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.
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.
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.
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.