Heated Yoga Recap + Life Update

Let me just get something straight right off the bat here, I'm no avid yogi. I've noticed lately though that I have had an undeniable wish that it was a more integral part of my life and fitness plan, so I've been trying to make strides in that goal. I'm taking yoga twice a week at school and have been doing more Yoga With Adriene home-flows as well. Whenever I make the time to do yoga, even if it's a post-run 10 minute flow, I feel so much more at peace. I feel more connected to myself, I find myself looking inwards and facing any unearthed feelings that need attention and I feel undeniably more relaxed. One of my roommates, Morgan, is super committed to yoga and I LOVE it because it motivates me to do it more often. This past Sunday we did a super blissful flow (Greet the Day) in our living room and it started my day on the perfect note. I notice I love yoga even more when I get to do it with the positive people in my life.

I mostly do home-flows, but I've done a few classes at my gym at home and the studio near my school. I've been wanting to try hot yoga for just about EVER (okay, slight exaggeration), but, to be completely honest, I've been a bit too nervous. I'm the type of person that gets grumpy when it's any temperature higher than 80 degrees outside so I couldn't imagine purposefully moving my body in that kind of heat. BUT when Morgan suggested I try out a heated yoga class with her this past week, I decided to take the plunge.

AND HOLY MOLY. I LOVED IT. Granted, heated yoga isn't quite up there with hot yoga, but it was still over 85 degrees in there and I didn't even get grumpy!!! ;) I could feel my body truly relaxing, my muscles felt bomb (I was way too sore from Monday's leg day), and my mind felt SO at peace in the midst of a very busy week that I felt I would have no relief from.

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One of the things I love most about yoga is how it works my mind just as much as my body. The instructor said something while we were holding eagle post that really stuck with me. She told us to open our hands in the pose and open our hearts to new things. I'm in a place where I feel so ready for the new experiences, people and adventures life has in store for me and this practice truly reaffirmed my excitement about this.

Like I said before, yoga really helps me look inwards and keeps me from covering up internal struggles I may be having. It's easy for me to just plaster on a smile and keep on keepin' on, but we all know how that goes. You can only keep on keepin' on for so long. This practice was no exception, and, while it helped my mind take a mini  vacation from the chaos and stress that has ensued since the beginning of my junior year of college (wait... you're telling me it's only week two?!), it also got me thinking deeper about why I've been feeling so anxious while trying to get back in the groove of being on campus.

And it hit me- I was becoming someone I've preached that I never wanted to become again: the girl who does EVERYTHING and thrives off the stress of that. Remember my "power of saying no" post?  Yeah, I was becoming my pre-college self again and it finally hit me that I just couldn't do it all anymore. I had such a restorative summer- I woke up excited for each and every day, I was feeling inspired and I was finally loving every little nook and cranny of life. Only two weeks into school and these life-loving feelings were starting to disappear and I could already feel the anxiety creeping back. I wasn't waking up excited, thinking of a full semester of my busy schedule was making me feel bogged down, I felt overwhelmed and I simply felt that I physically and mentally could not handle this semester.

I finally realized something had to go. After really looking at everything I had going on, I took charge and resigned from one of my on-campus jobs. I realized it was the one thing on my plate that was bringing me no joy. I dreaded going to work, and that also wasn't fair to the environment of that work space. I love my other job, I love blogging, I love working out, I truly like (maybe not love) my classes this semester, and all of the other activities I do make my heart so happy and they bring such positive people into my life. It was obvious what had to go, but I was too scared before to really face the emotional turmoil I was experiencing inside.

I already feel more relaxed, relieved and happy and I can say that I woke up that very next day with the overflowing excitement I woke up with every day this summer. I felt motivated and prepared to make this semester everything I hoped it would be going into it.

It is so important to acknowledge your feelings and look inwards in order to tend to your mental health. For me yoga helps me do this because it forces me to be raw and honest with myself, but simply giving yourself quiet time alone to reflect can do the trick. Don't be afraid to say "no" and take control of your life. YOU ultimately choose your own happiness and it's up to you to make life changes that will help your be happy and healthy even if that means possibly upsetting others.

"Make yourself a priority and everything else will fall into place"

XO nat