JK Guest Post: The 30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 10

 

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. — Erin

 

This week was all about breath — paying more attention to it, cultivating more fullness. And that’s sort of worked, I still end up biting my lip off in some poses, my mind still wanders to dinner plans. But that’s okay. It’s still a work in progress. For the next 10 days I’m going to stay with that breath focus, but add length and fullness, in hopes that’ll give me more space in my poses.

After 10 days, I’m actually feeling pretty good. There was a low point of exhaustion from too many early mornings (I did 3 6:30 a.m. classes in 4 days) and not enough sleep, but I had a turning point in a glorious Power 8 class with Christi-an, and I think both Erin and I left feeling back on track.

I’m also pleased to have been able to keep up my other exercise, which has only been one run and one weights class, but when you’re already doing yoga every day, that’s an extra challenge, especially when it comes to finding the time. But so far this past week, doable.

 

The last 10 days in review:

Highlight: Going to an Aaron Slade hot hour class right after Body Pump class, and despite some quivering of muscles, leaving feeling so spacious and free (anyone who does weight training classes will realize how this seems like a total impossibility). Runner up: Holding a handstand with no wall and no help. (I still needed help getting up, but I’m working on it.)

Lowlight: Erin wrote about it: Wednesday morning Namaskar B extravaganza with Marinella. So many poses I dislike, so many times, so early. Another lowpoint came the next morning: I started comparing myself to the person next to me, and I wasn’t stacking up. So then I got a bit upset. And then of course, I got upset that I got upset, because yoga is supposed to be anti-competitive. But somehow I managed to leave it behind and finish the practice. And that’s the thing about even these low points: by the end you’re okay, even a little happy you went through it.

I’ve been trying to extend my practice off the mat for this challenge, and one of the tools I decided to use was Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Now I’m as skeptical of self-helpy books as the next person, but this one intrigued me: a classic overachiever decides she’s pretty happy, but wonders how she could be happier. So she makes resolutions each month targeting various areas of her life: from clutter and organization to parenting to friendship, and then analyzes the effect. The end result is interesting: she is happier, but it takes a lot of work. When you consider that the things in life that give us the most satisfaction are often the hardest, the ones that take the most dedication, it makes sense. But Rubin also posits that “it isn’t goal attainment, but the process of striving after goals — that is, growth — that brings us happiness.” It’s the Christmas morning effect: the anticipation of Christmas, the work, the preparation, is often more exciting than the morning itself. And that may be the case with this 30-day challenge. I like the sense of purpose it gives me; I like that Erin and I are in it together; I like the feeling of progress and achievement that are now a part of every day. When the project is over, I’ll have done it, and that’ll be a good feeling. But even with the hard mornings, even with the emotional on-mat mini-crises, it could be that the process of doing it will be a better feeling.

 

The video below has nothing to do with yoga, but JK and I made it, so obviously it’s worth watching. You can see more of our Books in 140 Seconds vids over a KIRBC. — Erin.

 

30 Day Challenge: The first five days

I’ll admit, when I decided to do this 30 day yoga challenge, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it would be a challenge, both fitness-wise and time-wise, but had no idea how it would change my relationship with yoga or with my body.

Five days in, and I still don’t know. What I do know, however, is that this is had been a lot harder than I thought.

First: the time commitment. When I decided to do this, I had nothing really on my plate. Work was entering the slow summer period as radio shows winded up their seasons. My fall racing season was over. I had no other real obligations.

Then I got a bit writing project. (Details coming!) And I signed up for the Digital Media Skills certificate at OCAD. All of a sudden, fitting in yoga seems like an impossibility.

Take Tuesday, for example. I woke up at 6:30 to write until 8. Got ready for work. Went to work until 6. Headed to class from 6:30-9:30. Went to yoga from 10-11. Slept over at my sister’s place so I could join JK for a 6:30 class on Wednesday morning.

I am exhausted. Jill tells me it will get better. I don’t believe her.

 

The fit girl on the right is a liar.

