My Favorite Youtube Yoga Channels

It used to be that yoga and meditation and mindfulness were a little too “woo woo” for me. I’m a Christian so, at the time, I associated Yoga with pagan religions which is, well, a little taboo in my world. And I suppose it does originate in the Hindu tradition but your version of Yoga doesn’t have to be Hindu. I came to the conclusion, after the convincing of a few friends, that Yoga doesn’t have to be all sun salutations to some kind of Hindu entity. It can be simply your body helping your mind to be focused and at peace. It can even be prayer– prayer to Jesus. It’s also excellent exercise and wonderful for your joints and muscles, whether your body is used to a lot of physical exertion or can’t handle much strain at all.

As someone who has struggled with severe anxiety over the years, I can assure you Yoga was a welcome surprise and the beginning of a journey toward recovery of my peace. It was a place where I had to force myself to become quiet before God and listen. It became a place where I had to be quiet with myself, as well. Contrary to what many of you think, being quiet with ourselves is not so easy, especially if we are filled with self-loathing, fear, and depression.

Although I’ve taken a few wonderful classes here in Little Rock at places like Barefoot Studio and Clubhaus Fitness (best gym in town, in my opinion), I usually prefer the quiet space of my own home. I found a couple of great Youtube channels that celebrate the home practice of yoga.

yoga-with-adriene-library

Yoga with Adriene  is the channel I use most often for my own practice. Adriene is constantly updating her yoga video. She has sooooo many of them. Yoga for runners, Yoga for those in the Service Industry, 30 Days of Yoga, Yoga for Flexibility… I mean I could keep going for days. I could be wrong but it seems like she posts a new video daily and she’s had her channel for several years now.

TOPAdriene-1024x683

One of the things I appreciate the most about Adriene is how down-to-earth she is. She’s not going to freak you out with weird crystals and other hippie trinkets and she’s not pretentious and “new-agey”. She films her practice on the hardwood floors of her cute, older home in Austin, Texas with her dog, who sometimes lays down haphazardly on her yoga mat during filming. She occasionally makes corny jokes and then promptly apologizes for them. She will break out into a song, sometimes Dylan, sometimes 80’s hair metal. She’s pretty much… adorable.

Another important key about Adriene is her yoga instruction, itself. She encourages you to have patience with yourself during your yoga journey, reminding you not to force your body into a position that will hurt you, giving you adaptations of more difficult positions, and helping you understand that nothing about what you’re doing is a competition.

If you’re yearning for something more faith-centered, Caroline Williams might be more up you’re alley. Caroline practices a version of Yoga called “Holy Yoga”.NYC-Holy-Yoga-Christian-Yoga-Caroline-Williams-Yoga-Yogi-BreatherSpaces5

Holy Yoga uses a kind of contemplative prayer during their practice emphasizing intimacy with a loving Jesus. I’ve watched several Christian yoga videos and Caroline Williams is the only one I can get through without cringing. Out of all of them, she seems to be the most sincere, the most calming and centered, and even somewhat “hip”. Her music selection is fantastic. In fact, I have her Yoga playlists saved on Spotify.

The setting for her videos are urban but peaceful as Caroline guides you through prayers of letting go and urges you to ease into spiritual change as well as into the difficult yoga positions. Her practice is somewhat advanced for the beginner so you may have to learn a few basics before starting the journey with her. One of my favorite videos is “Holy Yoga for When You’re a Hot Mess”. That seemed to be the video of the hour for me during my first year of yoga practice.

maxresdefault

It would’t be a yoga post without touting my favorite leggings, right?

Affiliate Links

https://bit.ly/2kKw8s9 These Beyond Yoga leggins are handsdown my favorite. SO SOFT and high-waisted. And also, see how much school spirit I have for my university!!! Go Trojans!

IMG_2062

Others?

https://bit.ly/2ssKrWO (Edgy Alo leggings)

https://bit.ly/2xDKYdz (Zella leggings– less pricey and a great basic for every day)

Wild in the City

One of my favorite places to go for a run is less than a mile from my home in West Little Rock. You would think I have been transported out of the metropolis that is Little Rock into some kind of wilderness but no, parks like these are plentiful in my city. Arkansas is a beautiful place. They don’t call it “The Natural State” because of unshaven armpits.

