The Yoga Diaries – The Beginning

Now this wasn’t really something I was planning on writing about . . . However I was chatting to my lovely friend Molly who said she wishes she’d taken photos of herself in the beginning and explained that she has written a journal to ensure she is aware of the positive changes and to help her remain motivated . . . which makes total sense so I thought, you know what, might as well blog about it . . . So here we go.

Molly has been my sole inspiration for having a go at this whole Yoga thing – she’s fully evangelical about what a life changing experience it has been for her. You can see it in her. She’s so relaxed and composed.  It has helped her to deal with some major challenges in her life with grace & strength.  (Though in reality I feel it has just amplified the amazing person she already was.)

So yes this is about physical strength & flexibility & all that jazz but it’s also about taking time for myself. About relaxation, about mindfulness & about peace.

As a Mum of three small children there isn’t a lot of my day that is “time for me” – and the only exercise I really get to do is walking to school & back or to the shops.  I’ve considered joining the gym etc but it’s just hard to find a time that isn’t late evening – and I really don’t need the buzzy endorphins of a heavy workout right before bed!

One of the things which appeals here is that it’s at home, it isn’t going to cost me anything & I can do it whenever I get chance – even if it’s only ten minutes.

I’ve thought for a while about doing pilates or yoga – based on the whole low impact, gentle stretchy, strength building nature –  bearing in mind I’ve had three C Sections in relatively quick succession (in fact three in just over 4 years) I do need to be careful about what I do.  I have next to no core strength – even pushing a shopping trolley can be a real challenge if one of the bigger kids is in it.  My core strength & fitness is definitely something I need to work on.  I can’t afford to attend a class much as I would like the support & encouragement that would offer.

So yesterday I made the first step, I took ten minutes to myself & shut myself away from everyone to watch – and practice – my first yoga video

Things I learned:
* I really enjoyed being able spend time quietly, on my own
* I’m about as flexible as a plank of wood
* My lungs are really sore at the moment (for anyone that doesn’t know, I am quite asthmatic)
* My tummy gets in the way of everything

Although the video was for beginners, I found some of the moves really hard due to tightness in my muscles – this isn’t a surprise & I’m sure it will improve steadily.  I did what I could – I didn’t push it too much.  Tara reiterated throughout the video – do it in your own time, do it gently, do what feels nice for you . . .   One of the things I found really hard actually was getting my breathing right, aside from breathing deeply being quite painful at the moment, I never seem to be able to breath in the right way.  I forget to breathe when I’m exercising (I don’t mean I stop completely obviously), I think I just hold my breath.  I really struggle with the whole “Do this on the inhale, now do this as you exhale thing” but I guess that’s something I will just have to work on and I’m sure it will come with time!  I have noticed that Tara also does a breathing video so I think that might be one I need to look at.

When I came downstairs & told Dave what I’d been up to he suggested doing it together. He said he could do with the stretching himself (we are both prone to back trouble with being tall & his job is very physical so he needs to take care of himself ). Also doing it together will support me & encourage me to stick to it.  We’ve agreed we’ll do it each night as soon as we’ve put the kids in bed but I also anticipate trying to squeeze another session in on my own during the day.  So last night once they were all in bed, Dave did his first Yoga practice too – and I had another go too!

I don’t really think I need to say anything much about these photos.  I’m sure you can make your own judgements on how I feel about some of the images.  Dave took them for me while I did the routine again purely for the purpose of seeing my “baseline”.  Anyway, there’s no point taking them if I’m not going to share them with you, warts and all, so here they are . . .

Yoga - start position
Yoga - stretching
Yoga - finding the breath
Yoga - Stretching up and over
Stretching to the side
Yoga - bending low
Yoga - downward dog
I’ll let you know how I get on!

31 Comments

  1. Clare Nicholas
    January 4, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Well done. A brilliant start, pretty sure I couldn't touch the ground or do half the moves.
    Would love to know how it goes and if it gets easier

    • January 4, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      There's a whole lot of knee bending in there with the ground touching! Hopefully everything will get straighter with time.

  2. January 4, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Well done you (and Dave!) You look great and need to be less hard on yourself Colette. Look forward to seeing how you get on!

    • January 4, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      Thanks Jo.

  3. January 4, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    You look great. A few of my friends do Yoga and say that they definitely notice a difference their flexibility and toning, etc. Those moves you are doing do look testing – I am not flexible at all – will checkout that video now, good luck! xxx

    • January 4, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Kerrie! Fingers crossed I can feel a difference soon to inspire me to keep going.

