Living Better: How I Found Yoga
I've had a lot of jobs throughout my life. I've done roofing, washed dishes, did concrete, worked at a skatepark, general construction, landscaping... I could keep going, but I wont. You get the point. I've also skateboarded since I was 12 years old. Combine all those jobs with a lifetime of slamming into the concrete on my skateboard and my body has taken a beating.
For years there was always something hurting, typically my back, neck or shoulders, and sometimes all 3. About 2 years ago, after suffering through terrible neck and shoulder pain for months, I decided I was going to finally do something about it. Advil & Tylenol wasn't working, something had to change. I knew there wasn't a quick fix for this one. I didn't really know what I was doing, but I decided I was going to set aside 20 minutes every morning and try to "stretch".
I dove into YouTube looking for how-to videos and spent months practicing while watching yoga and mobility tutorials. I slowly learned a good base of yoga poses and played with different stretches every morning. The only thing I really did "right" was not quit. I managed to get stretching time in more than 90% of my mornings.
Eventually my lady convinced me to come to some real, not-on-YouTube yoga classes after she got her yoga instructor certificate. The first one I went to was in Vietnam and it was a truly magical experience. We had our own instructor and the class was in an open air studio on a beautiful farm in the countryside on the island of Phu Quoc. I've been to several yoga classes since then to continue expanding and perfecting my morning practice, and they have been super helpful to learn proper form and new poses.
I didn't know 2 years ago when I decided to start "stretching" that I would be beginning my path into yoga. Had I known that, I may have avoided it honestly, because I thought of yoga as something for other people, not me. Thankfully, I did start, and I'm so glad I did. I haven't had chronic pains since I started and it's all thanks to yoga.
I've been searching for a good video to show people when they're curious about what I do. Something that is similar to what I practice on my own, without being too long or overly difficult. I finally found something this week that I liked and I wanted to share it with you. I suggest setting aside about 30 minutes to give enough time for the session. It's about 25 minutes of stretching total with a few minutes of meditation at the end. The video is below, enjoy!