Back on January 1st I had no intentions of joining any kind of challenge, mainly to avoid falling into the new year’s resolution trap. I do enjoy making a few but anyone who is a regular gym member can tell you that while it’s easy to make big promises as you’re ringing in the new year, the novelty usually (not always) wears off and people stop doing what they said they would.
It’s why I didn’t give up coffee last January 1st; instead I had been weaning myself off of it by drinking a half cup a month prior and then I finally gave it up for good probably around this day a year ago although I sadly don’t remember the exact date (a year later and still no coffee. I don’t really miss it, I rather enjoy my morning cup of green tea or special treat of Chai tea, thanks).
It’s also why I’m glad I didn’t start yoga on January 1st. I started sometime in mid-January, and again I wish I knew the precise date. However, I started it because my legs ached daily and I was wondering if it might stop that from happening AND if it might also help curb my anxiety (yes to both). It’s now been three years and I can honestly say that yoga has changed my life, so I’m glad I didn’t make it a resolution on the off chance that I might not have stuck with it.
So it was a surprise to me that I signed up for a yoga challenge that encouraged people to do some yoga every day for the month of January. I saw the invitation to join in on the 1st after I had already happened to have done some yoga, and I said, “hey, why not?!”
I’ve successfully done every day so far and I’m feeling stubborn, I mean determined and committed enough to keep it up for the remaining days. It’s not that hard to do, really, because there are no rules regarding time. I can do as little or as much as I want as long as I do something (and even just meditating counts, though I prefer to meditate after practicing some physical yoga). On busy days, such as last weekend when we had some out-of-town guests, I’ll do just 10 or 15 minutes. On other days I’ll do up to an hour of yoga with no trouble at all.
Heck, last night George was playing so I did a full two hours. I recently downloaded the two classes offered on the Strala website that Tara Stiles put together; one is called Strong, the other is Relax and both are named as such for obvious reasons. I had done and enjoyed each of them several times but really wanted to try doing one and then the other in the same session. I did the Strong class for an hour, took about seven minutes to put the kids to bed and drink some water, then I immediately did the Relax class for another hour. It’s not something I would want to do regularly because it’s definitely a lot (and yes, I’m a wee bit stiff today but nowhere near as sore as I had expected) but I would certainly do it again.
Tonight will be some gentle restorative yoga though, that’s for sure!
The challenge goes on until the end of the month but there’s already talk of a new daily yoga challenge for February. I’m debating signing up again. I haven’t decided yet because it’s definitely nice to take the day off when you really don’t feel like it but in general I’ve always found that even on the days that I think I don’t want to do it, I always feel better after I hit my mat. I’ve never once thought, “man do I ever regret doing yoga.” Who knows, I just might sign up for February after all, especially if I can just do five minutes of gentle stretching and then some meditation and log that too.
Every so often I add photos to my challenge logs. Here are this month’s #yogaeverydamnday (as the hash tag goes) photos.
Day 3 – some meditation after my practice:
Day 4 – Side plank:
Day 6: Fully relaxed into pigeon pose:
Day 7 – Half moon pose (so much easier now that I learned the correct way to do it!):
Day 13 – I didn’t practice here, but I did throw down a side crow while at Crystal Crescent Beach (the beach is awesome in the winter!):
Day 19 – Natarajasana after shoveling the front walk and steps:
Yeah. I’ll probably sign up for February too.