  4. Hannah Smith
    January 4, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    You look like you're doing a great job don't worry. I would recommend getting a mat though, or even just doing it on a rug. It's much comfier.
    If you decide to give pilates a go, try out Blogilates on youtube, Cassey has a series of beginner videos which are great, and there's a lovely community you can throw yourself into if you'd like the support.
    Good luck!

    • January 4, 2015 / 9:18 pm

      Thanks Hannah! I did it on the kids' bedroom floor the first time, it was definitely harder on the wood floor so a mat is some of my list of things to invest in 🙂

  5. January 4, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    Go you! Yay for starting something new and your new playroom looks like a perfect space to do it – that wall looks like a perfect place to take photos – I am so jealous! Looking forward to seeing how you get on, I've never really been that interested in yoga but you may give me the enthusiasm to try it – especially as it's something I could do at home, whatever the weather! x

    • January 5, 2015 / 2:06 pm

      It's really well lit too with the big french doors! Definitely going to be my go to room for blog photography now! x

  6. January 5, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    Well done Colette for getting started with yoga. I did a lot of yoga while I was pregnant last year. I haven't been doing much since I had the baby in October so I will be kickstarting things again with fitness this week. The 10 mins yoga routine sounds good, I might give it a go tomorrow.

    • January 6, 2015 / 10:20 am

      I would never have thought to have done it when I was pregnant – I should have started it a long time ago I think but it just never appealed. Good luck x

  7. January 6, 2015 / 11:56 am

    Looks good. I started Pilates last night. I cant bend as much as others as I am still suffering from the car crash but I did enjoy it too. I need to get used to all the words the lady used – lots of pilates terms that I had never heard of but I just copied what everyone else was doing. 🙂

    Yoga looks good too.

    • January 6, 2015 / 8:12 pm

      That definitely makes is tricky doesn't it – I guess that sort of thing all just comes with practice!

  8. January 6, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    I must try and fit in some of my workouts x very inspiring post x

  9. January 6, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    Was sure I commented on this yesterday, must be going barmy, sorry! I've started yoga again very steadily but I'm nowhere near brave enough to post any photos! Enjoy the benefits 🙂 x

    • January 7, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      I was very nervous about posting the pictures but hopefully it will spur me on! x

  10. January 8, 2015 / 9:06 am

    WOW hunny you sound like you are on a great mission with yoga. I commend you. I need to do something this year. I was way too lazy last year and my health not so good. Yoga is so good for you. I look forward to reading your journey. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  11. January 8, 2015 / 9:23 am

    I've been doing yoga on and off for several years (sometimes I've been 'off' for several years!) and I've recently started doing these Tara Stiles videos – I really like them! If I have time, I try to do 2, but I love that I can even squeeze in 10 minutes. I think the breathing comes with practice, just try to breathe deeply… and it's amazing how much your flexibility will improve too, even with just 10 minutes a day. What a great idea to take photos of your progress! One last thing: I often do these videos before bed and I find they really relax me and help me sleep better. x #brillblogposts

    • January 11, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      I have wondered about the whole sleep thing – I think I might have to start a pre bedtime practice once we get Amy out into her own room.
      x

  12. January 8, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Brilliant, well done you! Fab hubby to give you that support (and take photos too, where am I going wrong?!). Good luck with it all x

  13. Mama Owl
    January 8, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    That's fab, best of luck of you in reaching your goals

  14. hslater
    January 8, 2015 / 3:47 pm

    This is a fantastic idea!! I cannot wait to see your improvement!

    • January 8, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you x

  15. January 8, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    Good for you hun. I love the idea of yoga but it kills my back. I also love how your such a blogger, mean't to be doing relaxing yoga, but your phone is still within reach 🙂 x #BrillBlogPosts

    • January 9, 2015 / 1:39 pm

      Haha! I know what you mean – though in this instance I was actually watching a video on youtube to get the moves right 😉 x

  16. January 9, 2015 / 10:11 am

    I also do 5 to 10 minutes exercises! We both need a mat don't we. Its really not nice to kneel on the wood. I will look for your progress in here =) #Brillblogposts

    • January 9, 2015 / 1:46 pm

      Thanks! I got a mat yesterday – my best friend ordered me one as a surprise! How lovely is she?! x

  17. January 10, 2015 / 11:23 pm

    Love this post Colette, I adore yoga, it's been so good for me, really helped relax me and I sleep better than ever when I practice. Must get back to it now Christmas is over. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts, please do link back or add my badge if you don't mind, Happy New Year lovely x

    • January 11, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      All badged up, I'd linked up on my phone originally and then forgotten to go back and do it 🙂

  18. Karen Monkeyfooted Mummy
    January 11, 2015 / 11:29 pm

    You look much better at this than you give yourself credit for, I'm hoping to try some yoga this week you've inspired me! Love your necklace too

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