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See at heart, I'm a complete Yoga bunny - if you watched my video on my favourite workouts the other day, you'll have noted that well over half of the workout DVDs I own are Yoga or Yogalates. Buuuut, I've been trying to convince myself that I love high energy cardio DVDs and as a result, I've avoided exercising at all! Now don't get me wrong, I do utterly love 30 day Shred - I enjoy the challenge of it and the structure and think Jillian is awesome, yet there's something that doesn't quite fit with who I am as a person :)
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My husband describes me as a cat - I like slow, smooth movement, peaceful things, calmness and a still silent inner strength. I naturally place my body into bizarre stretches when I want to relax or get more movement in my body. I enjoy challenging my body AND my mind. My happy place is anywhere with a waterfall in the middle of a deep wood - I'm a country girl who dreams of living a simple life. Hence it makes sense that Yoga appeals much more to my personality than any pounding, fast paced workout everwill. So why had I completely forgotten this? Because I'd stopped challenging myself - I've been doing the same couple of beginners DVDs for years and I've got really, really bored! And of course, if you've been doing Yoga for a few years, you're not really an absolute beginners anymore are you?!
"But what about cardio?!" I hear you cry - well two things. Firstly, fast paced Yoga can really get that heart pumping! Secondly, as the months are slowly getting warmer, I'll reinstate my cycle commute (I'm a winter wuss!) and I'll also re-start my running as I train for the York 10k again. Now that I've completed a 10k, I'm going to be able to set myself much more realistic goals and challenge my body that little bit more! If I've done it once, I can do it again - and this time I'll do it even better!!
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So why am I writing this post? Partially because I plan on sharing some of my favourite youtube workouts that I've found recently but also to challenge you to re-evaluate the way that you're working out at the moment - does it really suit you? Do you enjoy it? Does it fit your personality? And if you're avoiding working out... think about what it is that's put you off. What sort of a person are you - a go-getter? A sleepy, stretchy cat? A busy city slicker yearning for peace? An adrenaline junkie? Think about who you are and try to find something that suits you. There is absolutely no shame in not "going with the flow" of what's popular when it comes to exercise! Zumba is really popular at the moment, but if the thought of dancing sends you into a cold sweat - find something else that works for you! What about Spinning - your best friend loves it but you've been finding excuses for the past few weeks because it makes you feel like poo? Stop making the excuses, accept that it's not for you, tell your friend you're sorry and find something else!!
At the same time, don't be afraid of challenging yourself to do something you never thought you'd enjoy - this isn't a chance to avoid doing the hard work! I never thought I'd be a runner but I utterly loved training for my 10k! I couldn't ride a bike until 3 years ago but now I cycle 8 miles a day (when the weather's not evil). I'm not really bendy (in fact I have uber tight hamstrings which mean I can't properly straighten my legs) but I adore Yoga. Try something different and be open to what your body tells you :) Remember though, although exercise should be a challenge, you're still meant to enjoy it! This is your life - there a squillions of ways of working out to try, don't do the ones that you hate. If you enjoy what you're doing, you're more likely to stick with it and see results.
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So what Yoga would I recommend for those who might want to give it a go? I just spent a little time on Youtube putting together my favourite videos and you can see them just here - if you want more, I suggest you subscribe to Tara Stiles (she's an elfin beauty and she's just so passionate about Yoga - she gets me excited about working out!), Yoga Today (especially some of their older stuff which is aimed a little more at Novices) and Sadie Nardini (who's awesome if you want to strengthen your core).
Also, if you'd like any suggestions of some different types of exercise to try just pop me a comment with your email and a little about your personality and I'll happily send you some suggestions :)
PS Apologies if this is just common sense for some of you - it's something that only really hit me properly over the past week or so