having an instructor or personal trainer is a beautiful thing when it comes to exercise. they push you when you need pushing, correct you when you need correcting, and force you to do what you need to do, not what you want to do. unfortunately, not everybody can afford a personal trainer, or even just to take classes.

take me, for instance.

i started out taking Yoga classes at the Y… but $90 a month for 1 Yoga class a week and not much else was just not worth it. we are saving our money right now to get ourselves out of debt, so i am officially my own personal trainer and instructor. i push myself when i think i need pushing, and i correct myself when i think i need correcting.

but how do i know when i need correcting?

well, i don’t.

up until last week, i thought i was doing it properly. i’d go through my chosen Sun Salutation every time i finished my cardio, and i felt a sense of satisfaction at having stretched out and worked my muscles.

the other day, i finished the p90x cardio dvd, turned the tv off, put on the radio, and began my Vinyasa.

as i was settling into my Warrior II pose, i caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection in the television set. it was atrocious. my legs weren’t nearly far enough apart, the neat right angle i thought my front leg was in was borderline straight, and i needed to bring my seat much closet to the ground. i adjusted until i looked correct, but it hurt. i was stretching muscles that i’d never stretch before because i hadn’t been doing it right.

i was devastated. i know you may think i’m exaggerating a little bit, but it really did have a huge impact on me. i thought i was doing so well. i thought i would be able to walk into an actual Yoga class (once we get ourselves out of debt and can budget for it again) and be proud of how far i’d come all by myself.

not so much.

that day, i learned that one very important piece of equipment in the home workout room, is a mirror. if you can swing getting a mirror to put in the area where you normally do your exercises, i highly suggest it. it will let you know if you need to straighten your arms more, deepen your stance, or raise your legs just a tad more. it will let you know if you’re bending too far or too little. most importantly- it gives you that third person perspective that you’re missing by not having an outside instructor. you can have the most expensive yoga mats, blocks and weights that money can buy, but if you’re doing the moves wrong and don’t even realize it- you aren’t going to go nearly as far as you could.

at the moment i can’t install a mirror anywhere in my house. we’re renting with the hopes to buy soon, but until we actually have a home we own i won’t be putting in something as large as a mirror. once we own a home, i’ll install some sort of mirror system in our workout area, even if i have to buy a bunch of cheap vanity mirrors and glue them to the wall like a bunch of puzzle pieces.

i feel like i’m starting all over again at beginner’s yoga, and it kind of sucks.


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