When I did a 21 day yoga challenge the first time (last June), I did it just to see if I had the stamina to do it. That was the only requirement – showing up and making it through the challenge. This time, though, the reason was more “can I do this in January?” – January has always been a hard time for me to include movement in my life. A secondary reason was to see how much strength I had built up in 6 months.
I am on Day 11 of the challenge, and have gotten in ten yoga classes in as many days – including 7 7 am yoga classes, an evening yoga 1, a yin class and pre-natal (no, I am not pregnant, just had sore arms and wanted to try a different type of place) – and, as much as I enjoy yoga (and practice regularly as you can see in my weekly recaps), I kind of miss the variety of having some gym time in my movement routine, and more long walks. Right now, because of my schedule of work and professional
commitments, the yoga challenge is basically the only movement time I can get in and I have to admit, I am a little over it. This morning, when I was getting bundled to walk to yoga in 20 degree weather (Victoria, I know that is not that cold, but it’s still too cold), I found myself thinking “if I did not have the challenge, I could be going to the gym for 30 minutes, which means I could watch bad TV and have an extra 15 minutes back into my day” – yoga is an hour in the morning, with under a 5 minute walk each way, while when I go to the gym, I usually am there just 30 minutes, with a slightly longer walk, so gym = 15 extra minutes back on my day. And these days 15 extra minutes is worth a lot.
Nevertheless, I am sticking the challenge out (and not just because we get fun tea mugs if we complete the challenge)– mainly because I am realizing just how much less sore I am at almost the midway point compared to how sore I was last time, which is really exciting, as it means my stamina and strength have improved. I also love the feeling of kinship of doing the challenge, and the fact it is making me try new classes or new instructors. In addition to pre-natal yoga, I went to a 6pm yoga 1 on Monday. Usually, on holiday Mondays, I go to the gym early, and then invariably have to go into the office. I always think about doing a yoga class in the evening (I usually have enough flexibility to get out in time for one, unlike most weekdays these days), but instead figure the morning gym time means I get my movement in early and then it is out of the way for the rest of the day. I love going to yoga 1 classes, as I work more on alignment in them because of the slower pace as compared to Open level classes, but I never end up going to them. As a direct result of doing the challenge, I went to this yoga 1 class this past Monday, which was subbed by a new-to-me instructor (Christine) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
So yes, I am a bit over it in terms of how the challenge affects logistics, but I am also enjoying how it is getting me to go to more classes, and with different instructors at that. And really, a year ago, this challenge would have been a lot harder (even if I was not having surgery and putting my yoga membership on hold while I recovered) so at some level, I love doing this challenge just for the reason that I can do it. On that note, I am off to sleep, as I have more yoga to do tomorrow!
Photo courtesy of Tranquilspace.