When I first started eating gluten free, there were a lot of people who thought it was just a fad. Tons of celebrities were endorsing it as a way to lose weight, so that meant a lot of regular old people cutting out gluten in the hopes that it would somehow transform their bodies.
Companies were starting to jump on this trend, and more gluten free foods started becoming available. However, when a few months passed and people weren’t losing weight (because that’s not how you lose weight y’all!), the trend died. The only gluten free people who were left were those of us who have an allergy to it.
People and companies alike all wondered why we were still on the diet. The trend is over, eat real food again!! Well for us, it’s in no way a trend. It’s an allergy. Like a severe allergy that actually damages our bodies when we eat it kind of allergy. What the trenders couldn’t understand was that we stayed on the gluten free diet because we felt 1,000x better and it benefits us like crazy!
That’s kind of like yoga right now. It used to be the trendy thing to do. You were seen as cool and hip if you said “oh, thanks for the invite, but I can’t come. I have to go to yoga.” People would silently applaud you in there head, and you would totally feel it.
Well the trend is dying a little bit now. Not because yoga isn’t great and amazing, but because that’s what trends do! They come and they go and the same people who faded in and faded out with the whole gluten free diet craze are the same people that are fading in and out with yoga.
Here’s the thing about why they do this. They get involved with this new trend, and realized it’s more change then they bargained for. Eating gluten free isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Showing up to yoga class isn’t an exercise routine, it’s a lifestyle. One that they aren’t prepared to have because it’s steadfast and they are not.
So, now it’s becoming only us! The people who have jumped on the yogic lifestyle because it’s changed us for the better and we can’t help but fall in love with it! When we do, people see and people wonder. They wonder what that’s all about, and of course we tell them because we want to share the awesome benefits with everyone about how amazing it can be! And that’s how more people come to love the lifestyle, and not just the trend.
So, if you feel like you are on the outside looking in right now, wondering what all the hype is about even after the trend train has left, or you are already in the yogic lifestyle and want to be able to share your love of it more easily with your friends, then keep reading. This blog post is for you!
Today I’m sharing the 6 things that change when you start doing yoga. And this isn’t just for some people. When you adapt the yogic lifestyle, this usually affects everyone! So here we go!
I tend to roll my eyes when I hear people say “Oh, I could NEVER do yoga! I am in no way flexible enough.” Like, girl. THAT’S WHAT YOGA IS FOR. You don’t go to school expecting to already know everything on the final exam! You show up everyday for class because you have to study and you have to learn to be able to take the final test.
Same with flexibility! You don’t start yoga because you are somehow an amazingly flexible Elastic Girl that can twist and squeeze her body into every single pose from the book! You show up to class and you learn and you study. You condition your body, and overtime, that conditioning will turn into flexibility.
If you are just starting out in your yoga practice and your heels don’t touch the floor in downward facing dog, or you have to bend your knees in a forward fold to be able to touch your toes, Girl same! It’s okay that you aren’t flexible. Yoga makes you flexible in time! You just have to stick with it.
2. Mood and Emotions
So this is a change that many people, including myself, don’t expect when they first start yoga. The calming dedication of yoga really impacts your mood and emotions though.
I struggle a lot with the way my reactions show up on my face, especially to ignorance. I shouldn’t be surprised by it, but I find myself openly rolling my eyes and getting flustered because someone didn’t think things through all the way.
I know, I know. This isn’t super kind. But lately, I notice that when stuff like that happens, I can easily return to my yogic “ocean” breath that is calming and centering.
Yoga is also encouraged in many people with anxiety and depression as a lifestyle change, because of the positive affects it has on mood and emotions!
It’s kind of like essential oils. You may not use them at first for emotional benefits, but it finds it’s way to you anyways.
So mindset is a bit different from mood and emotions. Mood and emotions are innate reactions that your brain has to certain stimuli. It can be hard to change because it happens before you even realize it.
Mindset, on the other hand, is literally just how you think about things.
Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, your right.Henry Ford
At first, people seriously scoff at this idea. They want to think that the quality of their life is somehow the world working to tear them down at every turn, and they have every right to be grumpy and angry.
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but there are tons upon tons of people who live worse lives then you ever will, and their quality of life is 100x better then yours, simply because of your mindset.
Seriously, I could write a whole blog post on this, and maybe I will. But that’s not what we are talking about today. Today we are talking about 6 things that change when you start doing yoga, and mindset is totally one of them.
Yoga really gives you a new, more positive way to look at things. Honestly, between yoga and my faith, those are the only reason I can give grace to others! As both of those deepen, the more grace I easily give to others.
Yoga brings a simplicity to your mindset. It helps you see what matter and what really doesn’t. And girl, the whole world could use more of that!
4. Attention and Focus
Yoga is considered self care because you are taking the time to work on your body and also your mind.
Have you ever been in savasana and all you can think about it the to-do list that’s sitting at your table? Or how about when you are in downward facing dog and the yoga teacher calls it a rest pose and tells you to focus only on breathing. Your in your upside down V shape thinking “Breathe!? How am I supposed to focus on breathing while I feel like I am dying!”
Well, first of all, she tells you to focus on breathing because if you don’t get the breath down, you will feel like you are dying. But, second, that breath keeps your body and your mind calm and present.
When you first start your yoga and meditation practice, you will feel like your mind is a squirrel. You think about your breath, then you think about relaxing all the muscles, including your eyebrows. That causes you to think about how to fill in your eyebrows, which then causes you to think about how you want your makeup done today, which then causes you to think about where you are going or that extra makeup product you need, until you finally realize that you aren’t thinking about your breath anymore and you bring it back.
That’s normal, don’t worry! You won’t ever be able to rid your mind of thoughts. That’s basically impossible. Instead, the point of it is to just observe the thought as it comes, and let it go. Don’t attach yourself to it. Don’t entertain it. Just let it come and leave. That gets much easier the longer you practice!
5. Physical Wellness
So yoga may not be hot and sweaty cardio or lifting weights, all though it totally can be, but it still changes your physical wellness.
I have an autonomic nervous system disorder called POT Syndrome. With that comes an exercise intolerance. If I do even 5 minutes of cardio or over exert myself in some way, I end up in bend trying not to pass out for the next week.
I still wanted to keep my body as healthy as it can be, and I knew that movement was a part of that. Somehow I needed to find a way to exercise, that wasn’t actually exercise. That’s when someone recommended Hatha Yoga to me.
I tried it and fell in love! It was movement that I could build strength from using my own body, and even though I still had to be careful, I didn’t pass out nearly as often!
If you also have a chronic illness that makes you literally allergic to exercise and cardio, I get it! It can be so frustrating! But yoga solved that for me.
Like any physical movement, it gets easier the longer you are committed to doing it. It gets easier because you are building strength and muscles and endurance!
When you are able to do those things, other physical activities can become easier too!
Like, I am now able to go for a 10 minute walk on a good day, and not be too terribly affected by it! Your results may look different because everyone’s body is different, but if you start out with wherever you body is at, then slowly work your way up, you can totally see a change in your endurance!
So those are the 6 things that change when you start doing yoga! If you are totally ready to get started on your yoga journey, and want these changes for yourself, you can do two things!
- Book a private yoga session with me (on my home page!)
- Look out for my Online Yoga Studio that is coming soon!