Thursday, March 6, 2014

Challenging = Changing

I recently did a yoga challenge. 30 practices within 30 days. A challenge I really didn't think was "for me" - I'm not "that" person. But, I have grown more determined each day, I say "why not"

As a precursor, just that day, my knees were reminding me of the awesome 40th birthday party for my cousin Saturday night and a tweak in my back. I was sincerely thinking I should take a week off of yoga. So glad I didn't. Here is what happened...

Day 1 ~ Self talk. Wednesday go in, show up, like I do. See the challenge board, thinking that's not for me. Then I see the 60 day challenge, all through class I'm negotiating, well I could do 30 in 60 days. Thinking that was the challenge.

Then, while in my standing series - I noticed framed by the wrinkles I often wish away, between the determined eyes in the mirror, it was there. A heart. It is known by friends that hearts and feathers have help light my way the last few years, I so appreciate the universe’s encouragement. As I  questioned it’s existence and stretched forward to the mirror in standing boat pose, it grew stronger.  Truly I believe I saw my inner eye, as a physical heart. fleeting… perception beyond ordinary sight. so gratefully moved. It was apparent again at the end of the practice. I listened.

Day 2 ~ Action plan, followed by doubt. I mark on my calendar, the plan. I tell my wonderful employer of my intentions, that I will need to practice at lunch. I'm determined. And then several people mention how far Palatine is. One dismissed, "wow your are traveling more then you are working out." I'll have to admit it's close. Then, I get told by my massage therapist that the pain in my back is most likely ligament, not muscle and could take several weeks to heal.  Kinda thinking I can "fall off" this train and no one will know. True, I guess, except me.

Day 3 ~ Accountability and progress. I hear the words that tell me I can do this. Challenging yourself, changes you.

Day 4 ~ This isn't so hard. The scale is starting to agree.

Day 7 & 8 ~ To stay on target, I need to make up days I miss, when I'm with my daughter.
So yes, a double. "Who is this girl?" First time for everything. It was on the "plan" but I almost didn't do. Almost. I woke up late, with the monthly reminder that I'm all woman. Exhausted, stressed and behind at work. I'm in the room during my first class and decide, why not? I went into the second class with no expectations, except stay in the room. Maybe that's one of the reasons it seemed easier? I was more balanced... maybe not as strong, but out of my head?

Day 9 ~ still at it, feeling strong. balanced.

Day 13 & 14 ~ another double, I barely made it through the second class. The practice is always the same - you are different. 

As fragile as 14 was Day 15 was fierce! - felt so strong. Shake it  up - 60 minute class.

Stay out of your head, in this practice is not mind over matter. Your body (matter) is more capable than the doubt in your mind. I try to use focus to help with determination to stay in a pose, but I notice soon as my mind starts thinking, I lose the focus, my breath changes and the pose suffers or collapses.

22 ~ Unexpected Class - Level One. Led by Doug, an instructor I love/hate. It was a good change of pace. And realized why I might have trouble reaching for my heels in rabbit (and other) poses. I have extremely short arms. hmm.... visions of t-rex doing yoga... yep, that's me.

Day 23 ~ vaguely recall trying to quiet my mind in savasana. While zoning up into the heat baffle, I started to see little gnomes hiking their way in and out of the small vents that release the hot air. Umm... yeah - yoga - better than drugs.

Days 24-27 ~ I must admit, I was feeling exhausted. Felt like my life was out of order, my house a mess and struggling to be "excited" to go to class. It felt like a chore.

But why go this far to just fall short of the goal. I think I sometimes do this in life also.

I banished the negative self talk and sacrificed everything for to make it to thee last few sessions. Even took a half day vacation to finish a double 28 - 29.

DAY 30 ~ Valentine's Day - practicing some SELF Love - the perfect day to complete my 30 in 30 day challenge —with my favorite "girl Friday"- Agata. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate a day of Love, than loving myself first.

So, it's been almost 3 weeks since I completed the challenge. I haven't felt so dedicated to the practice last week. Also, talked myself out of a few classes. Started looking at my upcoming calendar and thinking maybe I'll cut back. But Challenging means Changing. This practice is the balance I need physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

Accountability is the key ~ so I'm saying right now. I'm committing to at least 3 practices a week. Because I have to put myself first in order to be the best person I can be for the wonderful people in my life.

So if you are so inclined to try Bikram Yoga. Let me know, I'll be here New Level Hot Yoga.