Shitters! Hi! Writing to you all genuinely makes me so happy and so excited, which is why I always start this out the same way, but I’ll be honest with you—it’s a tough balance when the state of the world is decidedly less happy. I hope you’re all holding up and taking care of yourselves, I hope you’re all vaxxed and/or getting there, and I hope you are not in the throes of an existential crisis (though if you are, we can wait it out together).
A few of you know this already, but after 200 hours spent on Zoom/this trusty mat over the past few months, I am officially certified to teach yoga! Woo! I learned a TON during teacher training, and if you’ve been toying with the idea of doing it one day, I hiiiiighly recommend. I did mine virtually through Shakti Power Yoga, the coolest little studio in Nashville/online.
So much of what we learned were things I WISH I had known as a person practicing yoga/as a person in general. And even if you’re not big into yoga, I hope you don’t tune out because a) it might not be what you think it is and b) there’s a ton of Shit I Bought And Liked™ at the end of this letter. One of the biggest realizations I had is that “doing yoga” has very little do with what you’re physically doing (though you certainly can make a workout out of it). If your mind is present where you are, congrats—you’re doing yoga! Doesn’t matter what you’re doing on your mat. You don’t even have to be on one. You could be present, and therefore in the practice of yoga, right now while reading this! By that logic, this counts as a class and you owe me $10.
That concept (the presence, not the Venmo request) is definitely not the easiest thing in the world to put into practice, especially if your brain has the fun habit of bombarding you with unproductive thoughts when need them the least. But it’s something that an intentional practice like yoga or meditation can help you grow and apply elsewhere.
I went into the training with a few different ideas of what I wanted out of it. I mostly wanted to learn, but I had a hunch that I might be into teaching. And I was right—I love sharing the stuff I learn with people, which I suppose checks out because I do that here all the time. Right now I’ve just been teaching friends, but who knows—maybe I’ll open it up to the virtual world (or at least share my Justin Bieber yoga playlist). Even if you’re not quite in the market for a teacher training, a couple hundred hours later I have racked up a few yoga-related recs that are very worth sharing:
- First, Shakti Power Yoga is a GREAT place to do virtual classes/practice in-person if you’re in Nashville. They do a $30 for 30 day special for newcomers, and have classes that work for most schedules even if you’re not on Central time. Murn, Lauren, Jess, and Kelly are fantastic teachers, and I’m grateful that I got to learn from them.
- You’ve heard me say it before, but the alo Warrior Mat is the mat to end all mats. It’s thick, supportive, and grippy and good for all kinds of movement (pilates, yoga, HIIT, etc.). A bunch of you who purchased the first time I wrote about it have raved about it since (it even made it on set in the Dominican Republic with my friend Juliet), so trust that this will be money well spent.
- Underrated, but having a Manduka Cork Block or two on hand for at-home yoga is a game changer. The day you realize that you can get more out of yoga when you use a prop or take a modification even if you might not NEED to, your practice will change and so will your life. I prefer cork over the foam versions because they’re a little more solid/supportive.
- As far as attire goes, I have a few new obsessions to share. First are Vuori’s joggers. This is some shit I tried after eight months of Instagram ads (is this a new series for us??) plus some highly enthusiastic praise from my friend Dana and LOVED. They’re comfy enough to lounge in, sweat-friendly enough to work out in, and are a step up from leggings or sweatpants when it comes to leaving the home. Who knew there was something at the center of this incredibly specific Venn Diagram!! I am also newly obsessed with Beyond Yoga’s Spacedye (on sale thanks to the Shopbop gods). I held out for months thinking they couldn’t possibly be worth the hype, but alas, some things really are.
- And last but not least, if you’re looking for some reading, I think about the spiritual principles of yoga I learned about in this book truly every single day.
THAT’S A LOT OF YOGA. Enjoy, my sweet shitters. And if you have any questions/comments/thoughts (yoga-related or not), I am always an email or DM slide away! In the meantime, if any of you have opinions on the Ilia Skin Tint (is it worth the hype, will it make me break out, etc.), please let me know. I am very seriously weighing whether it should be first in the “Shit I Tried Because of Aggressive Instagram Ads” series.