My initial reaction when I first heard about the 31 day yoga challenge at the yoga studio I go to was “I should totally attempt to try this, but I doubt I will be able to complete it.” When I told my mom about the challenge she said “That is crazy. No way you will be able to do 31 straight days of yoga.”
My Christmas gift from my parents were two yoga outfits from lululemon and I was already practicing 5 days a week. What was 2 more days a week (8 more days that month)? After 3 classes in a row I said to myself “Let’s see how far I get.”
By my 10th class my body was sore and my will power was wavering. My mom was furiously running loads of laundry and still mumbling that I was crazy. But, every morning I put on my yoga clothes, confirmed my schedule for the day and told myself “You can do this. Just get through the class and you are one more closer to the end.”
Then something happened. My intention was no longer “Just get through it.” It was “What can I achieve today?”
It started with learning how to stay 100% focused on my mat. I was able to hold a Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (mermaid pose) and Salamba Sirsasan (supported headstand). Next I develop enough core strength to hold Bakasana (crow pose) for 2 seconds and a teddy bear headstand. Finally, I was able to get into crazier poses like Svarga Dvidasana (bird of paradise pose) and a Vasisthasana (side plank pose) variation. I would leave class sweaty and satisfied. My instructors would compliment my progress and cheered me on. Another student mentioned that I have such a strong practice. My daughter stopped complaining when I would have to leave for an evening class and she would ask me to show her some poses when I got home. Even my mom started making sure her schedule accommodated my yoga class schedule.
So here it is … my last class of the challenge! My body is stronger, more flexible and leaner. My focus on and off the mat has improved significantly. I trust my will power again. I am so proud of accomplishing such an intense challenge and making time for my health and well being. Nothing feels better in life than setting a goal and reaching it (except for maybe proving my mother wrong)!
Photo Credit: my mom