 

Let’s recap the classes so far. The 30 day challenge kicked off on Saturday and I went to Power Yoga at Kula, taught by Serah. I enjoyed the class, as it was challenging by fun. I woke up the next day and my entire rib cage ached. From the twists, I guess? On Sunday, I hit up Kula’s live music flow with JK, as Mr. JK is the live musical guest. Solid class, not much to say. Typical Jen Slade fare. On Monday, I tried a new class and took my Passport to Prana to the Yoga for Hot hour. This is where things fell apart. Apparently my arms are not fans of this constant yoga-ing. It’s interesting to see how unbalanced my fitness is — anything requiring lower body strength, I can hold for 20 breaths without breaking a sweat. But ask me to do plank after 5 days of yoga? I’m a dead person. The class was fine — lots of flows and twists — but the room was hot, hot, hot. When the hour was over, my fingers were pruned (ewwwww) and I had left a giant pool of sweat all around my mat. (I mopped it up, I swear!)

Tuesday was bedtime yoga with Linseed, my favourite. Due to the aforementioned schedule, I missed her hot hour and took the flow class. Same vibe, without the heat. I was so grateful for that. I was not grateful for planks. (I better have biceps after these 30 days. Or else.) But it prepped me for bedtime. Yay sleep!

Then, we came to Tuesday morning. Hot hour at Kula. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

Hardest hot hour ever.

I have never wanted to cry in yoga before. That changed this morning. This class was like Ashtanga with the heat cranked up. Way up. Chair, plank, chair, plank, chair, plank. Chair. Chair. chairchairchairchair. Push-ups! I think I would have enjoyed the challenge on any other day. Marinella was a great teacher, a good mix of chill yet playful. But after what felt like the 87th time in chair this morning, I wanted to punch something. I felt like I was being punished, and I didn’t know why.

But I survived. Now I need a restorative class. Or two. Because I have no idea how I’m going to make it through all 30 days right now.

JK Guest Post: Why I’m doing a 30-day challenge

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! — Erin

 

Jen and me, making some awesome videos about books. Yup, we're that cool. -- Erin

 

 

Why am I doing a 30 day challenge?

Because Erin convinced me when I was a little bit tipsy.

But in the sober light of day, it still seems like a good idea for a few reasons. To start, I’m a little bored with my workout routine (which is generally yoga at Kula 4x a week, Ultimate Frisbee once a week, and one Body Pump class at Goodlife). I also think my brain has been infected my many impressive marathoning/road racing friends, and that sense of accomplishment that comes from a physical challenge appeals.

But I think the main reason is that I’ve been craving a deeper, more dedicated practice. I’ve been thinking a lot about a retreat (Jill’s reports from Costa Rica made this fixation much, much worse), an opportunity to get away, refocus, purge the madness of the first quarter of 2012 from my body. I am very drawn to this Gardening + Yoga retreat that seems basically made for me (but it’s only one practice a day, and not inexpensive), and I even considered trying to do the staycation version of a yoga retreat (lots of yoga, healthy food, no internet), but I question how effective (/possible) that may be.

Thinking about this 30 days, it occurred to me that what I might need most of all is not an escape from life, but more practice at bringing yoga into my regular life conscientiously, at cultivating more sensitivity. I’m almost as competitive as those Balser sisters and I’m really good at a power through. That’s why 30 days doesn’t actually scare me. But what I’m not good at is backing off, at being in the moment, at ceasing my multitasking and just breathing.

When I was only doing yoga once a week, when it was a treat, I was getting pretty good at being in the moment. And I remember what it felt like having left a class not just having worked hard, but having had those transcendent moments, when it’s just breath and movement and not to-do lists or dinner plans. But now that I do it more often, now that I have a weekly “quota” to meet and yoga fights for space with all my other commitments, for some reason it’s harder. And I expect doing yoga 30 times in a month means it might get even harder. So my goal will be to be a seven-times-a-week yogi who thinks like a once-a-week yogi. Someone sensitive and grateful. And that’s more challenging than getting through 30 yoga classes any day.

 

 

My next big race: a 30-day challenge

 

I don’t consider myself a yogi. I like yoga and I’ve found it’s brought a lot of balance to my fitness routine. It’s a nice complement to all the cycling and running I do and allows me to get out of my own head every once in awhile. I’m a constant worrier and list-maker and too often become overwhelmed by my own emotions. Yoga creates that space for me.

 

This counts as a 30day session, right?

 

However, I’ve never become as addicted to it as Jill. I don’t “need” it or “crave” it or “desire” it beyond occasionally when my calves are screaming from do 80 hill repeats a few days ago. But Jill’s passion and enthusiasm for yoga is making me think about my practice differently. And now that I have a studio I love and look forward to returning to (Kula — thanks JK for the introduction!), I’ve started wondering how I incorporate yoga into my life more often.

