Friday, January 16, 2015

#30DaysOfYoga - The Halfway Point

Today is day 15 of #30DaysofYoga with Yoga with Adriene!  Can't believe it!

This has been a fantastic learning experience so far for me in both body and mind.  Officially the longest stretch I've even done any kind of yoga, one thing I realize is that I've always given up on it too soon.  Adriene is constantly saying "Find What Feels Good". She's encouraging different options for poses, so you can stay in the moment and with the breath and not worry about twisting yourself into some crazy pose and focusing on how uncomfortable you are.  In my past experiences with yoga, I've always felt that if I'm not spot on with the instructor or the other people then I'm doing it wrong.  I'd never realized that I could put my knee down there or my arms/hand differently there or -gasp- I can even take a break if I need to and stay in extended Child's pose or head out early to shavasana if that's what I need.  So previously, I'd gotten very frustrated with yoga practices and have only touched upon it when I felt like I needed a stretch.

Something that really stuck with me is the phrase "You are the Yoga".  Your body is right where it needs to be at this time and space in your practice.  By becoming aware of your breath and actively letting go of other distractions you can really allow your body to do what it wants and needs to do.  Yoga isn't about mirroring a specific pose or causing yourself discomfort in the name of flexibility but an awareness of self.  This isn't always easy, but it does have great benefits when you allow yourself to find what feels good.  I also appreciate Adriene's encouragement to find movement in the poses - you don't need to be stiff as a board in Downward Dog or plank or any other pose for long periods of time.  I enjoy being able to "give a little love to the places that need it today", as she says.

I wouldn't say that I'm 100% with everything or that I'm even really good at yoga.  But, that being said, in the thought of "you are where you need to be" is there even a such thing as being "good" at yoga?  If it's a personal practice then you're always doing it right... right?

In just 15 days:
1. I have become noticeably more flexible.  I even commented to my husband yesterday that this is allowing me to go deeper into my standard running stretch routine I do after every run... which therefore helps my running!
2. My mind is more clear.  By letting myself have these moments every day to discard the bad and focus on breathing in some good I've been able to mentally process some things easier than usual.
3.  A lot of my standard aches and fatigue that come with starting a new training plan are gone.
4.  By practicing the breathing I do on the mat elsewhere I've been able to calm myself in situations where I'd go flying off the handle otherwise.
5.  I've come to look forward to the yoga as a part of my day to day.  Even in the middle of a hard run I tell myself that once I'm done with this I can get home and work it out on the mat.  It's motivating!

There are more positive things, but those are the top 5 I'll list today.  I'm really excited to see what the second half of this journey has in store.




3 comments:

  1. Glad you are finding the challenge so beneficial! I did a challenge 2 years ago & found it so elightening, so I'm also doing another 30-day challenge but just on my own. Yoga is one of those things that usually gets cut out first because of time, but I always feel so good when I make time for it. I truly thinks it makes me a better person--less stressed, more calm, more able to be in the present.

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    1. You summed it up perfectly in that last sentence. I'm much better for it. I don't know if I can commit to practicing every single day once these 30 days are over, but I think even a single pose (or two) and clearing my head is doable on the busiest and most tired of days.

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  2. Great to know about your learning experience. You have shared great postures of yoga workout. I wish I can follow these great postures. I really want to make my body flexible as yours, and want to lose belly fat so that I can wear any dress without any second thought in my mind.

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