favorites instructors are Candace and Adriene! I did 20 minutes...then 30 minutes...then an hour...then an hour and a half. This was how I stayed fit last year whilst still eating pizza weekly. Pizza...mmm (That's also a whole other topic!).
I learned a lot about myself and about my body during my journey with yoga. I learned that I have to be patient and that I really have to listen to my body. It's been a slow journey with progression, but I have gotten so much stronger, and my imbalanced muscles are finally starting to improve.
I encourage you to take the time to stretch and loosen up any kinks that you may have. Things like carrying heavy loads (aka a baby or large purses), sitting at a desk all day, or doing repetitive motions daily can REALLY cause stress on your muscles and joints. Also, certain postures help with digestion, breathing, and blood pressure! There are tons of mental and physical benefits that come with a yoga practice. And trust me, yoga is not always just a slow boring stretch. There are many ways to create a power yoga routine or a fast pace flow so you get a good sweat! But again, listen to your body. Even if you don't weight lift or run on a daily basis, I can ensure you that all of us have imbalances that we don't even know about. It's very easy to start doing yoga and I hope show you some awesome videos to get you going.
I am currently working on my yoga certification and will receive it in August of this year! This is something I want to share with people around the world, and want to encourage my fellow Christ believers that it is possible to create a practice that works for each one of us, and is possible to keep Jesus in the center! In the coming weeks, I will share my favorite videos, tips that help me improve with the poses, and even tell you about my yoga [ Christ focused] worship practice that I have implemented in place of the Hindu practice you may know of yoga being associated with. I look forward to sharing more with you all! Until then...laugh often, be kind, and listen to your body. ❤️
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