My Top (Non-Trendy) Yoga Tips || Mayim Bialik

My Top (Non-Trendy) Yoga Tips || Mayim Bialik


– I do a lot of videos about things that other people like which I don’t like, such as musicals or The Little Mermaid, but here’s something I love which a lot of people hate, yoga. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Yoga is for rich California
hippies who eat tofu and granola and who can barely make
it up a flight of stairs for lack of protein and iron. Or maybe you’re thinking,
I can’t sit in a pose. I can’t sit still, it’s not for me. If you think you hate yoga,
that probably means you need it. I wasn’t always a yoga lover. I started taking yoga when I
was an undergraduate at UCLA. Yoga was completely foreign to me, but I really liked the
sophisticated and strenuous poses. They required strength and patience. And surprisingly, I liked
the calm, reassuring things that my yoga teacher would say to us. I was a high-strung type
A neuroscience student, and the notion of being calm or reassured about anything was not
part of my curriculum. But I was open to it, and it felt good. Cut to getting pregnant with my first son. I switched to prenatal yoga. It was wonderful in a different way. It was specifically designed to prepare my mind and my body for the rigors of natural labor. So I had my first son and then my second. Yoga was put not only on the back burner, but off of the oven
and out of the kitchen. As I nursed babies and
mashed up beans into paste for countless dinners for toddlers, yoga became the hot new trend. Meanwhile, I just wished that I could find some
time for myself again. Cut to getting divorced. A good friend of mine who
I spent a lot of time with during my divorce lived
near a yoga studio. I went with her one day and was amazed that my body remembered
how to do these poses. It felt so good to remember how to breathe and cultivate calm as I worked
through difficult things. But work got in the way again. This past holiday season, I reassessed my body and
my mind and, yes, my soul. I made the commitment to go back to yoga, not hot yoga, not nude
yoga, which is a thing. Don’t look it up, or maybe do. Not power yoga, which emphasizes
fat burning and cardio. Just good old-fashioned
vinyasas, hatha yoga, poses, simple yoga, quiet, calm, serenity, strength. Here are my tips for yoga success. Number one, don’t do yoga in Los Angeles. With all due respect to the
lovely ladies of Los Angeles, for someone with social
anxiety and body image issues, going into a yoga class in
Los Angeles is basically like lining yourself
up next to the fittest, most beautiful women on the planet. They wear all of the hippest yoga clothes which kind of sometimes
look like lingerie. They have their nails done. Some people come in in full
makeup, full hair done. Doesn’t work for me. I feel terrible about myself ’cause I’m constantly comparing myself to women all of the time. It’s me, it’s not them. I know I shouldn’t be focused on them. I should just be focused on myself. But guess what, I’m not perfect. Progress, not perfection. I take class outside of
Los Angeles in a suburb where there are more average-sized women, and I feel much better about
myself and the other women. Number two, don’t feel the
need to buy fancy yoga clothes unless you want to. Here’s a tip, those clothes
don’t look the same way on normal bodies as
they do on those models. They just don’t. I’ve seen those ads. Women who look like if they
never worked out another day in their life, they’d
perpetually be a size zero or all misty as if
they’ve just worked out. I don’t look like that in workout clothes. I just wear whatever I want, which is usually baggy and
comfortable, and that’s it. Oh, and P.S., I sweat like a pig. Number three, lean into discomfort. If you think you hate yoga
because it feels uncomfortable, that’s because yoga is designed to exercise physical and mental muscles that help you get through discomfort. That’s why it’s so great to
use yoga to prepare for birth. It gives your brain the experience of going through discomfort so that you know that it’s not dangerous and you can get through it. In addition, your body
contains muscular connections called fasciae which are said
to hold memory and emotion. Scientifically speaking, these
places hold a lot of tension. There’s a lot of torque, and a lot of rotation of
force happens in the fasciae. This means there’s a
powerful set of emotions that often comes up when
you activate the fasciae. This makes some people cry
or feel very emotional, and that’s okay. Yoga is a safe place for
experiencing discomfort and being supported to breathe through it. Number four, take what you like and leave the rest on the mat. You are likely gonna
hear things in yoga class that rub you the wrong way. Maybe the teacher’s too out there for you and talks all about
activating your chakras. Maybe you don’t like the way they ask you to set an intention for the class. Whatever it is, yoga is your
time to dedicate yourself to being open to new
things and trying them. Stick with what resonates with you and leave the rest on the mat. Of all the trends out there
which I don’t stand behind, yoga is one that I do stand behind. Yoga is an ancient practice of aligning your body and your mind. It encourages getting
in touch with your body from the inside out. It gently forces those of
us who claim to be too busy, too antsy, or too cerebral to open your mind to the
possibility that optimal health or even closer to optimal health lies in finding new ways to
move, new ways to be still, and endless possibility for reminders that breath is always waiting to get you through every discomfort. And now I’m going to do what we do at the end of every yoga class. Namaste. For more on yoga and how to
make it work in your life, go to groknation.com and see Suzan Colon’s
posts all about yoga. Tell us what you think of
yoga in the comments below. Do you like it, do you hate it, why? Are you open to trying something new? Let me know, see you next time.