3 Yoga Videos For Beginners

3 Videos To Start Your Yoga Journey Off On The Right Foot

Yoga: not only a physical exercise, but a mental release that will leave you happier, healthier, and more in touch with your body.

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It's important for us to incorporate a variety of physical activities and exercises into our normal routines in order to keep our bodies strong, happy, and healthy. Many people, however, think of "exercise," solely as intense cardio or heavy weight lifting session. While those are both great forms of exercise, nobody should be so hyper-focused on the intensity of a workout as a sole criterion that they overlook the validity a slower yet equally beneficial option like yoga incorporated into our routine once in a while.

It is just as important to push our bodies as it is to give them time to rest and heal. Yoga is a way to connect your mind to your body and to explore your body's limits. It is a way to slow things down, allowing for a release of tensions from your body and mind. Studies have shown that people who practice yoga on a regular basis experience less stress, feel happier, and are more in tune with their emotions. Additionally, yoga is an easy way to increase muscle tone, strength, and flexibility. Haven't convinced you yet? Yoga can also increase energy levels, help to balance metabolism and improve circulatory and cardiovascular health.

Since I have started practicing yoga, I have seen changes in every aspect of my life. A few years ago I learned to start listening to my body when it told me it needed a break. I like to start every morning with a workout. If I wake up feeling sore and fatigued, instead of painfully pushing through an intense workout like I used to, I simply pull up one of the following videos and allow myself to heal and recharge for the day while still feeling satisfied having done something physical to start my day.

Since implementing that, not only have I noticed a change in the way my body feels, with higher energy levels and more endurance in my workouts the following days, but I also notice myself feeling more at peace throughout my days. I think straighter, and become far less irritable. My anxiety levels go down and I have more patience. I have been practicing yoga for nearly six years now, which has given me plenty of time to find some wonderful videos to use. Here are my top five, suitable for any level yogi to use with modifications to make your session more or less difficult depending on what your body needs.

1.25 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Meltdown Beginner & Intermediate

This is a video that I have used so many times that I think I have memorized every word by now. This video is part three of a three-part yoga for weight loss series. If you are a beginner, use this video but also check out the first two videos which may be helpful for you in learning some basic terminology and poses!!! I prefer the third video greatly over the other two but please feel free to try the others as well.

First of all, it's short (25 minutes) so you can squeeze it in at any time of the day, whether it is a quick morning session or a mental break between class. It is very mild and by far the least difficult of the three videos I will share, however you will still feel a nice burn in your legs and a good full body stretch. I also absolutely love the instructor, she is happy and fun to listen to, even after a hundred times listening! Trust me you will use this video all the time.

2. Full Body Flow - Intermediate Vinyasa Flow Yoga Workout

This video says it is an intermediate level, and you will notice that it is slightly more challenging than the first video I shared if you end up trying them both. That being said, it includes options for modification which allow any level of practices to successfully complete. In this video, you will be doing a series of Vinyasa Flows which is a great way to bring your body into a rhythm. It is also a great way to keep your muscles feeling balanced and to bring a sense of symmetry into your workout. You can expect everything you do on one side to be repeated exactly the same on the second side.

This video will test your strength and flexibility, and allow you to reach full relaxation and focus in a short 35 minute time spans.

3. Fluid Flow Intermediate/Challenging Yoga Class

Leigh Butler is an incredibly talented yoga instructor. Of all the videos I have shared with you in this post, this video will be the most challenging. I still encourage you to try it as there are modifications throughout the video which allow you to take it easier or more difficult variations on the poses.

This is also a longer video, it is a full hour long practice. When going into this workout you should expect to challenge your body. It will be a challenge of strength and flexibility that will leave you feeling energized and free of any tightness throughout the rest of your day. If at any point in the video something is too hard, just take a break and what feels good for your body until you are able to jump back in. Good luck!

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Real Benefits Of Practicing Yoga

Find your inner zen.

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I have always been an advocate for yoga. It's an escape from the everyday stresses of college, work, or just life in general. There are many benefits to practicing yoga, but here's a list of five of them!

1. Flexibility

The more you practice yoga, the more flexible you will become. Stretching your body in new ways will allow it to move in new ways. Watch out because you'll become the next human pretzel!

2. Strength

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Who would've known that the more you practice yoga, the stronger you will become? Building strength is one of the key elements of yoga. Yoga requires your arms, legs, and body as a whole to be pushed to the limit, which in turn makes you even stronger.

3. Mental health

Yoga requires you to create harmony between your body and your mind. Mental health improves tremendously after doing yoga because of this harmony. It helps to reduce stress and improve mental clarity, which all in all improves your mental health.

4. Posture

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Staying on a continuous schedule of yoga can help improve your posture tremendously. You won't have as much back pain, and you'll have more motivation to accomplish more tasks!

5. Abs and obliques

Yes, as crazy as it sounds, you can get abs from doing yoga. Some yoga positions make you work your abs and obliques, which help make your abs look more like the ones above!

To find a place to do yoga, check out gyms and rec centers near you. Also, you can do yoga in your own home! There are many Youtube channels and websites that have yoga tips and tricks, and some that have full-length classes online! Some of my favorites are "Yoga With Adrienne" and "PopSugar Fitness."

Happy yoga-ing!!

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