30 Days to Staying the Course

30 days ago I made a commitment to myself that I would practice yoga in the studio (at the Power Yoga Tribe) for 30 days straight. It’s not like I have never done this before. In the past, I have practiced for more than 30 days in a row but this was different.  I had been leading so many trainings throughout the summer that I had felt that my yoga practice had fallen to the wayside. I typically practice 5-7 days a week and I was practicing only 3-4 days a week. I wanted to recommit to the physical practice of yoga to see what would unfold.

Well, at first it felt great to be on my mat, moving energy and sweating out lots of toxins. It was very interesting how everyday became an exploration into what my body felt like and how the poses felt in my body. I had also started a run/walk program 3x a week about 45 days ago so my body was experiencing different sensations on different days. I noticed how I was interpreting these sensations and always trying to “figure out” what was creating the sensation (or what I was calling “pain”). Because my body felt different everyday, my yoga practice was different everyday. Some days I modified when I felt my body was wanting that and other days I amplified and played with expanding my practice to new places. It was amazing how present I became in my practice. My body told me what practice to have, not my mind or my ego. Interestingly, this morning when I went to do my run/walk, I chose to walk the whole time because my hip felt misaligned. That was the first time I modified my practice off the mat…total breakthrough in acceptance of my body.

I think the biggest lesson was the commitment I made to myself and how I was able to stay the course. At times, I definitely did not want to practice and I would feel so agitated in my mind. Other times, I was completely bored. However, everyday, I showed up for myself and I accepted whoever was there. Sometimes I was in child’s pose and other times I was floating into handstands. All of it didn’t matter. So what if I was in child’s pose or handstands. None of it mattered. It just was what it was in a given moment and all of it could change in an instant. My yoga practice did not define me anymore. It was just yoga. Isn’t it amazing how much meaning we give everything in our lives when it is all neutral really?

These past 30 days was one of the biggest gifts I have given to myself. I feel an immense sense of freedom knowing that I can make whatever I want out of any given moment. It is really always up to me how I experience life.

Namaste

 

 

Day 15

Today is Day 15 of a 30-Day Personal In-Studio Yoga Challenge. In the past, I have practiced yoga daily for several weeks on end without a break. More recently, because I was leading trainings and retreats, I had less time to practice. At the end of September, I decided to recommit to my yoga practice by practicing asana everyday in the studio (Power Yoga Tribe) for 30 days.

This journey has been incredible so far. Just like so many other 30 & 40 Day Programs, there have been days where I felt like I could do anything, and practices where I could barely bend over. It is amazing to me how present I become when I practice everyday. It’s like my practice is there to tell me what is going on with my body, mind and spirit. It is a gauge to how I am feeling physically, mentally and emotionally. It is the experience of yoga doing me instead of me doing yoga. Yoga is telling me what is best for my body in any given moment. Amazingly at the end of most practices, everything seems to be reset back to a balanced state of wholeness and completeness.

Practicing yoga daily has also become a practice in mindfulness. It allows me to focus on my breath and my body sensations as well as my emotions and thoughts. I become the witness observer of what is going on for me on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms. I basically practice “choiceless awareness” by noticing all of it and not judging it. That is the whole other piece of mindfulness- acceptance. So as I become aware of my thoughts in practice, I don’t judge them. I just allow them to be as they are and I to be exactly as I am, and I return to the point of focus which is my breath or physical sensations.

Overall, in the past 15 days I have become more present and mindful on and off the mat. I notice when I am bored, agitated, excited, and joyful and all of it is totally okay. I have found that combining a daily asana practice with a daily meditation practice has allowed more mindfulness, clarity, and balance. Excited to see what the next 15 days will bring.