I got into yoga about 3 years ago. I am not really even sure how it all began but I remember in the dead of winter just deciding to suck it up and go to a class. I had never done yoga before but I just felt the need to try it. I think it was the fact I was living in a city that gets well over 100 inches of snow a season, I NEEDED some winter physical activity. So I went to a studio 3 days a week for classes. I got hooked. Knotty pine walls, wood stove, candle lit classes, aromatherapy workshops, private beach classes. I couldn’t get enough. I was preparing for my wedding, starting a new job, and just moved back to my college town. I needed a stress reliever and this was it! I was also getting into amazing shape for my wedding and felt awesome! When I didn’t go to the studio, I would do online classes at home to supplement.
I kept going to classes for over a year and a half until my studio closed up shop. NOOOOO!!! It was unexpected. But, the owner had a chiropractic business that was taking up most of her time. She just couldn’t do both any more. I remember the last class there. We were having an outside class in the middle of summer, the teacher told us the news, she was crying. It was like a little family there. But she urged us to “find yoga wherever you go” and “it isn’t about the physical space, it is about your personal practice”. Some of the teachers were moving to a big box gym in town to teach classes there. So I followed. As did several other studio members. It wasn’t the same. Tiny little classroom right next to a GIANT zumba studio. The sounds of zumba class are NOT easy to tune out. I stuck it out there for 6 months or so … then I stopped my membership. I wasn’t going enough to make it worth the money.
I had still been supplementing my yoga practice at home. But, I slowly fell out of it. I would do it here and there. But nothing like the routine of going to class. It makes you accountable. You spent the money for it, you are going to go. At home, it is so much easier to just do something else. Thank goodness for friends at work who agreed to do 30 day yoga challenges with me when they come up. We’ve done 2 of them together now and it is wonderful! Doing it with a friend makes you WANT to get on your mat each and every day. That is where I got the idea for this challenge. Although I am not doing it with anyone. I am challenging MYSELF to 100 days of yoga. I’m keeping track of what I do each day in my journal and making sure I stick to it! My home practice has been somewhat steady for a year or so, I probably practice 3 days a week. But, I am looking for more! I want to challenge myself to deepen my practice, strengthen my body, and gain flexibility.
So, where am I at in my challenge? I am a quarter of the way done! I am on day 25, which is crazy to me!! I have been loving every minute of it! I am not challenging myself to X amount of minutes or X type of practice. I am leaving it open to myself. Some days, I do easy flexibility work. Some days, I do a power flow and then hammer out some push ups and ab work. I have been letting my body tell me what I need for the day. I’ve also been going to a few classes. Matt and I went to a mind, body, beer class. YES, you heard that right. An hour long yoga flow and local craft brews. Such a fun time. (Although I know, not traditional yoga at all!!) I also went to a beach yoga class this past weekend which was an hour and a half of phenomenal class heaven. With the sand, the sun rising, and the sound of the waves, it is just amazing. Lastly, I signed up for an 8 limbs of yoga workshop. It is once a week for 8 weeks and we will be going over a different limb of yoga each week. I am so excited for that to begin!!
The rest of the days, I am doing my thang at home! Curious what youtube channels I follow? I rotate through all of these wonderful channels to mix up my practice and excite me to get on my mat each day! I love all of these awesome yogis and highly encourage you to check them all out! They each have a slightly different style and approach to practice which helps suit your different mood each day!
I would also like to point out … I am NOT a flexible person. I never have been, I fear I never will be. I STILL have a tough time touching my toes if I am not warmed up. I am not kidding you. I work hard at home to build strength and flexibility and these poses do not come easy most of the time. I still have to use a yoga strap for staff pose if I want to bend forward to touch my toes. I am that tight in my legs. I just wanted you to know that it is okay wherever you are in your yoga practice (or any exercise practice for that matter). The first time I tried to do a chaturanga push up I did a full on belly flop. I still belly flop if I try to do very many of them! I face planted for days in a row before I could hold crow and side crow for more than a second. Handstands are still very very very hit or miss. I’m pretty sure my core strength is minimal (although I’ve been working on it each and every day!) That is why it is called a practice! Own the journey, enjoy the experience, and accept where you are today. You have time to get where you are going. Trust me, the moment you can hold that pose or stretch that much deeper, it is such a magical experience knowing the work you’ve put in!
OVER TO YOU: How do you stay inspired to keep up on your physical health? What is your favorite way to workout? And, if you yoga, do you have any favorite YouTubers I should check out?
And if you feel like it … I challenge you to do a workout challenge of your own! Even a 10 day yoga challenge, or a 7 day push up challenge, or whatever! If you are up for doing one, let me know in the comments below or tag me @Simplefreshnatural on social media!!!
Stay healthy my friends!
much love & namaste,