I love a good thirty day challenge! In January, I committed to thirty days of yoga… In today’s post, I’ll tell you all about this thirty day yoga journey!
My first encounter with yoga was in my modern ballet classes, when I was about twelve years old. Yoga poses were incorporate at the end of class as part of the general stretching routine. More than I decade later when I moved to Australia, I rediscovered yoga and my practice evolved into something more serious. Since then, it has become an intrinsic part of my life.
However, I’ve always found it challenging to cultivate a regular yoga practice. Returning to a daily practice can be difficult when life keeps throwing shit at you – as it does. So when my friend proposed to sign up for a thirty day yoga challenge, I immediately said YES! I thought it would be the perfect nudge to get the daily yoga habit going again…. This is what happened:
Intoxicated Half Moon
The first few days were awkward, as I struggled to find the right time to hit the mat. The yoga video’s were posted slightly to late to turn them into a morning practice, so I went for the after work-practice. Every single day straight after work, I put on some comfy clothes and hopped on the mat. It was great!
And then, there was this day that I ended up in a restaurant with colleagues and lots of wine. Back home, I found myself slightly intoxicated doing all sorts of core work and moving into Half Moon pose, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t really resembling the asana as it should be. Not a success, won’t try that again.
The first move is the hardest
It wasn’t the actual practice itself that was difficult to maintain. The opposite, as soon as the class started it was amazing! I absolutely loved taking the time to practice and thoroughly enjoyed this sacred me-time moment I was creating. It was the “putting on something comfortable and rolling out my mat”-moment that brought up a lot of resistance.
Our minds are masters of deception! It says stuff like: “You’re too tired, you deserve to rest now, you can do it another time, eat something first and then lie on the couch and forget about yoga…” So I launched a counter attack. On my way home from work I’d just pumped myself up, and upped the volume of my wise mind. “I’m so doing this, it’s going to be great, you’ll love this class, you’ll be thanking yourself!” This helped tremendously, as well as rolling out my mat in advance, and having my friend telling me “Practice was AMAZING!”
Reconnecting with my body
The most beautiful gift I’ve ever received was during my Camino de Santiago. Hiking long distances taught me to reconnect with my body, and truly listen to what it has to tell me. A daily yoga practice offers you that same beautiful gift. No matter what you bring with you onto your mat, you’re moving with it. Allowing it to be there, whatever it is.
You’ll experience that you body is different every day. Every practice requires you to listen to your body as if it was the first time, and move according to it needs. Some days that might be a full on Ashtanga practice, other days it might be a moving meditation. It’ll tell you what it needs, you just have to open up and really listen.
Thirty days of yoga – what a journey! Since the challenge has come to an end, I continued practicing daily. One day I made a very conscious decision not to practice and took a rest day instead, which was exactly what I needed that day.
It’s interesting to notice you return to certain things in life. For me, yoga seems to be one of them. If you enjoy yoga but are struggling to maintain a daily practice, I’d say… commit to thirty day – It might just be what you need!