I changed from a casual yoga newb to a once-a-week practitioner to a #yogaeverydamnday yogi to a teacher. SUBSCRIBE to join our family of #girlbosses! I started to feel in general, something I had avoided during those years of addiction. It was hard, made me sweat and oh my gracious I felt it the very next day. I used to take classes at a studio that always focused on intention, usually set by the teacher. Sweta Bidwai. Ironically, my body became less like the one I first desired and yet I am at peace with that. That's me with the spine on the right. In every yoga practice, a student starts with an intention. Besides yoga, my life is filled with health, wellness and fitness. This is the girl who couldn’t even stand to be in her own body … Some people even feel hungry, tired, drained, or exhausted. The hateful screams drowned out everything else. But not many of us understand exactly how yoga benefits us physiologically and mentally—and it's hard to know how many sun salutations we have to do in order for those benefits to manifest. It helps me feel human. It's a journey. Look, I would be lying if I said I didn't care about how I looked. I had never been in that good of shape before, and have not since. No rocket science: the more you stretch your muscles, the more flexible to become. I took up ashtanga yoga in 2002, just after the death of my dad. So when you’re feeling hunched over in your posture or restricted in your movements, movement through yoga frees up the tissue and makes it more pliable… But after a few weeks I started really getting into a flow, and noticed that the way I felt about my body began to change. It can be useful to take a full length snap of yourself before taking your first yoga class and randomly updating your photos after several more classes. Going to yoga once a week is awesome and will make you feel calmer, but it won’t dramatically change your body. So as an outsider you might say that yoga made me gain weight and some muscle. Add in 10 minutes before and showering afterwards (if you don’t, you will smell like a high school wresting mat). It really changed my life and how I feel about my body. Generally, my weight fluctuates up and down a few pounds (I don't weigh myself often) but overall it hovers right around the same number ... a number that is much higher than when I first began the practice. How you feel after yoga varies from person to person and even can change each time. My body has transformed during my yoga journey. What makes us yogis is recognizing when and where we could focus our energy so we can continue to evolve. Improved Lung Capacity. I developed a daily practice and attended classes once a week. I started a week ago, unable to touch my toes. While Yoga is … I had just moved to the city right after college and was having a difficult time (to say the least) adjusting to my new life in the city, when a co-worker of mine invited me to try a Vinyasa Yoga class. And yet I wasn't happy. How could I? Throughout the 90 minute sweat session I felt angry, self-conscious and confused. Researchers found that young adults had better balance after doing three 1-hour yoga sessions per week for 5 weeks. It helps me release what I need to let go of and it helps me experience what I've shoved in dark corners or my mind. A lot of the weight I gained was fat. Through this process, I gained weight. After about a month, bump it up to five or more. Just 20 minutes of yoga can improve cognitive … Physically, emotionally, mentally, I was at the absolute top of my game. See more ideas about Yoga progress, Yoga poses, Yoga fitness. There are challenges. Of course I still have a lot to improve in terms of muscle definition, but now they have tonus and are stronger. I changed from a casual yoga newb to a once-a-week practitioner to a #yogaeverydamnday yogi to a teacher. So as you grow stronger, you can actually feel it. Check out my free video: Yoga for self-love, A photo posted by Cara McDonald (@caramcdo). 1. What makes us yogis is our commitment to the journey, not the reach toward the finish line. Some people do, and that's totally cool. I started to feel emotions again. What makes us yogis is being curious about why we feel the way we do and addressing those feelings. SECOND: YOGA TAKES TIME. Link-Up. I'm not interested in strict diets or scales or the "no pain no gain" mentality, but sometimes my motivation to work out at the gym or eat certain foods is about my physical appearance. It helps me feel whole. You will start feeling awesome about yourself, with a better defined body and a more peaceful mind. 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