40 Days of Yoga – round 2 complete

Done. Another 40 days on the mat, every day on the mat, every day a little time to breathe, to connect, to forget, to remember.

I actually finished a week or so ago, but haven’t had a chance to think about it until now. My hubs has been away for the past eight long days, and I haven’t been on the mat at all during that time, and I’ve missed it.

Like the first time, I went through stages of mat-resistance, where the last thing I wanted was to do yoga, but I pushed through, and the desire to be on the mat always came back. I found my flexibility and strength came back quickly too, which gave me that extra motivation when I needed it most.

I did fall off the wagon when it came to posting photos on Instagram though…there are only so many yoga-selfies that one can take without hurting oneself!

For now, I’m looking forward to starting a new yoga class this week, and will aim to practise at home at least twice a week; I do find daily is a stretch (pardon the pun) at the moment when my boys are so little, but I could manage a couple of times a week until I feel like it’s time to do another 40 Days.

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Progress Report: 40 Days of Yoga 2

I’m almost halfway through this round of 40 Days of Yoga – it’s going much faster than the first round, and I’m enjoying it much, much more. I have just come out of a few days of mat-resistance, but on each of those days, I still practised and allowed myself to not feel guilty about taking it easy. And I came out of that yoga-funk, and am back to loving it.

Plank1 Plank2 I’ve found my flexibility and strength have returned very quickly, and it’s very easy to over-extend myself…I have to remember that it’s been a good long while since I last practised so regularly, there’s no one here to adjust my form, and throwing myself straight back into intermediate level poses might not always be the best idea.

YogaKnowing that I’m doing this alongside Cat makes it even more fun, and seeing her progress on Instagram is great inspiration; knowing I’d be letting someone else down if I miss a day is all the extra motivation I need.

Forty Days of Yoga – Round 2

It’s been a long, long time since I was last on my yoga mat, and for a long, long time I’ve been telling myself I would do another 40 days, to get myself back into the groove.

When I mentioned it briefly last week, Cat said she was keen to join me, and so as of yesterday…we’re on the mat for 40 days. We’ll be documenting our journeys on Instagram, and blogging, and there are another two lovelies (that I know of!) who are also playing along.

This time, we’ve made our own rules – we’re sticking to doing 40 days in a row, back to day one if you miss a day, but we’re being more flexible about the type of practise that counts (DVDs, apps, classes), which will make it more achievable for those not comfortable with a self-led practise.

I started strong, with a 60 minutes practise that reminded me why I do yoga, and in contrast to the first round, I was excited about getting back on my mat. Here’s hoping that enthusiasm will continue!

Forty Days of Yoga

Done. Just like that.

40 days. Every day – or night – on the mat, stretching and flexing, contorting myself into poses I thought my body would have forgotten.

The first few days were hard, physically, but I was amazed at how quickly my body remembered each pose, and how fluidly I seemed to move beyond my initial comfort zone.

It wasn’t always easy, getting on the mat every day. Some days, I was tired and I just did not want to be there. I wanted to pour a glass of wine and snuggle on the couch with my husband, watching mindless television and eating chocolate.

But I did it. Even if those sessions were shorter or gentler, I did it. The important thing for me was to still get on the mat, to do what I felt I needed, and to not beat myself up if my practise wasn’t very strong.

Some days, I was champing at the bit for my babies to go to bed so I could get on the mat. Those were the sessions that were the most energetic, the strongest and the most focussed. The sessions where I knew I could push myself just a little further.

Now that my 40 days are over, I’m having a few days off. I don’t think I’ll go for another 40 days in a row without a break, but I will continue to make getting onto my mat a regular part of my week. I feel too good to not carry on – mentally and physically. I’m regaining the tone I lost from my arms and legs, and I just feel stronger.

I’d like to do five days a week if I can, which gives me the flexibility to have a glass of wine or blob on the couch or just do something else if I feel like it. But I will keep up a home practise, because I have loved it more than I thought possible.

(If you’re on Instagram, you can see my yoga journey in pictures here)

Musings on my Yoga Mission

Today is Day 8 of my Forty Days of Yoga.

I was already feeling pretty good about how I was going, but now I have extra motivation: my friend with MS.

She’s trying to lose a little weight and keep herself fit and healthy, but has lost the motivation. Her partner is less-than-supportive, and as we were talking about what she could do, I mentioned Forty Days of Yoga and how one of my main allies is Tall. He is my motivator, my (nice) bully, and my supporter, all rolled into one. She sighed and said, “I need someone like you to motivate me,” and immediately, I responded, “I can do that for you.”

We sat down and worked out an exercise schedule for her (she likes to have things planned), and I was able to apply the Forty Days of Yoga principles to her chosen form of exercise. She’s starting today, and my role is to send her a text every time I get onto my mat; we’re going to remind each other, and be accountable to someone other than ourselves and our partners, which is an important part of this process. We all know that we can fool and justify to ourselves, but no one wants to let someone else down!

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Part of the challenge is also to keep a journal. It’s a way of recording how I feel each day when I get on the mat, what I do when I’m there, and anything else that is pertinent to the whole challenge. Rather than bore you all with posting daily updates, I’ve added a page up there ^^^; if you want to follow along and see how I’m doing, I’ll be updating it regularly.

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I’ve also been posting a daily photo to Instagram, which I may or may not continue, depending on how many postures I can take photos of! As I go on, I should be able to contort myself into some strange shapes… 🙂

Forty Days of Yoga

I haven’t been to a yoga class or done any serious yoga since I was about 22 weeks pregnant with Pickle. That was over a year ago, and I miss it. So much.

I miss the way it makes me feel physically: strong, flexible, toned, fit.

I miss the way it makes me feel mentally: calm, relaxed, capable, sharp.

I miss the way it makes me feel emotionally: in-tune, settled, balanced.

I miss the way it makes me feel as a parent: like I can cope with all the new challenges thrown at me daily. The way it makes me strong enough to stop, breathe, think, listen, respond. Not shout and react, as I’m doing all too often right now.

At the moment, I feel like something essentially me is missing, like I’m not operating at 100%. Part of that is tiredness, and breastfeeding a hungry 10-month-old, but when I do yoga, none of that is an issue.

I’d like to go back to classes, but they’re not cheap, and are often on at awkward times. I have DVDs, but I find them quite distracting when my pace of breathing through a sequence of asanas is slower/faster than theirs. I’ve been meaning to start a home practise for months, but always felt that I didn’t have the knowledge, or the discipline, or the time to do it. But the thing is, an internal practise (ie: one led by me) is the only way I can overcome the barriers my mind sets for me; an external practise (ie: in a class or following a DVD) only serves to cover up those mental barriers for a while.

IMG_3560When I heard of Forty Days of Yoga, I knew that if any book could get me out of that mindset, this would be the one. A good friend of mine knows the author, and she said it was likely to be a really good book.

What an understatement.

The book is amazing. Inspiring. Encouraging. From the first page I was hooked. I was nodding silently in agreement with everything she was saying. I felt as though she was talking directly to me. Everything she described, the reasons why people don’t start a home practise, the reasons why they should…it all made sense.

So here I am, about to embark on my forty days of yoga. And then, hopefully, I’ll choose to do another forty days…and another, and another, until it’s no longer a choice…it just is.

IMG_9961The rules are simple: miss a day, and you start back at day one.

That’s motivation enough in itself, but if I feel my resolve start to falter, I’ll just look at my husband and our boys. This is for me and it’s for the three of them. They are all the inspiration and motivation I should need.

(The images here have nothing much to do with yoga…they just serve as a reminder about beauty in the small things around us x)