It's not that I was a full-fledged outcast, it's just that I was never completely "cool" either. Like, nobody gives me a wedgie in front of the cool kids' table, but they don't make room for me either. I'm not talking about school (however, same thing); I am talking about my place in the traditional yoga community. The cool children's table over there has the same Mean Girls vibe but with the special flair unique to modern wellness culture. I started teaching when I was very young - like 16 - and all I hoped to be was like any of the popular yoga teachers in my town. I just wanted to be invited to take a seat at their proverbial table, so I copied their ultra-advanced teaching styles (and hurt my back in the process). I pretended to like what they were doing (and choked on shots of wheatgrass like, “mmm, health is delicious!” 🤢). Spent too much of my salary on the independent, expensive leggings they all swore (spoiler alert: they're not that good).
I taught with this “perfect yogi” filter for a while. Seven years, in fact. It wasn't until I was 24 and about to quit my very adult finance job to teach yoga full time that I knew something had to change. Now that I would be teaching over 22 classes a week, I knew that faking it full time would be a quick way to fail. So I walked into class one day and owned it: I'm not that perfect yogi. I don't care if I never drive a Prius. I don't know why I am wearing these mala beads. I ate pizza before I came here. I drank too much wine last night. I've seen more Keeping Up With the Kardashians than I have from the Yoga Sutras. So yes, I am not a "good" yogi. I am bad. I am a BAD YOGI.
And I expected a lot of people to come out. I held my breath at the inevitable criticisms from my students after class, but they never came. One after another they all ran to thank me and say, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO !!" "I'm so glad someone else said it!"
It was a revelation that what I was inside was already enough to be accepted by the only people who really mattered to me - my students. I didn't mean to 'empower' or 'inspire' anyone with this, but Bad Yogi always resonated with those who, if they had been in this class, would have also come running to tell me : "OMG ME TOO!" Our beliefs about yoga are the same: Yoga shouldn't be a judgmental and self-righteous clique where we have to meet a long list of prerequisites to feel like we belong here. There is a new table in town and it is big enough for everyone. Whether you are a kale loving vegan or an award winning deer hunter, we believe that everyone can benefit, and anyone who is depressed with TRUE acceptance, self-awareness, a willingness to learn from each other and a desire. to do the kind of yoga that's interesting, fun, and effective THIS is the place for you.
Having said that, this might not be the place for you if you truly believe yoga should never come without spirituality or the chakras. You might not appreciate my teaching if you prefer to do yoga as a performance with a lot of advanced postures straight from the gram. I might not be the one for you if you like your teacher to look straight out of a runway with hair and makeup for every class. I show up to my digital lessons just like I would in a studio - my hair is all over the place and there might be bags under my eyes (#momlife), but better believe that I present myself as my best self for you every time.
You won't hear much Sanskrit and I don't care if you don't know your asana off your elbow. I won't hit you in the head with spirituality either. I truly believe in yoga as a functional tool to help correct muscle dysfunction. I'm also a Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), but yoga remains my favorite way to gain strategic strength, reduce tension, and increase range of motion. It can be strong but also calming. It can make you sweat and fall asleep. It won't replace medical care, but it can probably replace a serving of caffeine and the two Aleves you take for back pain caused by those chronically tight hips. You know what, we'll talk about that later ...
But if you've read this far, welcome home 🤗 I wish we could share a glass of wine and swap life stories in a bar that's neither too cool nor too crowded. Or too expensive. Or too far. You know what? Can we just meet at my place? I have cheese! And Netflix! Bring a friend and we can do yoga first, then kill a bottle of red and get all the WTFs on Tiger King and Dead to Me.
Thanks for joining me here ❤️ If you want to learn more and roll your mat out for a class with me, sign up for my emails here.
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Overcoming obstacles to exercisingIf you’re having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.
You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise instructions and workout orgie are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach.
While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are mental. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your détermination quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.
Whatever your age or sport level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life —there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or puissance yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So, don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current sport level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.
Many of us feel the same. If sweating in a gym or pounding a treadmill isn’t your idea of a great time, try to find an activity that you do enjoy—such as dancing—or pair physical activity with something more enjoyable. Take a walk at lunchtime through a scenic park, for example, walk laps of an air-conditioned mall while window de course, walk, run, or bike with a friend, or listen to your favorite music while you move.