So, because I am who I am, I’m going full-throttle. From Friday, May 10 to Sunday, June 11, I am doing a 30-day yoga challenge. Why (other than the obvious reason that I am crazy and have a tendency to take on too much at once) am I doing this? Let’s see…

I’m tired of running. I’m proud of my winter season (4 races, 4 PBs and my highest weekly mileage ever) and am looking forward to the fall. But I need a break. I beat up my body and abused my mind to get through this season. I once abandoned a run and came home crying (I’m sure Matt thought I had truly gone nuts that day). I lost toenails. I discovered foam rolling and YakTrax. I hurt in places I didn’t know existed. I ran in snow storms and rain storms and weird winter heat waves. I ran early in the morning. I ran late at night. I ran with others. I ran alone. I ran and ran and ran and ran and I don’t want to run anymore. (For the time being.)

I want a new challenge. I’m the kind of person that needs a goal or a deadline in order to complete things. I never understood running for fun. I understand running for racing. By turning this yoga challenge into a 30-day “move it or lose it” activity, it appeals to my super competitive self without abandoning the fundamentals of yoga that I hope to discover and reinforce during the journey.

If Jill did it, so can I. If you have sisters, especially sisters who are close to you in age, physical size and athleticism and have similar interests, you will understand this. If you don’t, just believe it’s healthy competition. Really, it is.

I want to embrace yoga. For all the reasons I’ve stated above and for more that I haven’t learned about yet. Jill swears by it, Jen swears by it, my friend Christina swears by it, my friend Erin swears by it. I want that.

We’ll see how this goes, and what I learn on the way. I’m really excited that JK is doing it with me. I’m not sure if I can do this alone.

 

 

 

How to survive your first 30 day challenge

 

Now that I successfully crossed off completing a 30 Day Yoga Challenge from my list, I’ve put together 5 key pointers (based on my own experience) so you, too, can survive your fist 30 day challenge. Hopefully at the end you’ll find a deeper appreciation to yoga — or at least a reason for doing it in the first place.

 

 

 

Do these 5 things and you will survive 30 days of yoga in a row:

 

1. Mix up your routine:

Changing up where you do yoga is a great way to forget what Day you’re on. I was terrified to think I had to take 30 classes of hot yoga straight. Don’t do this. Take a hot class one day, then a yin or restorative class the next. Or flow for 3 days. then a hot class then a yin class. Whatever you want, it is all okay. This is where a Passport to Prana comes in handy.

But, keep in mind you don’t have to be at a studio for your class to count. Try a yoga quickie or listen to a class on a CD – don’t get stuck taking the same class day after day. This includes mixing up the times when you practice. If you’re an after work yogi, try a morning class then don’t go until the next evening. The length of time between your classes can feel like ages since you last practiced.

2. Find acceptance:

I struggled with this one for a few days. Understand that doing yoga for 30 days isn’t about doing yoga for 30 days, but rather about giving the time for yourself to connect to your body and practice and letting go of everything else (wow, I sound like a teacher!). Lie in shavasana for an entire class if that’s what your body needs to do. This is yoga. Also understand your body changes daily and each day will be different from the one before. Just be there in the moment and not worrying about what the day was like prior.

3. Get a buddy:

For your fist time, don’t try this alone. Find someone at your studio — a friend, a fellow yogi, a teacher — anyone to share this experience with. Not only will you be determined to finish day 30 this way, you have someone to get you though those not-so-fun days. Tiffany was mine, and boy was I ever glad to have her around!

4. Share your progress:

Nothing made me more happy then having people ask me what day I was on. Whether it was at work, at my own studio or away on work vacations (Moksha Halifax, I owe you big time) I felt proud of myself. Tell everyone you know what you’re doing. You’ll feel great knowing you’re not the only one who cares. And talk to your teachers specifically, not only will they understand you, but they’re incredibly helpful for those not-so-great days.

5. Make a Sticker Chart

Probably the most important part of your challenge! It’s kinda sad how rewarding sticking a sticker on a chart under the day you just completed can be.

 

If everyone could have this girls energy and optimism 30 day challenges would be a breeze! The clap kills me every time.

 

The 30 days of my challenge

 

My 30 Day Challenge officially ended Thursday night and I couldn’t be more happy!

 

Me with my celebratory 30-day challenge bubbly! Thanks Tiffany!

