31 Days of Yoga Challenge Finished!

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My Cat and I Getting Our Yoga On!

 

I have made it through 31 days of yoga and beyond!  Though I definitely feel the benefits, it hasn’t always been easy.  There have been days where I didn’t want to hit the mat and days that I wanted to quit early, but I didn’t.   I stuck by the program I picked and I couldn’t be happier.

I have done yoga before, but took time off from a regular practice so this was just what I needed to get back on track.  This year, I am in the mindset that you only have today, so quit putting this off and get it done.  Regret doesn’t look good on anyone.

Some of the benefits I have noticed:

  • Less anxiety.
  • Better sleep patterns ( I have insomnia).
  • Better breathing.
  • More toned through out my body.
  • More acceptance of myself and others.
  • Better digestion.  Way less bloating which is a huge plus!
  • Fewer “blue” moments.
  • More flexibility.   My flexibility has always been questionable which got in the way of dance in the past.  It has been theorized that I gained muscle too quickly as a child and never gained the flexibility because of this.  What can I say?  I was a hyper child!

It’s amazing what a little yoga practice can do even in the span of only one month.  The benefits are so amazing.  I have been here before, but sticking with things long term have always been a struggle for me, which brings me to my cons:

  • Doing yoga daily is no easy feat for someone like myself.   I really am not great at sticking with things which in many ways can be a downfall as you can imagine.  This was a real struggle at times.  Especially when going out on the weeknights.  There were times that I came home to honor the practice, but it was not the best circumstances.  I like to get my drink on here and there.
  • Also, some days you just aren’t feeling it making the practice counterproductive.  This happened a few times.  I would come home tired from the day only to find that I had one more thing I needed to do, making it a chore.  Once I started it, I felt better, but somedays the best therapy is not to do yoga.
  • Pushing things too far.  I am in decent shape, but sometimes, I tend to move quickly into poses as I am a very competitive person, even with myself!  Also, some of my postures were off, especially in my neck causing some strain.  Even though I know I needed to take it easy, I would push it again the next day instead of working on my problems spots or resting my neck.  I am a go getter for sure, but not always in the best way possible!

So where does a girl go from here?  Onto the next month!  I would like to continue my streak though February, but I may ease up a little if needed.  A break here and there would be beneficial and I shouldn’t look at it as a failure if I decide to let a day go.  It’s better than making something I want to succeed at become a burden, but with that being said, I have to make sure I don’t get too conformable and let it go completely.

*In case you were wondering what program I used, it was one that I have watched periodically on YouTube.  The course is called Yoga with Adrienne.   Adrienne, is the type of person I could see myself hanging out with over a few beers on the weekend.  She is very chill, very likeable and very down to earth.

What I like about her yoga sessions are that they are set for all levels.  She really focuses a lot on the self and how you can improve as a whole being—mentally as well as physically.  Because of this, her videos tend to go at a slower pace than some of the others.  Also, she is really great at explaining the best ways for people at various levels to hit postures.   Very positive experience.

For me, I do feel as if her lessons can be a little slow and less challenging for me, but that is my preference and skill level.  Also, there are a lot of postures that occur on the knees, so if you have bad knees, be prepared with extra padding.  I personally am not a fan of these poses as much as others, but again these are personal preferences.  That being said, I would continue with her any day of the week.  She really is an enjoyable presence.

So, here’s to another 28 days!

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Staying Strong with Yoga! Day 6!

 

The year has started out a little crazier than anticipated, making it hard to stick to one’s goals.  I have done yoga every day since January 1st.  I almost skipped it yesterday due to a friend visiting the emergency room, but I came home, took a brief nap and got it done.  I’m sticking to goals this year.

I used to do yoga every day, but due to life circumstances, I had to give up a few things.  I loved how it made me feel physically and mentally.  After a while, it really becomes an integral part of my life.   When I quit, I really missed it, but sometimes life gets in the way.  So this year, I didn’t let life stop my 31 day goal even if I was exhausted.  Got to get it done!

I’m in decent shape body-wise.  I’m thin, but would like to be more toned.   So I will be adding cardio two times a week for the first month or two and possibly move it to three.  I walk a lot, but even with my fast New York clip, it isn’t enough.

Yoga is amazing, but I do want to clarify that it is not enough for weight loss.  It does help if that is what you need and is great for toning.  But for me, the toning is secondary to the mental aspects–it really clears my mind and puts me on the right path in life.

I will say, because I was out of practice, my body was a little sore the first few days; especially in my abs, upper body and neck.  The sore neck made it apparent that I was holding too much tension in that area and I stayed aware for the next few days of my posture and long lines.  Today, the soreness is minimal and I am ready for the next day’s challenge. Also, what was once a chore is now becoming the thing I look most forward to in the day.

Lastly, I have ADHD and my mind wanders.  The first few days I couldn’t wait to finish, but now, I am slowly getting more focused and able to stay on the mat longer without wanting to rush off of it.  I am really beginning to enjoy the mat more and more.

Bring on the yoga!