Back in September, I decided to try something different. I set out to do one of those: “I did______ everyday for a month and this is what happened” challenges. After my successful completion of the 30 days, I planned to write a reflective piece about everything I learned from my one month commitment.
I was keen.
I was focused.
I was going to Make. It. Happen.
The _______ was: yoga, which I planned to do at a local yoga studio as well as on my own at home (with the help of Youtube). I had done yoga, mainly gym-based classes, on and off for years but had never done more than two yoga sessions in a week. Also, if I’m honest, I was always a half-asser when it came to my efforts. I would choose the easiest option, every single time. I was, by no means, a yogi. You don’t get to be a yogi when your favourite aspect of any yoga class is the ending when you get to drift off in savasana (corpse pose).
I wanted to try this challenge because I liked the idea of doing some proper yoga classes in an authentic environment. Plus, I was curious to see how ‘into’ yoga I could get.
As for what happened during my 30 days of yoga challenge? Well… I learned (or perhaps simply confirmed) that I have commitment issues when it comes to physical exercise. Or, perhaps I simply lack willpower. Can I blame it on the kids? I’d like to. Basically, the bottom line is: I didn’t end up doing yoga every day for 30 days. Almost, but not quite.
There I was, rocking it for 19 days straight! My body was sore but I felt energized and productive. Unfortunately, on day 20, I ended up with a sick kid. It wasn’t anything serious but it was enough to throw me off my game. (I am easily distracted, after all). And, even though I told myself I would do yoga on my own before bed that night, I didn’t. Instead, day 20 came and went and the yoga mat remained unvisited. Then, for no obvious reason, I ditched my yoga commitment on day 21, as well.
Gah! I’m such a slacker…
The next day, I was back and ready to hit the mat again. I carried on with my week doing Hatha, Vinyasa Flow, and some pilates-meets-yoga type sessions. I was feeling fairly ‘into’ yoga yet by the end of the 30 days, I had taken another two days off due to a recurring issue I have with my neck and shoulders. This meant I’d only done 26 out of the 30 days of my yoga challenge. And, since I didn’t really see the appeal of an article entitled: “I Said I Would Do Yoga for 30 Days Straight But I Only Did 26,” I sacked that idea and moved on with my life.
Fast forward four months and I now see how my 30-day yoga challenge, though incomplete, has actually had a lingering impact. Since then, I’ve continued to be more committed to yoga than I was prior to the challenge and have managed to prioritize three or four sessions a week (with the odd sick kid or sore neck to derail my routine along the way).
Attempting to throw myself into yoga led me to shift my focus toward exercise and personal self-care. I’ve realized that the more yoga I do, the better I feel. I do still half-ass my efforts sometimes but not always. In fact, occasionally I challenge myself to try a more advanced pose.
It’s both empowering and nurturing to use yoga as a means of self-care. And, had I not embarked upon a 30-day challenge in the first place, I’d still be doing half-assed yoga once or twice a week, at the most, while getting very little from it. So, as it turns out, my challenge was not a failure! It was, instead, a positive change in perspective.
And, even though savasana is still kinda my favourite yoga pose, I’ve grown to appreciate the journey that leads to it, as well.