So, I have a new friend. Her name's Adriene, and she's a Yoga teacher and entrepreneur from Austin, TX. She has a Youtube channel, Yoga With Adriene, and she's honestly the most adorable human being ever. She also has the cutest dog by the name of Benji, who usually makes guest appearances on the mat with her.
No, Adriene and I aren't actually "real life" homies. But, I've spent a lot of meaningful, quality time with her over the past 14 days, and it's been such a refreshing experience, so in my mind, she's officially my gal pal.
I found out about this beautiful soul through Fran of The Friend Zone Podcast, and decided to check out her videos. At the top of the year, Adriene started a 30-day yoga journey simply titled True. Every day of the journey, she focuses on a different theme, each one dedicated to bringing you closer to your true self and becoming more present, more liberated, more empowered.
Let's not forget becoming more flexible, and stronger - mentally and physically. Did I mention flexible?
I've never really been intimidated by yoga (okay, maybe a little); I actually took an 8-week course a few years ago at my local community college, and really enjoyed it. Challenging? At times, of course. But it was so satisfying. I knew that this was something I wanted to continue to do. Unfortunately, after that course, I didn't keep at it like I had hoped. I was too distracted with everything and everyone around me at that particular time, that I didn't allow myself to really focus on a consistent yoga practice.
Shortly after I moved to Columbus, I joined a co-worker for one of her hot yoga sessions. Hearing that this classroom would be about 110 degrees really terrified me, but I agreed to it anyway. Hey, I was living on the edge that day; what can I say?
It was.....interesting. A bit intimidating. A lot more challenging than regular yoga. After it was over, I decided that a 75-minute hot yoga session could kiss my ass, and namaste to those who were able to master those poses under such extreme temperatures. I was quite impressed (and jealous) by how effortlessly most of those people moved in and out of those poses with such fluidity.
I will say, one thing about yoga (hot yoga or otherwise) - even through the toughest moments, I never give up. I push through. I refuse to be defeated, so quitting isn't an option. Coming out of the poses during the practice to catch your breath is more common than you think. This tends to happen to people who just aren't used to bending their bodies like pretzels on a regular basis. It's okay! Don't beat yourself up if you do this.
Back to Adriene. She's amazing. She makes you feel like you're right there with her in the trenches, and it's such a rewarding feeling. She's encouraging, and funny in her own special way (during yesterday's practice titled Strength & Harmony, she randomly started singing the beginning of Bone Thugs 'N Harmony's 'Crossroads' on three separate occasions, and I literally laughed out loud each time). I think it's her way of making sure you're not in your own head, and to keep you present in the practice. Whatever the case, I love it.
To be honest, I didn't think I would get this far into the 30-day journey without giving up altogether. I am so fucking proud of myself. 14 consecutive days. That's a big deal. I've reached the point of almost feeling guilty at the thought of even thinking about skipping a night. I try to treat this as a real class that I am obligated to show up to, and it's been working. I don't care how tired I am, I still manage to pull out my hot pink yoga mat and press play on my Apple TV remote to knock out my session. Mind over matter is a real thing.
I am only half way through the journey, but my goal is to keep pushing until I hit that 30-day mark, and even then, I really plan to keep the practice going. I think it will be easy because Adriene makes you want to hang in there. She just has that "thing" about her.
Here's to successfully getting through the second half of the True journey. I think the most challenging part will be getting through the next few days, as I will be getting my period any moment now, and well, we know how that goes. Pray for me.
If Yoga's been on your mind lately, I say go for it. There's nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Be sure to sign up for her newsletters as well. She sends the most encouraging e-mails that will inspire and motivate you throughout your practice.
I've also curated a playlist dedicated to self care and healing. These songs were chosen because they all describe how I've been feeling lately about life, love, and simply pushing onward and upward through the bullshit. I've been listening to it all night. It's perfect. Click here to listen to (and follow) the playlist on Spotify. Hope you enjoy it!
Photo credit: Adriene Mishler for Wholefoods