Beyond the Books: Yoga

Posted May 16, 2018 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Beyond the Books, Features / 13 Comments

As much as I love reading and book blogging, I have a variety of interests outside of those hobbies that I love to chat about and share with others. I started Beyond the Books as a way to take a break from bookish content and feature some of my other favorite things!


I really owe this whole post to Kristin from Super Space Chick, because after stumbling upon her own yoga related blog post one day, I discovered Yoga with Adriene, the Youtube channel that I can safely say is changing my life.

After reading Kristin’s post about how Adriene’s videos have helped with back pain, I decided to give her videos a shot since I often suffer from lower back pain after running. Max and I did some of her super basic, entry level videos together as a refresher (we both took yoga in high school) and then I branched out and started doing more videos on my own. My hallelujah moment was a few weeks later, when after a particularly painful run left my back spasming, I did her video for lower back pain and it was a GAME CHANGER. 80% of my pain was gone, and I could walk again without wincing. I’ve now started doing that video before running to offset any back pain, and have noticed a significant difference.

As I’ve explored more of the videos available, I’ve found that yoga has benefited me in many more ways than just easing my back pain. I have a really sensitive stomach and her “Yoga for Your Guts” playlist has been helpful too, as it has different flows for digestion, detox, etc. which I’ve found all help me when I’m having a rough day with my stomach. I’ve also started doing the videos on her “Yoga for Weight Loss” playlist, and while I’m very sore afterwards (most of it is core/thigh/booty work), I feel like more body is growing stronger and changing. With videos that range from 15-60 minutes (and some even shorter/longer than that, the average of the ones I do probably being in the 20-20 minute range), I’m finding they’re easy to fit into my schedule even when I’m having a particularly busy day, and the daily practice has given me the gift of checking in with myself more and just taking a break from the insane pace of life. After every video, whether a gentle routine or a vigorous one (seriously, some of them really make you sweat!) I feel so calm and accomplished, and I’ve found that I’ve even been sleeping a little bit better.

Favorites

While I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of her content, I’ve started a playlist of “Yoga with Adriene Favorites,” videos I enjoyed or worked really well for me that I know I’ll be returning to time and time again.

  • Digestion Flow- A really great one with movements to get your GI system moving, I like doing this one and/or the detox videos when my stomach is upset.
  • Core and Booty- I can only believe that this one does what it promises because I was SO SORE the next day (but in that wonderful way where you feel like you’re making progress!)
  • Tone- This one had a lot of core work and introduced me to working a lot of abdominal muscles and movements that I feel like get ignored in day to day life.
  • 7 Minute Pre-Run– I always struggle with stretching before running and am guilty of not stretching properly before I run (because I just want to get it over with) so this quick video is helpful for hitting all of the important pre-run areas.
  • Back Pain– These two videos (especially the back pain one) have become holy grail videos for me, whether it’s doing them to relieve pain, or doing them when I’m not hurting to avoid pain.
Goals

I’ve found yoga to be such a beneficial and restorative addition to my life that I’m seriously considering even branching out from home practice and trying some in person classes (Core Power has come highly recommended), and I’d like to ensure I stick with yoga more religiously than I have other forms of exercise. I’ve created a few goals that I’d like to work toward the rest of this year:

  • Practice at home at least 3 days a week.
  • Complete all of the videos on the “Yoga for Weight Loss” playlist.
  • Complete a 30 day yoga challenge.
  • Purchase a yoga block to help with stretches.

Have you tried yoga before? Do you find it helpful/restorative wither physically, mentally, or both? What other forms of exercise have you tried that have made a huge impact on your overall quality of life? Let me know in the comments!

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13 responses to “Beyond the Books: Yoga

  1. Yoga is really something I would like to get into, but I just never seem to get around to it. I have a lot of back issues which I think it could really help with.

  2. I’m SO glad that Adrienne’s yoga videos have been helping you too! They really are (as you said) such a game changer! I haven’t been consistent this past week while I’ve been moving / dealing with a cold but my body is itching to get back into my daily yoga routine. I can feel a HUGE difference from when I was making the time to do them each day and I’m basically dying to get back into it. I’ve been wanting to start one of her 30 day challenges in the near future but I definitely could use the back pain one tonight!

    • I just did the lower back pain one last night after I tweaked my back running and I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s like MAGIC. I usually feel 70-80% relief after I do it! I’m about halfway through her yoga for weight loss playlist, and then I think I’m going to do one of her 30 day challenges this summer! I hope your back is doing better- I know moving can be really brutal on the body!

  3. Yoga is one of those things that I keep saying I’ll try, but then I don’t. I feel like there’s not enough time in the day as is. I could definitely use it though, because I have a M-F desk job, and I’m very stiff/not very flexible. Thanks for sharing these videos! If I ever get my act together, and make time for some Yoga, these videos could really help me πŸ™‚

    • I really encourage you to try them, they have literally changed my life! I definitely understand the not enough hours in the day feeling. I try to get on my yoga mat and do a video early in the morning before work and while it can be rough waking up extra early, I find I’m much more calm and centered going into the work day, and it feels good to know that I did something productive and for ME before I work 8+ hours.

  4. Wow, that’s wonderful that yoga has been helping so much with your back pain and other things! I don’t think I’ve ever really tried yoga myself. Never felt like I’d have the patience for it, and I did plenty of working out and stretching back when I was healthy. But I didn’t realize there were different types of yoga workouts for different problems even, so I just learned something!

    • I used to think yoga was rather boring too but I had no idea there was so much variety either! I’ve been working my way through Adrienne’s weight loss and toning video and they definitely get my heart rate up, but I also find that it’s super restorative too- I like waking up early to do a video and then I feel like I’ve done something good for myself before sitting at a desk for work all day, which is great!

  5. I LOVE yoga (favorite pose has to be half pigeon)! I’m so glad you’re finding some flows that work for you πŸ™‚ I’ve heard from so many people that they don’t do yoga because they think it’s too easy and really boring when really, it’s anything but! I haven’t been able to practice in a while but I’m hoping to work it into my weekly routine during the summer.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    • I’ve sadly been unable to get onto the mat for a few weeks now (work and travel have been getting in the way!) but I feel SO much better when I’m able to practice! Do you practice at home or take classes at a studio?

      • Oh no! I hope you’re able to remedy that soon πŸ™‚ It honestly depends on where I’m living. At the moment, I moved back to my hometown for the summer so I mostly do it on my own (I know enough poses and pre-established flows to make up my own) but when I’m at school (I go to university in a completely different part of the state) I go to classes at the university studio (which is so nice because it’s included in tuition – so not technically free but free in ideology – so I can use all that saved money on books).

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