 

Well, that’s not entirely true. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are. As much as I enjoyed the high of conquering this unexpected challenge of a challenge, its got me super worried. If I stop doing yoga everyday what’s going to happen? All the work I’ve done, will it just disappear if I miss a day? What have I done!?! I think I’m even more an addict now than I was before (if that’s even possible). What do I do?!

Thankfully there is Rachel Kess — be like the Samurai — was the advice I received.

Samurais apparently spend their childhood to early adulthood training, basically from the time they are 8 to about 21 they train. Then they stop and it’s not until at least another 10 years before they begin to train again. Rachel you are so inspiring and random for knowing this. Either way, I discovered the reason for a major break is that the mind needs time to train as well. Physically you can only do so much until you begin to plateau. But, growing a deeper understanding of yoga is a mind/body connection, much like samurai training, I guess. So it’s totally okay to take a body break. You may not fell the exact same after your break, but you’re body will pick up where you left off rather quickly. Thank goodness for that!

I figured I’d want to die before taking another yoga class after day 30. I am still surprised I actually survived and still like yoga. So my plan now is to take a break from yoga for the weekend, then back at it on Monday. We’ll see how that goes.

Day 1

What: 60 min Silent Class
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 2

What: 90 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

AND

What:60 min Yin Yang
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 3

No class – doubled up on Day 2

Day 4

What: 90 min Vinyasa
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 5 (the day this whole this fiasico started)

What: 90 min Yin
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 6

What: 60 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 7

What: 75 min Vinyasa Flow
Where: 889 at the Thompson

Day 8

What: 60 min Spygna Flow
Where: Spygna Toronto South

Day 9

What: 75 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

AND

What: 60 min Yin
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 10

No class – Doubled up on Day 10

Day 11

What: 90 min Kriya
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 12

I was bad and missed class. But, to my defense I was learning to save lives and no studio nearby had a class past 7pm.

Day 13

What: 75 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 14

What: 75 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 15

What: 60 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 16

Where: 75 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Halifax

Day 17

What: 60 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Halifax

Day 18

What: 90 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Halifax

Day 19

What: 60 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Halifax

Day 20

I was bad, again, and missed class. But, this time to my defense I spent the morning Mommy/Middle Daughter bonding.

Day 21

What: 75 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 22

What: 60 min Silent Class
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 23

What: 75 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 24

What: 90 min Reiki Restorative
Where: Kula

Day 25

What: 75 min Joga
Where: energyXchange

And

What: 20 min yoga podcast
Where: In my kitchen

Day 26

What: 90 min Hatha Level I/II
Where: Yoga Sanctuary College Street

Day 27

What: 60 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 28

What: 60 min Moksha Flow
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 29

What: 60 min Silent Class
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

Day 30

What: 90 min Moksha
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

AND

What: 60 min Yin Yang
Where: Moksha Yoga Downtown

 

30 days of yoga – Check! And I’m celebrating by doing nothing.

 

 

Yoga Quickies

 

What: 20 minute Yoga session
When: Saturday at 5:45pm
Where: My kitchen
Who: Yogadownload.com

 

After Joga with Vanessa Saturday morning I was tired. More like exhausted. Like, Erin, I too thought I was in decent space and advancing quite well with my yoga practice. This idea was completely shot in the head after class. But, we both survived and it was great.

We then dragged ourselves home, made homemade pizzas, drank lots of coffee and continued complaining how hard Joga actually is — which I’m am determined to master, mind you, if it’s the last thing I do. So when I finally gathered the strength to get myself home I was ready to do something else, knowing in the back of my mind the plan this weekend was to double up on classes for not taking class last Monday.

I should have stayed and went running with Erin, but another idea came to mind. I’ll try yoga at home! Nicole, a teacher at Moksha Downtown, was kind enough to send me a list of her favourite yoga podcasts. I didn’t have any other plans for this Saturday night, so why not? So that’s what I did yoga in my kitchen.

 

My serene and sophisticated kitchen studio.

 

And this makes up for Sunday! Any yoga I do anywhere counts towards my 30 days. One obstacle with this 30 day challenge is fitting yoga in to your daily routine. Planing what nights or mornings you do yoga is flexible when you know how many classes you want to do in a week. Let’s face it we have lives and things come up and we don’t always have time for yoga. The big challenge can be finding the time to get yourself to a class. For the busy bee’s out there – problem solved. Now yoga can come to you, anywhere you are. I will admit I was a little thrown off at first. You have to listen to the teachers instructions clarify or you won’t know what your doing. There are no visual cues to go by, so be mindful of that. The privacy of your own home is nice so have fun with it!

