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Thoughts New Yogis Have

By: Macaila Britton

I'm going to admit it, when I started yoga I sucked. I fell out of poses faster than I could get into them and I even fell asleep in savassana during a class. I know, I wasn't exactly up for "yogi of the year". At one point or another we have found ourselves thinking of anything other than the current yoga sequence. I remember when I first discovered yoga, I could not wrap my head around why people enjoyed this or how they found yoga to be relaxing. The past few weeks I have spent time thinking about my yoga journey and how I fell in love with yoga. Believe me, it didn't happen overnight. These were a few of the things I thought of when I first started practicing. 

1. This Is Going To Be So Easy

Downward Dog? That's a pose, really? If it's named after a cute fluffy animal, I can totally do it. Yeah, not so much. Yoga really twists, turns and stretches the body.

2. I Don't Need a Block

Pft! Blocks are for amatures who can't touch their toes. I've got this. After all, I was the best in my gymnastics class when I was a kid!

3. What the heck is savassana?

Oh, a nap- okay, I've got this. I can take a break now. 

4. This Teacher Hates Me

Why is everything shaking and burning? Who knew someone could work those many muscles at once?! I swear s/he knows I'm struggling and is making it worse for me.

5. What's With The Chanting?

Do I join in? How are they saying it so perfectly in synch? Wow, it's really calming though. I should probably pay attention to what they're saying now...

6. Is It Over? Can I Go Home?

What do you mean it's only been 10 minutes?!?! The clock must be broken. I swear we've been at this for ages.

7. Am I Doing This "Yoga Thing" Right?!

I used to look around the room what seemed like a million times a minute. I was determined to perfect every single pose and mirror my peers. Turns out, I was doing everything right and didn't need to worry about looking like everyone else. They could care less about me because they're focusing on themselves. 

8. Oh Gosh, Gas.

Maybe eating a burrito before class wasn't the best idea..

9. Crap. I should Have Grabbed A Prop

Okay, they aren't horrible. Props are actually really helpful. I'll pretend I never thought they were lame. 

10. Yoga Isn't That Bad

After all the sweat, looking around, watching the clock and suppressing a few tears, I'd take another class. Who knew all these poses could make me feel like a supermodel?

New to yoga or want to share your journey? I would love to hear if we shared the same thoughts/ feelings!


Macaila Britton Yoga

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:MACAILA BRITTON

Macaila is a yoga teacher in training, writer and photographer. She likes meeting new people, is passionate about helping the community and also enjoys traveling, all kinds of dessert and cheesy jokes. She aspires to become the best version of herself by investing in others. Yoga has helped her become more centered and focused on serving her higher purpose. To keep up with her latest adventures, visit MacailaBritton.com

The Benefits Of Yoga

By: Macaila Britton

Many people are aware of the fact that yoga is great for the body. Magazines say so, celebrities rave about it and doctors suggest it. But what exactly is special about yoga? There is more to this ancient practice than touching your toes. Yoga helps with many things. Plus, it’s a great way to keep in shape. This is why yoga is beneficial for the mind and body.

1. Improves Sleep

The regular practicing of yoga improves sleeping habits. Yoga helps to relax the mind, allowing the body to fall asleep faster and easier. Plus, the breathing exercises practiced in class can be used at night when needing to relax from a busy day. 

2. Decreases Stress and Anxiety

It is also a great way to de stress and be in the moment. Yoga is a mind-body practice, meaning that it is both a physical and mental workout/ challenge. Haha yoga is one style that is particularly great for this need. Haha focuses on breathing/ breath control. 

3. Improves Flexibility

Practicing yoga will release tension in the body. It gently stretches and lengthens the muscles, while helping to relieve aches and pains. Yoga also improves posture. Yoga Journal has a great article about the science of flexibility. Read it here!

4. prevents the body from breaking down

Yoga takes the joints through their full range of motion when practiced. This will help prevent arthritis, and other muscle or joint issues. When practicing, we are using the cartilage that is not normally used. If we do not make it a habit to work this part of our bodies, the cartilage can eventually wear out. 

5.  Boosts confidence

Yoga allows us to become more aware of ourselves. When we master a once difficult pose or take the advanced class, something happens. We begin to feel stronger and proud of ourselves for accomplishing something we once dreamed of or thought could never happen. 

6. Aids in weight loss

Yoga transforms the body from the inside out. Detoxing from the foods we eat, helping us rewire our minds for more positivity and success. This is known for leading those who practice to live healthier lifestyles and food choices. Yoga is also beneficial for weight loss because of the variety of classes. Hot yoga, vinyasa flow, barre yoga, etc. all focus on moving the body. The different intensities and instructors allow for various fitness goals to become feasible. 

