Once I had been to a few yoga classes and decided that I wanted to give yoga a real go, I started looking into practicing at home. A once a week class was no longer enough for this keen bean. I was confident that I now had an idea of how my form should be, so I bought myself a yoga mat and took a look on YouTube for Yoga tutorials. I was unprepared for the sheer scale of options available, but decided I would take a look at the first video in a series called "30 days of yoga" posted by Yoga with Adriene. This series appealed to me as it seemed to be aimed at beginners like myself.
(photo credit: austinmonthly.com)
My curiosity was peaked, so I did a little research into Adriene. Adriene Mischler is a Texas-based actress, voice-over artist, yoga teacher and entrepreneur with a following of more than 3 million on YouTube. Working under the mantra "Find what feels good" she hosts a highly successful online community that provides fun and diverse styles of yoga to anyone and everyone who might want to try it. If you type in her name and yoga to YouTube you will be inundated with hundreds of videos of varying lengths and themes: Yoga for musicians, dancers, teachers, for anxiety, for concentration and mental focus, power yoga, self love yoga, fat burning yoga, cosy yoga, confidence boost yoga, yoga for stress relief, zombie yoga (a Halloween special) - you name it, this woman has a video for it. Often accompanied by her adorable furry friend Benji, her style is so laid back you really feel like you are spending time with a friend rather than a yoga teacher.
Over the past 6 months I have worked through countless videos created by Adriene and have found myself coming back time and again to her tutorials. Her zany personality, her positivity and her sense of humour make yoga practice a real pleasure and a lot of fun. I have also hugely enjoyed being able to grow in confidence within the comfort of my own home under her instruction.
Those of us who take on yoga will do it for a myriad of different reasons. The need to try something new, to manage stress or anxiety, to become stronger, to become more flexible, to become more mindful. I took on yoga because I wanted a new challenge, to become stronger, and also out of a kind of fascination. What it has brought me is far beyond what I could have expected though. However, what often put me off was the cliche of the hippy/new age side of it (that and the afore-mentioned farting fear). The cynical side of me wasn't sure if it was me. However, what I have discovered is that your yoga practice is precisely that, YOUR yoga practice. It is what you make of it. You may want a practice that takes itself more seriously or one where you can laugh at yourself when you fall face first into the floor when trying crow pose. If you are curious about yoga, I cannot recommend Adriene's tutorials enough as a place to start. Having said that though, don't be afraid to try out different teachers or tutorials to find what works for you. Some people may find yoga isn't for them at all. It takes patience to find out (something I have had to teach myself), but you may find like me, that it is just what you have been missing.