On Saturday, I began a month-long free trial of Yoga Green Book. So far, each new yoga lesson has brought an important life lesson along with it.
Saturday, November 4th
For the first session, I went with Illuminating Your Path, taught by Starbird. The video began with meditation on questions that we returned to throughout. The workout itself was just the right amount of challenge so that you could maintain your focus on the theme.
The highlight of the ~40 minute-long video was the boat poses, which were a great core strengthener. On top of that, I had a weird moment where I imagined myself as a boat moving along water. When paired with the intention set by meditating, it made me realize that you don’t need to see your destination before moving toward it. Relish in the fact that right now, you’re in motion.
Planning ahead isn’t inherently restrictive. But it often interferes with your ability to live out the day in front of you before deciding what tomorrow will look like. Today has something important to say, so listen to it!
Sunday, November 5th
Yoga for Self Love with Brittany Bucey
This is definitely one I’d return to on a rainy day, or one of those weeks where you feel like you’ve given all the energy you have to other people. Like Saturday’s session, this lesson was paired with a meditation segment. The lesson itself wasn’t difficult, except for one part where I was asked to go from the floor to a back bend.
That was something my body had never considered. But I did it anyway! It was cool to try something new and succeed unexpectedly. Perhaps it was the blood rushing to my head, but I had an epiphany about self-doubt getting in the way of progress. Too often we become our own worst critic.
Because the lesson wasn’t focused on strength or endurance, it reaffirmed my intention for these 30 days. I’m doing yoga just for me. Not for upper body strength, or flexibility, or the free trial, or to have something to write about. Practicing yoga just brings a few minutes of peace my way. How often do you get to do something for yourself—without any ulterior motive?
Being productive all the time becomes counterproductive. When you don’t leave time for yourself, your work loses its luster. It loses the part that contains you. Your output becomes just that—output of a function, not a product that you can proudly put your name on.
So when you get really bogged down in the grind and can’t tear yourself away, ask yourself whether you’re being productive, or just functional.
Monday, November 6th
Morning Yoga & Meditation Routine with Adrina Nelson
The day after DST ends is the best Monday of the year. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waking up before your alarm and realizing you have a luxurious hour left in your night. Needless to say, I didn’t want to squander this rare and glorious moment. On this particular Monday morning, one can really appreciate the range of videos available on Yoga Green Book’s site. You can choose what works best with your schedule, whether that means a shorter lesson or one with a unique focus, such as bedtime yoga, chair yoga, or post-workout.
This lesson with Yoga Green Book was a perfect opportunity to stretch out the night’s stiffness, and set a focus for the day to come. Practicing yoga in the morning brought me a sense of calm that I could return to throughout the day. Upon finishing the session, I thought to myself, That was great! I’ll have no problem waking up early to do these!
It was a cute thought, until my alarm went off the next day and I snoozed it with reckless abandon.
Tuesday, November 7th
Yoga for Hips and Legs with Sammie Leigh
This morning’s session with Yoga Green Book prompted me to get more in touch with my body’s abilities. It wasn’t difficult, but none of the movements came naturally to me. Most of our movements throughout the day occur on the sagittal plane: front-to-back axis. Time for an astro-tidbit! The sign of Sagittarius is associated with the thighs, pelvis, hips, and femur—what puts us in motion. Perhaps that’s why Sagittarius sun signs are known for being free-spirited and adventurous…but are they? Is anyone?
Moving involves setting our eyes on a destination and navigating toward it. It’s autonomous, but at the same time restrictive. Most of the time, our bodies take us places because we have to get somewhere: work, class, gym, errands—even social outings. How often do we get out and move just because we can?
Rather than impose a target, the lateral stretching of this yoga session challenged me to see how much space I could take up while standing still. Have you ever asked yourself that? If you’re a female or non-binary person in the workplace, or a person of color in these United States, you’ve been conditioned on some level to ask yourself the exact opposite question. We’ve seen what happens to black people that take up too much space on sidewalks, and immigrants that take seats at school desks. Gay teens that take up too much space in their parents’ pocketbooks. The person wielding the gun never has to ask how much space they are taking up. They are confident in their power to make more.
Moving forward, give more thought to moving laterally.
Evaluate your relationship with space—both physical and metaphorical. Are you constantly holding in your breath, leaving room for other people? Falling quiet when someone interrupts you? Apologizing for things beyond your control? What do you do when others take space from you?
All that from a Crescent Lunge with a Side Twist? I’m telling you, yoga’s pretty neat. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Yoga Green Book if you want to see for yourself!