Here are Nicole’s favourites:

Padmani Yoga (Yumee Chung)

Elsie’s Yoga Podcast

Hilary’s Yoga Podcast

20 Minute Yoga Sessions

Give these a try. Now you have no excuse to squeeze in that yoga quickie when you need it most. All you need is your computer and a place for you mat.

 

 

Take these classes if: You’re somewhat familiar with different yoga sequences and have at least a few classes under your belt.

 

How I spent my Halifax vacation

Lucky for me, just after a 2 week return to Toronto from my holiday break at home and in New York, work sent me back to the homeland to work the OptiMYz Health Expo and train our new Maritime marketing coordinator on my event expertise (thank you Bullfrog!).

Life was great. I had the chance to show off work-wise, work an event in a new region, actually train other Bullfrog staff, and see my dear Mommy again for some mother/(middle) daughter bonding time. Time for me to get spoiled.

Oh wait, I totally forgot about this yoga thing I’ve committed myself to. Thank goodness for Moksha Yoga Halifax (and for my personal taxi service catering to my work and yoga needs. Thanks Mom!)

 

The outside of the studio!

 

After asking all my teachers at Moksha Yoga Downtown what Moksha Halifax was all about, I decided to go see it for myself. Day 1 (Day 16 of my challenge) was superb! I was greeted by the lovely Joanna Thurlow Murphy and Kyla MacKinnon – owner and assistant manager respectively. And Kyla just happened to be teaching the 5:30pm Moksha Flow class I came for. It rocked! I was excited, energized and high off the fact I took Halifax Transit, for the first time in my life, to get there (sorry, that was kind of exciting for me). Once thing you need to know before arriving, their practice room is square. No, not square as in lame – square as in a box. The shape plus having 4 rows of people in the practice room was an interesting mix, one I’m not use to. If you like the mirror you better come early, otherwise spend the extra time figuring out where on earth to place your mat. That was totally me. I then tried a new spot for each class I took. It was kind of a fun game I made for myself.

Each class I took was fantastic. I thank the great teachers plus the awesome yoga streak I was on. Days 12 to 19 kick butt of which I really should thank Moksha Halifax for. I loved the friendly,warm welcoming atmosphere everyone gave me plus the constant updates Kyla wanted about my challenge. It was really cool they cared. By the end of my trip I felt like one of the family.

The inside of the studio!

Thursday Jan 19: 5:30pm Moksha Flow with Kyla

The best. Kyla is great and nice and pretty and I felt great in her class. After a warm welcome this class was exactly what I wanted.

Friday Jan 20: 8am Moksha with I can’t remember! 🙁

I feel so terrible I can’t remember who taught this class. I was obviously still sleep when my uncle dropped me off. I do remember she was a delight – could it have been Lauren? I would wake up early and miss part of work every Friday for my mystery teacher.

Saturday Jan 21: 4pm Moksha with Kirsten

After a full day at OptiMYz surrounded by beautiful fit people it’s like Kirsten knew where I was. Whoo baby this class was a workout. Yoga skeptics need to take a 90 minute Moksha class with Kirsten. We pumped out double powerful poses, more planks than I can even remember and so much abdominal work you’d want to run to the closest beach.

Sunday: 2pm Moksha with Venessa

Sunday I was a tired. Very tired and sleepy. I honestly didn’t want to do anything, but when 2pm rolled around I was ready. Venessa taught at a gentle pace but made you work just the same. I liked this a lot. And I wasn’t sleepy anymore!

Monday: No Class

Mom wanted me to show off my yoga moves at home for her instead. And she offered to make me breakfast before driving me to the airport. I struggled with this decision, but I suppose I could double up another day to spend quality time with her instead.

 

It was like each day, class and teacher new exactly what I needed. It was kind of scary, but awesome.

Bottom line is if you live in Halifax join the Moksha Hali family, if you visiting drop by. The studio is a present surprise from the practice room to the change rooms — it’s beautiful.

Moksha Halifax, thank you for your hospitality. I will be back! And hopefully sooner than expected.

The Horrid Day 9

Thank goodness this month is almost over! That’s all I have to say. I’ve been counting down the days till the end of January since the beginning of my 30 Day Challenge challenge was presented to me. Day 21 down, only 9 more to go. I could have swore off yoga for the rest of my life a mere 12 days ago, but now I just might become an even bigger yoga machine than I already am! I feel like a yoga superstar and this is a very cool feeling.

