Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Other Side of A 30-Day Challenge

Sometimes it's better to talk about the challenge after you've completed it. 

I first tried to do the 30-day challenge in January 2010.   I didn't manage to complete my 30 classes in 30 days that time, and there were multiple reasons for that.  But when I saw that there was a 30-day challenge beginning on May 2nd, I knew the time was right.  I'd just finished teaching (as well as a pretty brutal academic year overall), and I was ready to get back to really taking care of myself as well as taking myself seriously (not always the same thing).

I fastidiously scheduled every class for the month, taking into consideration other appointments or plans, and since I knew when I was going to be out of town, I was also able to schedule my make-up classes, which relieved the anxiety of missing them in the first place.  I think that step really made a huge difference.  I had four days where I went to the studio twice in one day.  In a certain way, it became my job for May (I know, my life is so hard), but it also became a lifesaver because May was not an easy month for me.

Those thirty days made some subtle but significant changes and shifts within me.  Working through fatigue and lethargy (sounds better than laziness), particularly around week 2 or so, taught me how to keep my focus clear.   I feel like I'm less competitive (and perhaps angry) with myself.  When there were days when I didn't feel like I could do a certain pose, I'd let myself rest in child's pose instead.  Rather than trying to get into a posture as deeply as possible, I'd listen to my body and respond to what it was telling me.  I know it sounds a little hippy-dippy, but I feel more open - more open to others as well as to following my own instincts and needs.  Finally, it also made me feel like part of a community and that will last beyond the thirty days for sure.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations!! It's amazing what daily yoga does for the mind and body. Last year I started a Lenten practice of a minimum of 15 minutes of yoga a day and haven't stopped. I'm up to 460 days of yoga in a row. Some days it's lazy yoga, but that's OK.