In life, finding the perfect balance of meditation and relaxation are important. We sometimes get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world and forget to focus on ourselves.
This week, we have Jovania Michele sharing her story about restorative yoga.
Jovania Michele is a lifestyle and wellness blogger at www.jovaniamichelepierre.com. She writes about food, wellness, and travel from a college student perspective. When she’s not at work or studying, you can find her on a foodie adventure or curled up binge watching Netflix. She believes all things in life require balance so her love for kale pairs well with her (not so) secret stash of Reese’s cups. You can follow her on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @jovaniamichele for tips on making healthy lifestyle choices while still treating yourself.
What Restorative Yoga Taught Me by Jovania Michele
My first experience with yoga was after a strength workout at the gym a, few years ago. My friend convinced me to spend my first $1.99 in the Play Store and I figured what the hell, it’s less than a cup of coffee. I practiced on and off since then but never truly found a routine that fit my needs.
My best friend discovered a new coffee shop near home that doubles as a yoga studio so naturally, we went to check it out. I went in an hour early to get some work done then overheard a woman walk in with a Groupon for the class. I pulled up my Groupon app and found a deal that had 5 classes for $25. Drop ins are $10 so I went for it and hoped for the best.
Those $25 were well worth the investment because I’ve found Restorative Yoga to be one of the very few techniques that help keep my mind from thinking about 100 different things per second. I’ve made it a part of my routine for the past couple weeks and even in such short time, I can see improvements in my mood and train of thought.
I wanted to share three things I’ve learned since incorporating restorative yoga into my self-care routine.
Sometimes, you need and deserve a break.
With so many commitments as a student, working part time, and while holding down an internship, finding free time is rare. Sometimes, we feel guilty for doing things for just us, out of fear that we’re not giving enough attention to our other priorities. Taking a break is just as, if not more, important as making sure your work is submitted on time. An hour of breathing and unwinding is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I left my first class walking on clouds and that level of elevation stayed with me even long afterwards.
You don’t always have to compete.
My idea of yoga always involved intricate positions and an insane amount of flexibility. While these are things you will encounter, they are not what the practice is all about. I started yoga as a way to destress and while I look forward to implementing more fitness based yoga, I love focusing on myself in these restorative positions. Most of the moves include support accessories like blocks and bolsters. The fact that everyone in class uses them really helps you feel at ease. It’s not a competition of who’s most flexible. You’re here to focus on yourself and that’s something every women should get to experience.
You control your thoughts.
Not thinking about anything is one of the most difficult things I’ve tried. I’m not even close to shutting the world out but I can say these classes really help make me mindful of what I think. I found myself in these positions thinking about my grocery list, what I was doing later that night, and a whole bunch of things that could have waited. I loved having the reminder to refocus my thoughts. I wasn’t able to shut everything out but I was able to bring my mind back to focusing on my breathing. It’s a process but I like having that reminder to refocus.
If you have the opportunity to try a yoga class, especially a restorative one, I encourage you to go for it! Think of it as an investment in your health and wellness.
What are your current self-care practices and how have they helped you? Share with us in the comments.