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Can YOGA change your life?

Are you a fitness queen? Do you enjoy pumping the iron? Maybe you’d rather cozy up on the couch, enjoy a good book, or do some journaling. Maybe you actually run for the hills when you hear the word cardio? (pun intended;) No matter who you are, or what you enjoy doing, we all like to clear our minds. Many of us have a special hobby we enjoy that really allows us to escape. Well, what if there was a thing you could do to get in a really good workout, but clear your mind and relax at the same time…oh wait…THERE IS! YOGA!

Since the beginning of the spring semester, I began doing 20 minutes of yoga each morning before class. I have NEVER done yoga before this semester. I have always been too intimidated to try. But wow, I wish I tried it out earlier! I absolutely love it! I downloaded a free app called “Lotus Yoga.” I just tap one of the videos on my phone, lay out my yoga mat, and go for it. The lady on the video tells me just what to do! After just 3 days of doing morning yoga, I had noticed a HUGE difference in my day. I am here to share with you the instant, life-changing benefits of 20 minute morning (or evening) yoga.

Stress Reduction

This was huge for me. I am the kind of person who gets stressed out pretty easily. Whether it’s homework, exams, and just normal anxiety…I just stress myself out over little things. Doing 20 minutes of yoga in the morning has COMPLETELY lowered my stress. I feel so relaxed and much more capable of completing my tasks.

Mental Clarity

Yoga has given me amazing mental clarity. When I do yoga in the morning, my mind is set free. It feels like I am giving my brain a reset. All the yucky stuff from the day before that clouds my brain is released. I feel so refreshed and my mind thinks so much more clearly. I kid you not…I remember things more since I began doing yoga.

Reduced lower back pain

I have always had a pretty weak back. My back used to hurt all…the…time…Until I started doing yoga I never realized how much tension I held in my lower back. Doing yoga has allowed me to stretch out the muscles in my back that I didn’t even know existed. Let me tell you…it feels AMAZING.

An overall happier/ more joyful mood

I would be lying if I said starting yoga hasn’t made me a happier, more joyful person. Because it has! My mind is free, I am working my muscles, becoming stronger, and creating peace in my heart and mind. The happiness I feel during yoga carries throughout my entire day. It’s just so wonderful!

Positive body image

Body image has always been a bit of a struggle for me. When I don’t workout I feel bad about my body…and when I do workout I just compare myself to the other girls working out. With yoga, I am working out, taking great care of my body, and I don’t compare myself to anyone because my mind is free from those thoughts. Yoga has allowed me to feel more confident in my own skin. I have gratitude for the strong, healthy, unique body I have been given.

I hope you try yoga too! I’m serious just 20 minutes…Download Lotus Yoga, stream a video, and start yoga-ing! I have a feeling you will love it and love all of the life-changing benefits. So to answer the title question, “Can YOGA change your life?” The answer is yes! It certainly can. You just have to be willing to give it a try:)

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Toxic Minimalism

One of my favorite tags on Pinterest for a very long time was the “simplicity” tag. It was filled with useful monthly decluttering challenges, stark Scandinavian interiors, and sweet quotes. Recently, while scouring the tag for inspiration for last week’s post, I realized the tag has become cluttered with angry quotes, “stuff shaming” articles, and “brutally honest” callout posts.

There are a ton of niche communities online, covering everything from slime to buying houses. In all of these little communities, at a certain point, they become big enough to have drama, to create “standards” and gateways to entry that prevent newer members to break into the culture. It doesn’t matter what the community is, toxicity moves in.

Toxicity comes in many forms. It can be drama, it can be standards. The kind that I have seen come into the minimalist community has been pressure to do more and beat out all the others.

Get rid of more things.

Make your walls more barren.

Declutter until you have only the absolute essentials, and then cull that list down.

Remove everything that is sentimental from your life.

Shame others who don’t embrace the “movement”.

It’s an easy trap to fall into. When you find a lifestyle choice, it’s like getting a new haircut; you want everyone to notice, and you want to tell anyone who doesn’t notice about it. You want to tell everyone about the hairdresser who did your hair. You want to take new pictures of yourself with the hair and change all of your social medias to match it.

Okay, it’s a convoluted analogy. But it’s the best way that I can explain what the effect of all consuming minimalism looks like. It looks like a tag all filled with negativity. It looks like minimalism becoming unwelcoming.

Let’s face it, while internet drama is ridiculous, it actually consumes some peoples’ lives. It’s more than just words on a screen, it changes the way people live. There are users who follow the minimalist tag through all of the phases and forms, and this kind of toxicity makes it hard for them to keep up.

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