I'll be honest - ever since I worked at a gym, I haven't been very good at following workout programs at home. I've tried Insanity, P90x, kickboxing, and Pinterest workout challenges. Lately, my workout routine has mostly consisted of running around after my rambunctious infant, so I wasn't very keen to work up another sweat after a long day when I'd rather slip into pajamas.
Enter in Yoga with Adriene. I was pleasantly surprised when I hit my first full week of following the videos DAILY - without trying too hard. My husband even remarked that he noticed a difference on the days I did yoga and when I took my "rest" Sundays. Adriene isn't particularly different than other yoga instructors, but I appreciate the ability to select from a variety of workout intensities (full disclosure: I spent a whole week seeking out videos with "stretch," "relaxation," and "refresh" in the title). She has a fun presentation, sometimes says some off-the-wall comments, and can be pretty funny. Moreover, she's very relatable and real, so it's more like practicing yoga with your friend instead of attending a class.
These videos aren't all easy, either. There are days where Adriene powers through moves that I can't even keep up with - definitely a goal to work up to! Or she does some advanced yoga moves, which sometimes I feel would be better practiced in an environment where feedback from an instructor would be beneficial.
Physically, I've noticed my flexibility slowly increasing (I've always had a problem with my hamstrings). Psychologically, there have been improvements in mental clarity - even when my kid is trying to climb all over me while during my practice. I've started to brew a cup of chamomile mint tea before yoga to aid in the relaxation even further - take this excuse to pamper yourself! Honor the time when you come to the mat as a gift you're giving yourself and those around you. The midday slump has been a perfect opportunity to squeeze in Adriene's 17-40 minute videos, and having the ability to select a shorter practice is great for those days when time is pressed. As an added side bonus, I've noticed my son putting his little booty in the air to mimic my downward dog! I love that I'm setting some great exercise examples for my son while taking the time for myself - I'm a much better, more patient parent when I've had the ability to take some time for myself.
Over the past few weeks, yoga has become an integral part of my day in a way I never really thought would happen. I've known the benefits of yoga, but each of the in-person classes I attended felt like glorified stretching. Adriene is very encouraging of accepting where you are at in your yoga practice, as well as offering modifications to help you attain the most out of her videos. Some days are a huge push to get out the mat, but each day I find myself motivated by how I feel after I'm done. Sometimes there's nothing better than taking a little extra time for yourself in Shavasana or corpse pose to regain composure, feel relaxed, and reorient yourself before tackling the rest of the day.
Want to give it a try? You can find her videos here.