I had hoped to blog every day of my 40 day yoga challenge. Had also hoped to blog every day about my 2-week cleanse. The bad news is, I didn’t accomplish either of those tasks. Simply not enough time in the day. The good news is that I have kept my commitments (thus far) to both yoga and the cleanse. Today is day 12 for yoga and day 7 for my cleanse.
I knew what I was to expect with my cleanse as I’ve done them before, so I’ll write more on that in a separate blog. I’m a relative newbie to yoga though. I only regularly started doing yoga at the end of September and just a couple of days before the start of it decided spontaneously to do Semperviva’s 40 Day Yoga Challenge. I had no idea what to expect from that.
All I had thought is that yoga would be good exercise. My gym had just closed and I was frustrated to not be able to find another gym that I liked. I figured yoga would be worth doing, but didn’t feel then that it would be enough. I was used to getting a lot of cardio activity and felt I would miss that. Surprise #1 was that I don’t.
Not that I don’t get a cardio workout. I do. My favourite classes are Vinyasa Power Flow and if you do enough Vinyasas you can feel your heart pumping. I also tried a Kundalini class and loved it!
I love that I feel stronger. Flexibility and balance are traits that I normally feel pretty confident with as I used to be a figure skater. Where I had felt weak is in upper body and core strength. When I started, I could not cycle through Chaturanga Dandasana. The first time I did it, I realized that I could get stronger. And quickly too. I also used to dread bridge pose and the wheel. Today was the first day those poses felt good! And, to do a headstand again–something I haven’t done since I was a kid–feels amazing, like playing kid again.
But, then I remember being told, “If you can’t get into the full pose, it doesn’t matter. And, for those of you who can get into the full pose, it doesn’t matter”.
This is where yoga really changes you. A friend of mine who has been doing yoga for years asked me if I have been transformed yet. Has yoga changed my life? If he would have told me it would before I started this journey, I would have laughed at him. But, now…when he asked me this question, I said “yes” right away, though I wasn’t clear how. It’s so powerfully subtle that you may have to pause to think about it.
For me, it’s these moments of clarity, of being really truly in the moment, of profoundness, that I finally am starting to understand. I’m a competitive person at heart, so to take that out and just try to move and breathe and focus and feel the moment without attachment to the outcome…it’s new to me. And, if it takes my yoga teacher using quotes from Yoda for me to get it, as happened today, so be it.
The funny thing is that for me (so far) the biggest challenge has not been scheduling the classes in to a busy day. That has been a challenge, but even when I go in tired, I leave feeling revived, so I know it’s going to be worth the effort. My biggest challenge now is that I don’t have enough outfits to do yoga every day, so I’m having to do laundry way to often!