Jen, aka JK, is often my partner in crime in book-related and fitness-related things . I’m really excited she’s decided to tackle this 30-day challenge with me and even more excited she wants to share this journey with all of you! Jen will be sharing updates about the challenge throughout the 30 days, so follow along! You can read her first post here and her 10-day recap here. — Erin
So last week I was all easy breezy about this challenge, and this week it got harder. I was a bit more tired, and while I was trying really hard to focus on breath and length, sometimes that didn’t happen. My goal all along has been gratitude, and I think squeezing in these 10 classes I lost sight of that a bit. There was a lot of powering through. And powering through has a time and a place, but if you’re in tears of frustration, it seems you should have backed off awhile ago. This week I discovered (the hard way), the importance of not doing three super hot classes three days in a row. It completely wipes me out. How do those Moksha people do it?
Anyway, here’s the highlight/blooper reel of the last 10 days . . .
Highlight: Saturday Power 8 class with Serah. I was sweating prolifically and the room was packed, but somehow I just ended up feeling dewy and energized. Also related to Serah: waking up yesterday morning after a hard hot hour class (so many abs!) and really seeing my abs. Instant payoff! And a key confidence booster before bikini season.
Challenge: Thursday morning shambles again. I don’t know what it is with me and Thursday mornings, but I think it’s mostly that I’m just totally exhausted and get easily frustrated. Then come the tears (which in a non-heated class, are harder to pass off as sweat). This time it was over not being able to get my knee right in Warrior 1, and then failing at handstand the way I always fail at handstand. Ridiculous, I know, but what can you do? Also worth noting that Serah’s hot hour that I praised above for showing me my abs was also seriously hard. (There was sweat pouring into my eyes constantly, an experience Erin wisely calls “another kind of crying.”) But it was kind of nice thinking that a year or a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have been able to stick it out as well as I did.
One of my favourite things a yoga teacher can do is talk about their own challenges with their practice. And right when things got harder in this second 10-day stretch, a couple teachers happened to do just that. I love when they say they think about their dinner plans during savasana, or that when given a chance to take a child’s pose, they always take it instead of the extra flows. It makes these people I idolize (let’s face it, I do), seem more human and my own struggles seem so normal. This week Christi-an (Kula’s director), admitted that she practiced for eight years before she thought she was good enough. And of course that seems crazy, especially because philosophically yoga isn’t concerned with goals, or even really progress, just doing what you can at the time. So in this middle leg my takeaway is a rather obvious but necessary reminder: that it’s hard for everyone, and even in tears, even flailing about trying to do a handstand, it’s just the doing it that matters.