Wa-hoo! 21 days of yoga! This has been a really great three weeks and I am so glad I did this. (Shout out to my wonderful mother who suggested I kick off my blog with this challenge!) I feel really bad tacking Day 21 on here for a few reasons: 1.) Because Day 21 was the same side bends routine from Day 5, I feel like I don’t have too much to add to the previous post and 2.) It’s doesn’t have another “Day” post accompanying it, which brings me to 3.) I am really excited to reflect on the whole experience altogether!
But patience is a virtue I must learn, and Day 21 deserves it’s time in the spotlight 🙂 As I said, the challenge wrapped up with Jason Crandell’s 35-minute side bends routine. I really enjoy side bends. The stretch you get is fantastic and I feel like in many poses your entire body gets a nice stretch (I love when teachers call it a “yawn” for your body–so visual!). After being a certified-wannabe-yogi for three weeks, I have seen a definite improvement in my practice. On Day 5, I found that I had to correct often to ensure I was executing the poses correctly (not that that’s a bad thing), but today, I am able to just know when something is not how it should be and correct it quickly and on my own. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment 🙂
In my past updates, I haven’t really discussed the Daily Newsletter that accompanies each video. I read everyday’s myself, but never really felt the need to comment on them too much, as they kind of just give you a preview of what to expect and helps to get you into the right mindset for your practice. But Day 21 was a bit different.
It was congratulatory, of course, but it also presented you with a few questions about where you will go from here. “We hope that…yoga has become a daily habit,” it says in the beginning. I have to say that I really think it has. I know I will try to do a solid 30, 45, 60, or more minutes 3 times a week, but even still, I’m positive that I will wake up every morning and do at least 10-15 minutes of easy yoga to wake up and get ready for my day. I even find myself doing some stretches before bed to ease tension wherever I need it most. This challenge was helped me see the benefits in any kind of activity every single day, and those receiving those benefits are habit forming on their own!
Finally, they ask a few questions:
“Now that you’re done with the challenge, what will you do? Will you continue your daily home practice? Are you inspired to check out new kinds of yoga? Are you inspired to dedicate even 10 minutes a day to tune into your breath and quiet your mind?”
Here are my answers:
- Now that I am finished, I will continue my yoga practice. I will dedicate at least 10-15 minutes of my day to yoga and engage in a solid session at least 3 times per week.
- Yes, I will continue my daily home practice. Practicing at home was a huge mental block that I had for no reason at all. I was spoiled by hot yoga and the amazing work out you get from that–what’s the point of yoga if I’m in a room-temperature area of my own house? My muscles will be too cold to stretch properly! There’s no teacher to make sure I’m not messing up! Where will I do it?! Turns out, all of these “problems” had easy solutions. Yoga can be a workout! If you do a flow class and engage with each pose, you will feel it! Even if you’re not sweating out of every pore 😉 I was very worried about not having a teacher to spot or guide me, but I realized I was much more capable than I thought I was. When listening to the instructors on video, they tell you how you should be feeling. You can watch how they do the poses and self correct. I realized I need to give myself more credit–that I am just as capable without a safety net. Finally, the great thing about yoga is you don’t need a lot of space. You can do it anywhere and everywhere!
- Yes, I am inspired to do more kinds of yoga. As I’ve said before, I prefer Vinyasa, but I also found that Hatha yoga can be just as beneficial and enjoyable for me. Admittedly, I need to work on finding the joy in more meditative or healing forms of yoga–my mind wanders and I get bored. But I know this is so beneficial. It’s kind of like how I feel about spinach, oddly enough–I hate the taste of spinach on it’s own. But I know that it is soooo good for you, so I try to get it in whenever I can and just mask it with other more dominating flavors, like in salads or smoothies. So, until I learn to like that kind of yoga on it’s own, I’m going to try to incorporate it in with the yoga I really enjoy, until I learn to love it on it’s own.
- Yes, I am inspired to dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to yoga.
I have seen many changes in my body, mind, and spirit. I feel that my body looks better. I think my legs are more toned and a bit leaner as well as my arms. My core is definitely stronger. I feel more confident in myself and in my body. My diet has even been better–I ate well before this challenge, but I would sometimes have a couple days in a row of just crappy eating where I would forget my daily end goal. Now, I feel that it’s easier for me to stick to eating well and doing the right things for my body because I want to treat it well. At the same time, I haven’t experienced that huge guilt I sometimes feel when I veer off course. I just make sure I get back on track and don’t continue to snow ball. I guess what it comes down to is that I just feel really great all around 🙂
“The important thing is to do yoga, every day.” -Yoga Journal
I am looking forward to continuing my journey. And I want to thank you for reading my blog and for all the comments and follows I’ve been getting! It’s so awesome to see that so many people are also coming with me on this adventure! In the future, I will post recipes, new and interesting workouts I find and do, as well as exploring other types and mediums of yoga, and much more. Thanks again, friends!