Lately all my friends, colleagues, and family ask me what have I done, what have I changed. They cannot believe how good look now. They see a new, healthy me. Some dare to venture that I won the lottery. Others speculate got a personal trainer. A close friend even asked whether I got a lover. When I tell them what I did to look (and feel!) that good, they are shocked. They cannot believe THIS simple change could have such a big impact.
An old 30-something
The day after we realized we were expecting our first child, I was promoted in my company. Both were great news. But they also meant the end of spare time.
The baby meant sleep deprivation, baby care, diaper changes in the middle of the night, unforeseeable errands... Suddenly, all of our life revolved around our son. My wife's and my needs and wants ceased to exist.
On top of that, my promotion meant more money, but also more stress and longer work hours.
I could no longer take care of my personal health and wellbeing-- and started to pay the toll.
I was feeling constantly tired and sleepy. My body became rusted. I lost my agility and flexibility: bending over to tie the lace of my shoes was now quite a challenge. My muscles were fluffy, losing their strength, and a layer of body fat started to cover them. My belly bloated. Spending 12 hours sitting on a chair in front of a computer isn't the best for your health either, so I rapidly developed a hunchback and, because of the bad position, I started to develop back, neck and shoulder pain.
One year after our first son was born, I was suddenly feeling 20 years older.
I need a solution
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. Amelia Earhart
I needed to do something about it, but my main problem was my lack of time. After work, I wanted to go back to my wife and son as soon as possible, so I could only go to the gym on stolen lunch breaks, which was not enough for a proper workout.
I tried running in the morning before work, but I always snoozed the alarm to sleep 30 mins more.
I also had my back pain treated by a whole range of masseuses, chiropractors, physical therapists and osteopaths. None of them provided any real, long-lasting solution. The pain would diminish... only to return a few days later.
It was a colleague who first suggested that I should do Yoga. She mentioned Yoga had helped her a lot. I was in need of a solution, so I tried.
I didn't know you could sweat that much! In my first Yoga, I couldn't really understand half the things I was supposed to do and failed miserably at the other half... but I felt deeply relaxed! I loved the feeling of my body moving and flowing.
That night I slept like a baby, and when I woke up I felt completely rejuvenated. I could feel the muscles in my back, abs and limbs.
Ecstatic, I promised myself I'd attend Yoga classes at least once per week, at lunch break. But that didn't happen. I ended up going only 5 times. I was now working on a new high-profile project with a tight deadline. Business meetings and lunch with clients left me with no time.
The way of the Yogi
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door. Milton Berle
However, it was now clear to me that Yoga was what I had been needing all along. Yoga could straighten my posture, heal my pain, bring back my strength and flexibility. If I had no time to go to Yoga class, the only solution was practicing Yoga at home.
This was the key question. I decided to focus all my attention on finding out how.
During the next months, I spent any spare time searching Google for answers. There were thousands of people claiming to practice Yoga by themselves. Most of them, however, had no other commitment, practicing for hours on end. Most were young students, full-time Yoga teachers, or hipsters living an "enlightened" life in ashrams in India.
Not quite the models I needed.
Lacking a valid model, I continued to study by myself, reading tons of books and manuals, and consulting with experts. I learned the theory and philosophy behind Yoga, its different poses, pace, order...
I won't lie to you-- Countless times I felt like giving up. What a waste of my precious time! I was getting nowhere!
Then I had an epiphany.
I found the secret core components. I realized that, while most Yoga sessions at the studio are between 45 minutes and one hour and a half, I only needed 20 minutes. By combining correctly the key, most beneficial components of Yoga, I could achieve even better benefits in 20 minutes by myself, than in 90 minutes at the studio.
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. George Bernard Shaw
My wife and I were watching Game of Thrones the first time I tried my new system. My wife was sitting on the sofa. Me, on the yoga mat next to her. I felt awkward.
I continued to practice 3 times a week, 20 minutes per time, and the results were astonishing:
1. After one session: I could feel my muscles. Also, my shoulder pain had diminished.
2. After one week: I could comfortably touch my toes with my hands while keeping my legs straight and my knees locked.
2. After one month: My hunchback turned into a much more decent, upright position. I was definitely stronger and my belly smaller.
4. After 3 months: The layer of fat covering me had visibly melted away, my back muscles were stronger and my back pain had disappeared. I now looked fit and younger.
My wife noticed my change and wanted to try it, too. In two weeks, she lost 6 pounds... while watching our favorite Netflix at the same time.
Upon seeing our results, friends and family asked to try, too, and all of them reported fantastic results: one person gained muscle mass; another one could now sleep like a baby; a friend gained a great deal of flexibility and her pinching neck pain vanished.
And I still continue to practice, with even better results in strength, flexibility, body composition and pain elimination. My bones feel "aligned", and mentally I am a lot more focused and less restless. I am younger!
Just do it!
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.Tony Robbins
Most of the times, our legitimate priorities prevent us from achieving the better, healthier, younger lives we want and deserve. I started this blog for only one reason: I think my problems are very common. I wanted to share my story with the hope to inspire more people to take control of their lives.
I am not asking you to quit your job or ignore your loved ones. Far from it, I'm only asking you to take care of yourself so you can feel prouder, younger and have the energy and fitness to be a better husband, wife, mother, father, co-worker, boss... Because you know what? Time flies. If you don't take action, years will pass and your problems will only grow worse. Is that what you want?
When I started my journey, I would've loved to get guidance from someone who was already practicing Yoga at home and was enjoying the benefits. Let me be that someone for you.