I’ve been considering trying some sort of yoga challenge for over a year now, but every time I go looking for one, they’re thirty days long! & to be honest, that seems really daunting. What if I’m tired one morning & want to sleep in? What if I’m on holidays & don’t have access to a computer or a quiet spot? Also, most are 30-60 minutes in length. I can usually make time for something like that once a week, but fitting that additional time in around running, teaching aquafit, keeping up with marking, & generally living seems so tough. I know myself well enough to realize I’m not quite ready for one of those yet.
Luckily, I came across a #7dayyogachallenge from SarahBethYoga. She has a playlist on her YouTube channel with 7, 15-minute long videos: one for each day of the week. They’re laid out from Monday-Sunday, but since I’m starting on a Friday, I’ll be starting with the Monday video. My day goes 100 x better (I deal with stress more effectively, am more thankful, & make healthier food choices) when I take the time for morning yoga, so I’m dedicated to crawling out of bed early for the next week.
Day 1: Friday, June 10th
Today’s practice was a gentle vinyasa flow where each breathe was linked to a movement. I find that this pattern of breathing & moving gives me a different feeling of calm than hatha yoga does. I felt really connected to my body, energized, & ready to tackle the day. When I encountered a potentially stressful situation at work, I dealt with it right away without worrying too much, then was able to let it go & move on. I have a bad habit of dwelling on those sorts of things, so this was a major victory!
Day 2: Saturday, June 11th
Today’s practice was a heart-opening hatha yoga sequence focusing on opening up the shoulders, chest, and upper back. I slept in a little, so did the video a bit later than usual, around 9 a.m. I would definitely return to this video! Sarah Beth has included some amazing shoulder stretches that showed me I’m tight in places I didn’t even know existed!
Day 3: Sunday, June 12th
I started my Sunday bright & early with this power yoga session at 6 a.m. This had me sweating! It was incredibly fast-paced (almost too much so) & I often felt like my breathe was being rushed as Sarah Beth asked us to flow from pose-to-pose so quickly! I really like the feeling of matching one breathe to one movement, but I also like yoga because it usually makes me slow down & deepen my breathing. I had some trouble with balancing in airplane pose & warrior three and was falling down all over the place, but I did hold boat pose, & I came out feeling energetic.
Day 4: Monday, June 13th
Today, I did not want to get out of bed! Some parts of this practice were very challenging. But here’s the most important thing . . . I did it anyway!
Day 5: Tuesday, June 14th
I woke up feeling a bit sore & sluggish (I didn’t eat well yesterday)but made it onto the mat just the same. Today’s practice was a hip-opening hatha yoga routine. I’ve been looking forward to a video that focused on hip-opening, & was excited to give this one a try. Some of the hip openers (& chest openers) were pretty intense, but they worked well. The level of these videos continues to be a bit above my comfort level, but I make a few modifications & push on, listening to my body. After all, if you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never get any better!
Day 6: Wednesday, June 15th
I’m starting to get into a routine now. Today’s practice was a strong & balanced power yoga routine. It felt good!
Day 7: Thursday, June 16th
I was very happy this morning to see that today’s video was for a slow s& restorative stretch. Sarah Beth’s videos have been great at pushing me out of my comfort zone, but I really love yoga because it connects me to me body & helps me to destress.
It feel great to have completed something I’ve though about doing for a long time! I definitely could see the positive benefits of this yoga challenge in my mental & physical well-being. While I’ve been practicing yoga here & there for a while now, this challenge has given me the kick in the butt to hit the matt at my local yoga studio come fall.