7. Health Benefits

Yoga has many health benefits. From decreasing stress and anxiety, to easing physical pains. A few of the most popular health conditions that yoga is beneficial for are: asthma, arthritis, cancer and spinal issues. Yoga is gentle on the body, allowing it to move at a comfortable speed, preventing strain.    

8. Brain booster

Yoga boosts the ability to recall facts and allows for the mind to have clarity. The time set aside for meditation and stillness in class/ an at home practice allows for the mind to relax.

9. Fitness

Yoga is great for everyone of all fitness levels. There are multiple ways to incorporate yoga into your fitness routine. It is great to sweat and rid the body of toxins. There are a variety of classes that target different parts of the body, burning fat and toning the muscles.

10. Great For Digestion

If our organs are full of toxins (processed foods, too much sugar, etc.), detoxing is a great way to help break down foods allowing for our body to fully function and function correctly. Yoga Journal is famous for saying "when your gut is off, your whole day can follow suit". Yoga helps regulate bowels and help with bloating. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:MACAILA BRITTON

Macaila is a yoga teacher in training, writer and photographer. She likes meeting new people, is passionate about helping the community and also enjoys traveling, all kinds of dessert and cheesy jokes. She aspires to become the best version of herself by investing in others. Yoga has helped her become more centered and focused on serving her higher purpose. To keep up with her latest adventures, visit MacailaBritton.com

10 Tips For Practicing Yoga Outside The Studio

By: Macaila Britton

We all have those days where we desperately need to go to our favorite yoga class, but life seems to happen. Whether we're skipping our yoga class because of work, a family commitment or because we're sick, it is important to know that we can still practice at home. There will not be a community of creative and outgoing yogis to chat with and learn from, or a teacher, but that's okay! One day from home doesn't hurt. Here are ten easy ways to make your busy day's at home practice more meaningful.

1. Create a Playlist

Music can help set the tone for your practice. Put all of your favorite songs in one place and play them. This will help you to stay relaxed, focus on yourself and motivated. 

2. Don't Be Afraid to Laugh

Embrace that you might not know what you are doing. We can be so hard on ourselves and serious. It is okay to be silly and have fun. Embrace that you are taking the steps to try something new or deepen your practice. 

3. Take a Break

If trying to master a new pose isn't going as planned, walk away. Know this is not giving up. Try transitioning into child's pose or your favorite pose to clear the mind. Sometimes all we need is to get out of our heads and have a few minutes of rest/a break. 

4. Use Your Resources

The best things about going to a class is having someone plan your practice and act as a guide. There is no worrying about which poses to do or even how to get into them- the instructor walks the class through it. If you are struggling with what to do, think about the sequences and poses the instructors take you through. Try out the ones you can remember. 

Google is also a great resource. There are a ton of visualizations of poses you can try out!

5. Clean Your Mat

We're putting our hands, feet and sweaty limbs on the same surface. Even though you are practicing at home, there are still germs. Yes, they are your germs, but germs are still gross. Stay healthy- wipe the sweat and dirt off! 

6. Create Your "Yoga Space"

Creating a space for your practice is beneficial in so many ways. One of which help with concentration. If you are unable to dedicate an entire room or wall to this, no worries! Setting up your mat every day will do just fine. If you prefer to practice in the morning, try laying things out in the morning so your "corner" will be there when you wake up. Think of it as your ever evolving and traveling yoga space. 

7. Relax

Breathe. Put a pause on life and the list of to-do's that seem to keep growing. Turn the tv off and silence your phone. Leave the room to find a quiet spot away from your partner, kids and animals. As amazing as they are, they can be distracting. 

8. Dress For Success

Who says you can't pop on those bright and colorful new yoga pants? Put on your favorite outfit. It will inspire you to practice and give an added confidence boost. Besides, who wants to fuss and tuck in their top every 5 seconds? Not me!

9. Use What You Have

If you do not have access to a yoga blocks or a strap, thats perfectly okay! Let me tell you a secret...you can still practice yoga. Use a hardcover book (ahem- the Harry Potter one sitting on your shelf or an old text book from ages ago). Use it like you would a block. No, it's not as soft, but it's still there to grab onto during Warrior II and Triangle, if needed. Use a thick belt or a scarf to deepen your stretch. Keep in mind it is not as sturdy as a strap, so choose your poses wisely!

10. Smile 

Be proud of yourself, because you are awesome!!

We all have those off days. Try not to beat yourself up for missing a class. The community of amazing yogis will still love and support you next week, when you're feeling better or when that work project is completed. 

Namaste


About the Author:Macaila Britton

Macaila is a yoga teacher in training, writer and photographer. She likes meeting new people, is passionate about helping the community and also enjoys traveling, all kinds of dessert and cheesy jokes. She aspires to become the best version of herself by investing in others. Yoga has helped her become more centered and focused on serving her higher purpose. To keep up with her latest adventures, visit MacailaBritton.com