I am really glad I did the 30 day yoga challenge, hosted by Inner Evolution Yoga. I started thinking about the challenge in the middle of February, and was debating back and forth whether or not to participate, because work had been pretty hectic during the last week of February. I am so glad I decided to join the challenge. It seems like once I made up my mind about it, everything fell into place. I definitely learned that when I made yoga a priority everyday, it would somehow fit in my schedule. I often find myself creating reasons why I cannot do yoga, in reality, it can usually be squeezed somewhere in there, in some form.
The numbers breakdown:
- 7 home practices
- 23 practices at a yoga studio
- 1 class at another studio
- 2 workshops attended
- 6 restorative practices
- 6 yin practices
- 10 hot yoga classes (level 1-2)
- 2 Beginner’s classes
- 3 Community classes
- 1 Partner class
- 4 pounds lost
The main thing I learned from this challenge was how much I actually need Yin slow, deep stretch classes and Restorative yoga classes. Often times, I would know that on a certain day, a vigorous, flow class was not what my body needed. I would just stay home instead, to “rest.” However, through this challenge, I realized how beneficial it was to still make time for myself and find the benefits in devoting time to stretching, breathing, relaxing and just being. It definitely made a difference in how I handled stress. I felt much more calm and centered.
One of my favorite classes was the Friday night Candlelight Restorative class. I found this to be such a nice way to let the week melt away. It was healthier than relaxing with a bottle of wine (which is how I used to unwind from my week), although I still reserve the right to do that, once in a while.
The slow, deep stretch classes also helped me open up more in my hips and find freedom in my back. It definitely helped to have those classes to balance out the running I have been doing, to train for the upcoming half-marathon.
I still enjoy the challenge of a flow class, and I have found so much more connection to my mind and body in those classes, but that is not ALL yoga is about for me, anymore. There will always be that part of it, for me, but I am fortunate to be discovering SO much more and I think it is fascinating how I will never stop learning or growing in my practice.
This month I also taught more classes than I ever did before. I generally teach one class per week, but I subbed quite a few classes this month. I was worried that this may drain me or burn me out of the challenge faster. I found the opposite to be true. I found teaching re-energized! There were a few classes I felt tired at the beginning, but by the half-way point, I was completely recharged and felt better when finished. It was such a cool experience to teach different types of classes, at different times.
I have decided to complete another 30 days! I am committing to do some form of yoga everyday for the month of April. I felt so many benefits in March, and I am not ready to stop!
April gets a little more hectic with work, again, so I will probably be doing a lot more home practices using my new best friend, YogaGlo. I am seriously in love with this site. I love the variety of classes, and how you can select the length of class or teacher of your choice. I kicked off the first day of April with a delicious, Restorative at home class, and plan to keep it up each day of this month.
I look forward to what these next 30 days will bring!