This post is sponsored by FAGE, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
During the first weekend of the 200-hour yoga teacher training that I am leading this spring/summer, we spent time sharing how we got started with yoga and what “hooked” us. I always enjoy hearing all of the various ways that people made their way to the practice and what keeps them coming back to the mat.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOGA
My start with yoga coincided with starting to train for longer distance races like half and full marathons. Any yoga that I practiced was out of a feeling of obligation that it was something that I “should” do as a runner who had a propensity towards injury. I spent four years in this very sporadic, on and off relationship with yoga. When I look back at my mindset during this time of life, it was very much “more is more.” Why go to yoga or go on a walk when I could run or take BodyPump? Those were “real” workouts.
(All photos Deeana Kourtney Photo)
It wasn’t until I moved to Charlotte in 2009 that I truly fell in love with the practice in hot power yoga classes at Charlotte Yoga. It feels crazy to bring that full circle 10 years later and to be leading their yoga teacher training!
Yoga became so much more than a way to counter all the miles I was running and strength classes that I was teaching. I wanted to be on my mat more than I had ever wanted to do any other workout in my life. It’s like I was coming alive in ways that I never had before and feeling things that I had never felt before.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH ME
Through the last 10 years of regular practice, the greatest gift that yoga has given me is a deeper, more loving relationship with myself. When I practice, it’s an expression of love towards my body. My practice has benefited my life in so many incredible ways, one of which is becoming more loving, open-hearted person off of the mat. I know myself a whole heck of a lot better than I knew that 22 year old girl who started training for half marathons and bumbling through yoga practices after college.
When I teach, I often speak to my students around the idea of practicing from a place of celebration and love for ourselves, our bodies and the possibilities for our lives. It’s too easy to get in that cycle of doing yoga (or any workout) because of the “should” mentality, or in punishment for something we have (or have not) done. It took me a long time to make that shift and it’s something that I still have to check myself on regularly. I believe in intuitive movement as much as intuitive eating. Moving and eating should both be done out of love for ourselves and not shame or punishment. <3
So I wanted to offer a gift to you guys today, a yoga practice focused on self-love, acceptance and celebration of who you are and where you are right now.
You can roll a mat out and do this one at home. Maybe with a cute audience. 😉 This flow is all about celebrating strength and slowing down your workouts if you’re an avid runner/HIIT workout-er and slowing down your yoga practice if you love a strong power flow. Embracing slowing down and that idea that sometimes “less is more” has been one of the greatest lessons of motherhood for me, in life and on my mat! This is a stretchy slow power flow that I hope will leave you feeling open in not just your body but your heart and mind. NOTE: I definitely broke a sweat in the filming of this yoga practice so remember. Slow does not always mean easy!
LOVE YOURSELF SLOW POWER FLOW
FALLING IN LOVE WITH FAGE
Another thing that we talked about in teacher training on our first weekend is how once you start waking up to how good you can feel in your own body, you start to make choices off the mat that line up with that. That can be everything from the people you surround yourself with to how you cope with stress to the foods that you eat.
After practice, I find myself naturally leaning towards good food choices. One that I LOVE is FAGE Greek yogurt.
FAGE Total Split Cups are so easy to throw in my bag for a refreshing, protein-dish, delicious post-practice or post-teaching snack. This 5% mango split cup features the creamiest whole milk yogurt alongside sweet, tropical mango. One mango split cup as 150 calories, 11 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein. I very much appreciate that FAGE Total Split Cups have a much lower sugar content than many other brands, along with no artificial sweeteners. I can’t stand them!
Another thing that I just learned about FAGE and love? FAGE has been made by the same Greek family for nearly a century and is still family-owned! They are committed to using the freshest, best milk from cows that have been raised on a diet of non-GMO feed. You can find FAGE in three milk fat varieties, 0%, 2% and 5%. You guys know I am partial to the 5% but they are all great!
I hope that you’ll slow down and show yourself some love by doing my yoga flow!
I would love to hear what makes you feel best in your body and like you are expressing self-love…whether that’s how you move, the foods you eat or something else!