Even the busiest of us can find free time in our day for activities that are important. It’s your decision to make exercise a priority. And don’t think you need a full hour for a good workout. Short 5-, 10-, or 15-minute bursts of activity can prove very effective—so, too, can squeezing all your exercise into a couple of séances over the weekend. If you’re too busy during the week, get up and get moving during the weekend when you have more time.
It’s never too late to start building your strength and physical sport, even if you’re a senior or a self-confessed couch potato who has never exercised before. Very few health or weight problems rule exercise out of the question, so talk to your doctor about a safe routine.
“No pain, no gain” is an outdated way of thinking about exercise. Exercise shouldn’t hurt. And you don’t have to push yourself until you’re soaked in sweat or every force aches to get results. You can build your strength and sport by walking, swimming, or even playing centre ville, gardening, or cleaning the house.
Still have nightmares from PE ? You don’t have to be sporty or ultra-coordinated to get fit. Focus on easy ways to boost your activity level, like walking, swimming, or even sérieux more around the house. Anything that gets you moving will work.
The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch; one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can’t find 30 minutes in your busy schedule ? It’s okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.
For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There’s no need to overdo it.
For more on the types of exercise you should include and how hard you should work out, read Best Exercises for Health and Weight Loss. Getting started safelyIf you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a significant amount of time since you’ve attempted any strenuous physical activity, keep the following health precautions in mind :
Health issues ? Get medical clearance first. If you have health concerns such as limited mobility, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before you start to exercise. Warm up. Warm up with dynamic stretches—active movements that warm and flex the muscles you’ll be using, such as leg kicks, walking lunges, or arm swings—and by doing a slower, easier version of the upcoming exercise. For example, if you’re going to run, warm up by walking. Or if you’re lifting weights, begin with a few light reps.
Cool down. After your workout, it’s important to take a few minutes to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to its resting rate. A light jog or walk after a run, for example, or some gentle stretches after strength exercises can also help prevent soreness and injuries. Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated. Failing to drink enough water when you are exerting yourself over a prolonged period of time, especially in hot conditions, can be dangerous.
Listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort while working out, stop ! If you feel better after a brief rest, you can slowly and gently resume your workout. But don’t try to power through pain. That’s a surefire recipe for injury. How to make exercise a habit that sticksThere’s a reason so many New Year’s resolutions to get in shape crash and burn before February rolls around. And it’s not that you simply don’t have what it takes. Science shows us that there’s a right way to build habits that last. Follow these steps to make exercise one of them.
Start small and build momentumA goal of exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through ? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and give up. It’s better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you’ll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals. Make it automatic with triggersTriggers are one of the confidentiels to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercisers rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there’s nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you’re out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers addict right by the bed and you’re up and course. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
Schedule it. You don’t attend meetings and appointments spontaneously, you schedule them. If you’re having dysfonctionnement fitting exercise into your schedule, consider it an important appointment with yourself and mark it on your daily agenda. Make it easy on yourself. Plan your workouts for the time of day when you’re most awake and energetic. If you’re not a morning person, for example, don’t undermine yourself by planning to exercise before work. Remove obstacles. Plan ahead for anything that might get in the way of exercising. Do you tend to run out of time in the morning ? Get your workout clothes out the night before so you’re ready to go as soon as you get up. Do you skip your evening workout if you go home first ? Keep a gym bag in the car, so you can head out straight from work. Hold yourself accountable. Commit to another person. If you’ve got a workout partner waiting, you’re less likely to skip out. Or ask a friend or family member to check in on your progress. Announcing your goals to your social group ( either online or in person ) can also help keep you on track.
Tips for making exercise more enjoyableAs previously noted, you are much more likely to stick with an exercise program that’s fun and rewarding. No amount of willpower is going to keep you going long-term with a workout you hate. Think outside the gymDoes the thought of going to the gym fill you with dread ? If you find the gym inconvenient, expensive, intimidating, or simply boring, that’s okay. There are many exercise alternatives to weight rooms and cardio equipment. For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference. You may enjoy running outdoors, where you can enjoy alone time and nature, even if you hate treadmills.