Today was the 30th and final day of my Yoga Challenge. I managed to practice yoga for a minimum of 15 minutes every day during the challenge. Today I celebrated the last day by taking a 90 minute vinyasa class at Yoga Central, with Lisa, a new instructor who just completed her 200 hour teacher training. If today was any indication, she’s going to do just fine. Her class was tough, her instruction clear for the most part, and I loved her flow. She’s a great addition to the Yo C.
Here are some random thoughts that I have about completing my yoga challenge:
Some days I didn’t want to practice, but I made myself, knowing that I only had to do 10 minutes. I always did more than that, and I was always so happy that I’d pushed myself to do it.
Sometimes yoga is hard. So is life.
Doing the best you can at something is all you can expect from yourself (or anybody else). You don’t have to be perfect to be successful, and it doesn’t matter what the person on the next mat is doing.
I got a hug from April when I told her it was day 30. It made my day.
Perhaps the biggest benefit has been learning to breathe. I use yoga breathing in stressful situations and it calms and centers me.
I love my yoga studio.
I also love the audio classes from YogaDownload.com. There are a huge variety of class styles, the instruction is clear and concise, and you also receive a pose guide. They have videos too, but I prefer listening to my class so I can focus on the movement without having to look at a screen.
Yoga at the gym varies wildly, depending on the instructor. Some stay on their mat, doing their own practice, while others actually teach.
In class today, I realized how strong I am getting. While I am limited by a bad knee, I can do most strength poses (I can even hover in chaturanga for a few breaths!)
I wrote this haiku for a blogging assignment a few months back. I like it, so I’m re-posting it here:
I flow with Yoga
Muscles long, core strong, soul calm
I also realized that the flexibility poses are still challenging, although I have improved immensely. My back and hamstrings are tight, but my heels are getting closer to the ground in Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog).
I love Bakasana (crow pose)! Today I held the pose for about 20 seconds (at least it seemed that long), my best ever. Yesterday was my first attempt at Parsva Bakasana (side crow pose). While I didn’t get my feet off the ground, I finally have an understanding of how to even get in the correct position for the pose. And that is huge!
My balance was already pretty good because I practice it frequently, but it has improved in the last month. At home I lay my yoga mat on top of the carpet, which adds an extra challenge to balance poses.
I was able to to a tripod headstand the other day without toppling over. I tried it again today in class and held it a little longer (I still need something behind me for security).
I don’t think I could ever do Bikram. I get too hot in a warm-ish room. I try to get to class early so I can grab a spot under the fans.
Savasana is the most important pose. I could qualify that, but I won’t. You can discuss below if you’d like.
I don’t use the Sanskrit names to show off, I just want to learn the correct terms. I’m a teacher and a student at heart and this is important to me.
My goal in doing this challenge was to bring yoga back into my life and to make it a regular part of my fitness program. I have done that over the last 30 days and I will continue to make yoga practice a priority. I have achieved so many benefits from this challenge and I don’t want to let that go. While I probably won’t continue to practice daily, I plan to do some yoga on most days of the week, even if it is just a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations), or a relaxing restorative class. It is all good.