 

But, if you were to ask me how I felt 12 days ago — well you probably couldn’t have asked me because the sound of the word yoga would have made me punch you in the face — I would have told you I’d killed myself before doing another yoga class! And I was serious. My challenge had become the hardest thing I have ever agreed to do, just like that, literally overnight. Let’s go back these 12 days ago shall we, back to day number 9. It was a Thursday evening (of which I couldn’t be more happy about. I love me my Thursdays at Moksha Yoga Downtown!). It was a long week, but an awesome week. I visited the new 889 Yonge and Spynga just a few days before. Still, I was not mentally prepared for what was in store. Dun-dun-dun….

I held off doing the 6pm class, when surprise! I found out Rachael Kess was teaching the 8pm 75 minute Moksha Flow. Yay!! This would make any Downtowner very happy. I hadn’t seen nor taken a Rachael Kess’s funky “stare at the wall instead of the mirror class” in forever, and I need me some Rachael Kess on a regular basis. (Okay, so maybe it has to do with the fact she spoils me with a little touch of her Thai Yoga Massaging at the end of class, but hey I live for this would give up anything for it. Anything.)

Sadly, this night I didn’t get the touch of Rachael’s magic hands. And I didn’t well deserve it. I practically did nothing, but lay in shavasana (which is still doing yoga and still counts, thank you Rachael Kess) the entire class and the poses I actually did do, let’s just say it was a good thing classes are silent. I could have screamed or cried or even both. I am have put too much expectations on myself to kick some yoga butt or maybe it was the sly gesture of placing my mat so Rachael couldn’t miss me. Whatever it was the Yoga Gods were indeed punishing me this particular night.

Ugh, this was the worst class ever.

I had no idea yoga (or my mind) could be so hateful. Nothing against Rachael, it was my body that was doing the hating. I was tired, grumpy and couldn’t stop telling myself how much I hated yoga. Rachael would deliver an instruction and I would scream out “NOOOO!” or @%&$ this sucks!” This unsettling feeling haunted me. Yoga is my release, my escape, what was happening! I could have slapped something or someone.

Then something amazing happened I went to class Monday night expecting to see Jackie. Jackie would fix everything. But surprise! Jackie turned out to be Brendan, and he saved my life. I don’t know what it was but I was back! I guess even yoga machines need fixing every once and awhile. Brendan I will be forever grateful for saving me from this 30 day challenge.

I will probably never do this again. Or maybe I’ll just skip Day 9.

But, some advice for any yogis thinking about attempting a 30 day challenge for the first time like moi: mix things up, go to different classes, different studios and try different teachers or take classes at irregular times. A change in scenery is key. And learn to live with how you’re feeling each day. Every single day of the 30 will be different. If you’re struggling it’s okay. If you’re rocking it, even better. Either way, accept what’s going on and move on. I, sadly, learned this the hard way.

Have you ever had a difficult yoga class or workout? How did you power through?

 

 

 

 

Unexpected Day 5 of My 30 Day Challenge

After a glorious day of sister bonding, running, epic brunch, and yoga AND me registering for my first 10k race ever, I have now been persuaded into doing a 30 day challenge. How did this happen? I’m asking myself the same question.

 

This will be me in thirty days. Just you wait and see.

 

After working at Moksha Yoga Downtown for over 2 years now, I have become part of a religious Thursday night “Yin Crew”, all of whom worship the teachings of the lovely Julia Gibran. One avid follower, other than myself of course, is my friend Tiffany.

So whom do I run into at mine and Erin’s Sunday night 90 minute yin class (which is actually not that surprising), is none other than Tiffany herself. A fellow east coaster living in Toronto, she is fresh off her return from her Maritime Christmas vacation and in much need of getting yoga back into the yoga groove.

Well, Tiffany has kicked her yoga return into high gear with a 30 day challenge and now I’m along for the ride. “Starting off Monday with 7am class, why not?” she says. Which then turned into “Why not do a 30 day challenge with me? You might as well.” Lucky for me, counting back my yoga from last week, I’m actually going into day 6 of the 30 lying ahead. I guess that’s not so bad.

I say this now, ask me again when I’m on day 17.

Now Tiffany and I are partners in crime on this 30 day adventure. A new item to add to my 2012 resolution list. I’ll be very excited to cross this off!

 

Image via lululemon’s Flickr account.