This specific park is called Two Rivers. There are three fantastic pedestrian bridges that cross the Arkansas River in Little Rock, and this happens to be prettiest one with some of the most lush, resplendent trails. I mean just check out those trees. IMG_1836

IMG_1841

Someone please remind me that I should probably use the restroom before I take my daily jog. I’m not sure if I ran down the trail or… danced. It was painful.

giphy

Despite my pain-induced choreography I managed to complete a slow jog. I’m not a fast person. I have tiny legs and sort of resemble an albino pygmy but I’ve been using a great app called Couch 2 5K that has been given me a pretty good workout. The app paces you so that you aren’t completely and suddenly overwhelmed with an intimidating workout that you couldn’t possibly finish. What did I do today? Well let’s check my Fitbit Versa.

IMG_1842

Awwwww yeah.

But now comes the other (usually) painful part of my day: the aftermath. I’m in my thirties and am already suffering from joint pain so I’ve been taking this little product for the last couple of months. I cannot begin to tell you how much it has reduced my joint pain. It’s also fantastic for muscles, skin, hair, and most importantly our brain.

IMG_1832

This is a totally grass fed, pasture raised product and is COMPLETELY tasteless. That means you can put it in your coffee or tea without tasting anything. It’s been a great addition to my bullet-proof coffee every morning.

Bullet Proof Coffee Recipe:

  • 8 oz of coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of grassfed butter
  • 1 dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Scoop of Biooptimal Collagen Powder

Put it in the blender for a few seconds and it comes out like a lovely whipped latte. Great way to start your day!

Commissioned Links

https://amzn.to/2IKjCXk (along with a $2 off coupon!) Biooptimal Collagen Powder

https://amzn.to/2rPE8vY Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

 

 

The Old versus Versa (See what I did there?)

I tried the Fitbit thing before. I owned (and still own, however unused) the ChargeHR. This version was fun… at first. I loved the step challenges I had with my friends. I almost never won them (I’m pretty sure some of them cheated) but they kept me motivated to stay active.

IMG_1795

However, after awhile I noticed a few annoying issues with the ChargeHR. For one, as you can see in the photo below, it was very difficult to clean. You were supposed to use Cetaphil to clean it but you couldn’t use water. How does that even work? Well you could use water, I suppose but if you did, the plastic on top of the Fitbit would bubble up. I went through two or three before I just quit using it. It also seemed to run out of energy quickly so after a while I thought… what’s the point?

IMG_1796

So I quit. For a little while anyway. But then things got reallllly hairy. I started back to school as a non-traditional student, pursuing my Bachelor of Arts in English, and I just didn’t feel that I had time to work out anymore. Well… until I got onto the scale that I had been avoiding all school year, that is. It turns out I had gained more weight than I ever have IN MY LIFE.

giphy

Suddenly, getting back into shape became a major priority. I wanted to use my ChargeHR again but there was no going back to that dirty, gross piece of plastic. I didn’t want to pay for the Apple Watch. Just too… much… money. And then I think there are data charges?

But even without data charges

8ba9fd119cdf41e493e5e66bdd976588

That’s when I found this beauty: The new Fitbit Versa.

IMG_1797

See how fancy it is? If it was in a Fitbit beauty contest, it would definitely win. Don’t worry, guys. It comes in black and gray and all of the other boring colors. And if you really want to spruce it up, you can order different bands for it. Mine has a rose gold face frame because rose gold is basically thee metallic of the season.

But on to more important things. What can it do? Well, I for one, love the fitness tracking. You can choose between swimming (yes, you can use it for 50 meters in the pool), cycling, running, strength training or any other workout.

Other features?

  • You can link music on your phone and control what you listen to from your watch.
  • You can set alarms.
  • YOU CAN RECEIVE TEXT MESSAGES (Obviously, the most important feature).
  • They have a fantastic Relax app that helps you wind down when you’re stressed out.
  • Easy to clean with a silicone band (unless you get the leather or metallic)
  • You can check the weather.
  • They have like a billion watch face designs. Really. Like a billion to match your style. Look at all these pretty things!
  • IMG_1799

But really. There are so many apps that you can link to it. The Walgreens app lets you earn points toward purchases, you can stream Pandora, link your Starbucks app, use a calculator, read the New York Times, link your calender and SO MUCH MORE. It’s a great alternative to the Apple Watch and soooooo easy to use. Go buy it. Here I am with my new Fitbit Versa.

IMG_1801

(Affiliate Links)

Peach/Rosegold Versa

Black Versa

Special Edition Versa

Lots of Versa bands!

T-Shirt Currently on SALE in Cargo Green

Shorts

Bralette