Tuesday, February 3, 2015

#30DaysofYoga Final Thoughts

As you know, my #30DaysofYoga challenge via Yoga With Adriene came to an end last week.  Since I did a halfway post, I wanted to do one last wrapup, if you want to call it that.

I can solidly say that yoga has become a part of my life the last 30 days.  What started out as being just something to challenge myself and see what I could do turned into something different.  I allowed myself to enjoy the full experience and with that, I came to realize the benefits that yoga brings to my life.  These are benefits that while some might see them as minor, I am aware that even minor benefit adds up to big reward.

I realized that I need yoga.

In this 30 day adventure I learned that my yoga practice is truly mine and something that I can grow in my own time, in my own way, letting my body lead the way.  In many ways, that's how I've treated my running over the last year after being injured.  It truly falls right into my "honor my body" philosophy.  Unlike I previously thought, yoga isn't about being perfect, competitive, "the best in the room", show offish (yeah not a real word but hey), etc.  Sure, there may be some that treat their practice in that way.  But that is for them.
Feel privileged to see a peek of my swordfish tattoo in that top pic.  I rarely show that off!

Yoga is something to strive for, be patient with, and look forward to.  I cannot claim to be great at bending myself into every pose.  It took until the final few sessions for me to be able to swing my leg from 3 legged dog the whole way forward into a lunge.  I was that stiff.  I can't do a handstand or scorpion or other flashy poses and I've only been successful at holding a crow pose a short time.  But with time, consistent effort, and patience with my body's needs... they all will come.  Kind of like that BQ I want before I'm 50.  I'll get there... it doesn't need to be forced right now.  Enjoy the whole journey, not just the end result, right?  Because once the end is here, that's it.  And now I'm going to get all nerdy and quote a character from World of Warcraft and say "Life is to be savored!".

I know in my last post about #30days I listed some changes I'd noticed in just 15 practice days.  All of those things I listed are still valid, plus some.

My flexibility is vastly improved.  As I mentioned above, no I can't do a lot of those advanced postures but I have been able to get myself into ones I'd never attempted before and I can go deeper with ones I'm more familiar with.  And, like I mentioned in my last post I really notice a difference in my running recovery.  Yes, my hip flexors are the #1 thing to nag at me, especially after a particularly hilly or long run.  I have a narrow pelvis and that comes with the territory (I didn't have 3 c-sections for nothing!).  But get me into Happy Baby pose or Cobblers pose or any of the Pigeon variations and I'm good!  It's amazing!

I am far more centered.  I'm still a Type A personality, a list maker, fact checker, etc.  BUT - I have a much easier time grounding myself and allowing myself a moment for at least a cleansing breath and thought than before.

It's given me something else to share with my kids!  It's become common practice to ask "Mom, did you learn any new yoga moves today?  Show us!" and then after a demonstration, they want to do it too!  Anything that encourages a kid to move is a win in my book.

With my buddy and his various toys in the background.

Yoga gives me another goal besides running.  I love running lovelovelovelovelove it forever, however sometimes - especially when the training gets long and hard for those goal races - it can become overwhelming... and it's during these times I need something else to focus on.  Strength training gains are out of the question during peak running season due to fatigue and injury potential but yoga?  Perfect!  Maybe by the time I'm running my 3rd 20 miler this season (yeah, I did just say 3rd) I can finally get both of my heels to touch the ground in Downward Facing Dog.  haha.  It's the little things.

It has allowed me to connect with people via Instagram & YouTube and I enjoy everyone's perspective and diversity.  I love positive and encouraging people and there is no shortage of them around.

Don't you love how my stability ball, foam roller, stick, and the plug for my space heater are all stars in most of these pics?  haha.

All in all, I'm so happy I saw the challenge through.  I've even done some form of practice consistently since it ended!  Will I do yoga every day?  I don't know.  If I'm being honest, probably not, but I would like to at least put forth the effort to attempt something on most days.  I may not even be regular about posting it to DailyMile or Endomondo.  Adriene has two other programs available now, but they are for purchase and unfortunately money is kind of tight right now... especially with all the replacements for running gadgets I've had to throw out lately.  So, I'm just going to go my own way and keep on keepin' on.

I highly recommend Adriene's videos on YouTube.  She's great.  She seems like the kind of person I would totally hang out with in real life.  Maybe that's why I connected so well to the program.

So, to wrap this up, thanks to everyone for putting up with all my pics on the daily on Instagram (another new thing for me - I have never posted that many pics of myself on the interwebs, especially in that short of a time), thanks to Yoga With Adriene, and I can't wait to see where this goes from here.

 Havin' fun with the cactus arms... Namaste!

1 comment:

  1. So awesome that you got so much out of this challenge! I used to think yoga was silly & useless until a friend who taught yoga introduced me to a style I really liked (ashtanga.) Now I usually do gentle yoga for recovery. My one injury was hip pain that I healed with yoga (yin yoga, where you hold stretches for long periods of time.) I still do it once a week for prevention & have never had another hip problem. I also love that it's similar to running in that there's always room to grow & improve. I also love that it makes me more centered, less stressed & better able to roll with things. I can't imagine not doing yoga!