As my own little play on March Madness I invited myself to complete a 30 day Yoga Challenge. I have sporadically practiced yoga for the last 2 years and I figured 30 days was long enough to establish a new habitat if I loved practicing again and short enough to survive if I hated it. Also, an embarrassing admission, I thought there were only 30 days in March when I named my challenge.
Why do I practice yoga?
The simple answer is because yoga makes me feel good. I feel changes in my core strength, flexibility, and posture when I practice regularly.
Why did I decide to do a 30 day Yoga Challenge?
How did I do?
What did I learn?
- I learned to respect my physical body more. Instead of being hard on myself for what I cannot do, I celebrate what my body can do.
- I learned to appreciate my physical body more. I see the benefits of being long limbed and small breasted when pretzeling into poses like bird of paradise (see sequence above).
- I learned to listen to my physical body more. I will happily sit out or modify a pose that doesn’t feel right for me.
- I learned to stop comparing myself to others. Ok, I am still working on this one. I now try to reframe my observations in a positive way that doesn’t require any feelings of shortcoming.
- I learned that I like more than just yoga. I experimented with belly dancing, laughter yoga, and two types of ecstatic dance and much to my surprise, as I am one who likes to keep things bottled up inside, I really connected to the ecstatic dance classes.
- I learned to give yoga teachers a second try. Most often I am the reason that I don’t enjoy a class.
- I learned that motivation comes in many different forms. Sometimes motivation comes in the form of neon tie-dye yoga leggings. They are awesome!
- I learned that the benefits of yoga and ecstatic dance are not just limited to the yogi/dancer. The openness and connections I discover during class are also beneficial when applied to my marriage.
- I learned that I am hooked. I love feeling like jelly after a good Hatha class and I love being a part of a yoga community, where it is not uncommon for someone you met once to come up and give you a huge hug the next time you see them.
How do I feel?
Cost: Yoga classes are generally $7-9 per 90 minute class and to save money I bought 5 or 10 class passes. Classes alone cost me $190 for the month and I spent another $30 on tye-dye yoga leggings.
I plan to attend a Hatha Yoga training in India this summer to deepen my knowledge and understanding of Hatha Yoga.
This challenge was a great reminder to listen to my body and as long as my body keeps enjoying yoga I will keep practicing. I look forward to further improving my physical fitness, my spiritual health, my self image, and my marriage through practicing yoga and ecstatic dance.