Yoga every day…is it worth the time?
When and how did I start?
I had been doing yoga even before I started this everyday yoga practice. I have been doing yoga for about three years few times a week and every January (2019,2020 and 2021) I was doing yoga every day because that was when Adriene from Yoga with Adriene always released her 30-day yoga program. But I had never kept the momentum going until this January where, when this year’s program was over on the 31st of January, I just couldn’t imagine not doing it anymore. That is why I decided to tap into the programs of the previous years and keep on going. Today it is therefore more than 100 days that I do yoga every day.
Should you even do yoga?
A lot of people think that only people who are flexible, skinny, and very in alignment with themselves can do yoga. But that is not true. Not at all. Yoga can be done by anyone. Even if you don’t touch the ground with your fingers in forward fold, even if you can’t hold plank more than for three seconds, even if you are irritated by anything and everything… maybe not “even if”…especially if! Yoga is an amazing tool to improve all of the above and the 30-day yoga program will help you even more. During those 30 days, you are able to see progress and you can always find modifications if it is too difficult.
Yoga is not about the pose or it is not about whether you can do splits (I can’t). I think there are more positions that I can’t do than I can do but it is not about that, it is about three things: Movement, process, and feeling.
Simply, it is not about what you do but how you do it. In yoga, you can find the easiest positions difficult and if you are noticing the whole process and not only the result, it can significantly improve your everyday life.
The most difficult part is to come on the mat and begin. Once you are there, it is easy. Yoga with Adriene is not time-consuming at all – usually, it is about 20-35 minutes (sometimes even shorter and occasionally longer, but the time flies, I swear), that is why you never think “Oh my god, now I have to work out for an hour and a half and it will be a brutal training. Today I just can’t do it, so screw it.”
What benefits does yoga have for me?
Now we are getting to the main topic- what I gained from doing 100+ days of yoga. These are, of course, only my personal opinions and views and I am not saying that everyone will have the same experience…
Feeling of control in a time, when we lack it
For me, yoga is an irreplaceable part of my daily routine that I built to have a better structure of my day – I feel more rooted that way. It is way too easy for me to feel lost in time, lost in melancholic thoughts, or in myself in general, and that is why active steps toward a more structured routine were the best way to go for me.
It also gave me control over the present moment. It happens to me way too often that I think “Oh my god, what is in the future? What am I going to do? I have so many tasks to finish today and tomorrow and a week from now. Where will I be in a year or after I finish my studies?” (I am just typing it here and my blood pressure is increasing). But yoga helped me to come back to where I was – on a mat – and experience my breath and for the moment put away my to-do list and just be. Me, my body, my breath, here and now. Nothing else. That is why it also helped me from the feeling of anxiety and I felt better afterward.
Feeling of security
A feeling of security is something that a lot of people are looking for, especially of what is happening around us. That goes for me as well. But with yoga it doesn’t matter what was coming the next day, the practice was there for me every day. Adriene always says “See you tomorrow” and that feeling of having something stable in my life gave me the feeling of security and safety. And it is also something I can look forward to every day.
Getting your body to movement patterns every day will help you push your body into new positions whether you want it or not. During those 100 days, I definitely noticed progress in my flexibility- my feet touch the ground in downward facing dog much more comfortably, I am able to put my whole palms on the ground in forward fold (and I remember that in high school I touched the ground barely with the tips of my fingers) and I am discovering small improvements that always remind me that I am getting better.
Breathing and engaging the core
This point is very significant to me. Various breathing techniques have helped me to get better at engaging my core and to be able to mobilize it. It helps tremendously during my strength training where I really needed the core engagement. I noticed better exercise techniques and decreased chance of my lower back hurting, which is something that I had a problem with.
Patience is closely connected to the breathing techniques for me. I am generally a very impatient person and I had always skipped the parts with breathing techniques because it frustrated me. I couldn’t be bothered to sit on my ass for ten minutes and just breathe. “I am just not going to do it, fuck that,” was ringing in my head and my whole body just screamed how uncomfortable it was. But not this time. I was determined to surrender myself to that moment and with every day it got easier and easier. Now I am actually looking forward to those moments and I haven’t got frustrated doing yoga for a long time now!
Yoga with Adriene has different mantras on which the practice is built upon every day. If I allowed myself to have an open spirit and I let the thought of the practice into my mind, I often found an emotional notion, feeling of gratitude, and self-reflection. Now I am not saying that I have my shit together, my mental health is the image of feng shui, I am the perfect yogi and there is nothing that can make me angry. Not at all. I am still very moody and temperamental, but yoga sometimes helps me to manage those moods better and if a certain mantra of practice resonates with me strongly, it can definitely transform my day for the better.
Balance and physical improvements
I definitely have more control over my body. I am personally quite an active person so it wasn’t like I’ve seen some drastic changes in my physical appearance but it was not the point for me. I felt stronger and stronger every day in how I can support my body and embrace my breath. But if you are not working out regularly and you are not as active, you will definitely see major changes not only in your strength but also in your appearance.
It is not easy to devote to something for 30 or more days in a row. But it will help to practise your discipline and it is an opportunity to devote your time to something every day. It is certainly a very useful aspect that will project into many areas of your life.
Where to begin?
Yoga with Adriene is amazing for beginners and for people who don’t need to sweat their t-shirt through and through during yoga practice. Don’t be mistaken, it is challenging, but it is not impossible. If you don’t exercise, this will be more than enough for your daily dosage of intensive movement. For me it was more about stretching, strengthening, and supplementing my strength workouts. Even though I wrote it is amazing for beginners, even advanced yogis can benefit from that program greatly! Sometimes it is good just to come back, go through the strong foundational basic movements and become fully aware of breath and core. Personally, I could find something new in every practice.
During those 100 days I did four 30-day programs by Yoga with Adriene:
- YOGA CAMP
In the past, I also did HOME and DEDICATE but that was long ago so that is why I am not going to come back to those two in this article (however I am planning on doing them again once I completely finish YOGA CAMP).
If I was to rank those four programs in order that I would recommend following (based on the increasing level of difficulty, learning basic poses, etc), it would go like this:
- BREATH – here you will learn the foundations of the poses but more importantly the foundation of breathing in yoga which is crucial for better posture and strong core.
- TRUE- here I found the way how to connect the physical aspect of yoga with the mental and also discovered many mantras and thoughts that resonated with me
- YOGA CAMP – this program focuses on slowing down the practice, correct execution of the movements, and also on attention to details which make the practice much more difficult even in the “easiest” poses.
- REVOLUTION – I found this program the most intense out of the four I did. There was a bigger focus on the strengthening poses and the practices were more difficult. That is why I would recommend doing the other ones, where you learn the basics and find a relationship with the poses and your breath, first and then follow with this one.
I am planning on continuing my yoga with the programs I’ve already done but a long time ago:
Is it worth it?
I think it is quite obvious what I am going to say but if anyone hasn’t caught up yet I will say it – yes, it is really, really worth it. You will get a thousand times more out of it than you put in and besides the 30 minutes of your time a day, there is nothing you have to pay.