Tag Archives: 30-day yoga challenge

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge :: Days 10 and 11

12 Jun

This past weekend was crazy busy, and this week hasn’t slowed down yet. I’ve been working my yoga in between work and appointments and friends and eating and sleeping. So while the yoga alone isn’t the only thing leaving me exhausted, combined with everything else it’s definitely a major factor.

Day 10: Ashtanga Basics

I met up with Carolina from Peas in a Blog and we started our week off sweating real pretty. Ten days into our 30-Day Challenge and we finally took our first class together! No pretty heart-shaped sweat marks on my back, but I did walk out of class with a giant frizz ball for a head. Funny, I walked into class with straight hair.

Day 11: Yoga Basics

I had an appointment between work and yoga and by the time it was yoga time, I wanted to bail. I tried to think of excuses to miss, but none convinced me enough to skip class. I wish I was a better liar. I totally would’ve lied to myself.

Instead I headed to class and breathed and moved and tried as hard as I could to relax. You may as well have asked me to do the  impossible . I tried to drown out the mental to-do lists in my head, but couldn’t stop thinking about them. And every time I did a downward dog I thought about how I was due for a pedi. Didn’t I just give myself one? Does yoga somehow make my nail polish last less time?? (Answer: Not directly, but I’ve been showering twice a day sometimes and all the showers do.)

I’m off to bed. I have some yoga to do at 6 AM. I’m already planning the different ways I can be glutenous in the evening!

How do you get yourself to work out when life is busy and you’re exhausted?

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge :: Day 4

4 Jun

Tonight marked day four of the 30-Day Yoga Challenge: Ashtanga Basics.

I went into class with a splitting headache. I took three Advil before I left the house and hoped that either yoga or the Advil would take away my pain. Twenty minutes into the practice, my headache was gone, and my head pain had been replaced with new pains (whatever muscle was currently being pulled and stretched at the moment).

This was a slightly shorter and slightly easier version of Saturday’s Ashtanga 1 practice and certainly passed my A.D.D. test. I’m okay with holding poses as long as it’s not anything longer than ten breathes.

Have I mentioned that all of the classes have been full lately? I think it’s because of the challenge. I was 15 minutes early today and had to set up mat at the very front of the class. Um… if I’m at the front of the class, who am I supposed to copy? Lucky for me, with all this yoga I’m actually starting to get the hang of some of these moves. I only had to do some not-so-subtle looking around a couple of times.

All this yoga has my body feeling great, but I have a confession: I miss running terribly. I miss the air in my lungs. I miss my ladies. And I miss our coffee breaks afterwards.

Speaking of running, today’s running haiku posted on runninghaiku.wordpress.com really got me giggling. Moving forward, I shall now refer to all porta-potties as “Honey Bucket.”

What’s your favorite nickname for porta-potties?

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge :: Days 1 and 2

2 Jun

Taking 26 yoga classes in the span of one month is going to be just like running a marathon. I have to pace myself. I can’t push too hard. And I’m going to reward myself at the end with a big, fat, juicy burger.

What I like about the challenge is that I have to try different styles of yoga because I have a limited schedule to work with. What I hate about the challenge is having to do new things. Oh silly me.

Day 1: Yin Yoga

Yesterday was the very first day of June, and so began the challenge. I was scheduled to celebrate a friend that evening for Happy Hour, so I opted to take a 4 PM class called “Yin Yoga” so I could make it to the bar on time. The studio’s website described the class as “A quiet practice, a series of long, slow postures that targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis and lower spine. Poses are held from 1-5 minutes long.”

I read this and thought to myself, “Oh good, I won’t sweat too much so I won’t have to take a shower.” Yes, I choose classes wisely.

It wasn’t until the class was about to start that I started to wonder exactly what kind of poses we would be holding for so long. I wondered this as I watched the human pretzel who set up shop in front of me folded up into… well… a pretzel. If this was her warm-up, what were we about to do??

The yoga class essentially went like this:

Yoga Instructor: Get in this really awesomely awkward position and hold it.

Me: (in my head) Oh dear. Does my leg even bend like that? Yes, sort of. Okay. I’m doing it! I’m holding it.

Yoga Instructor: Don’t forget to breathe…

Me: (in my head) Oh, yes. Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe. Ow. How long are we holding this for?

Yoga Instructor: Relax your shoulders. Relax your neck…

Me: (in my head) Relax my what? Ow. This is not comfortable at all. Good God… how long do we have to hold this for? Does anyone have a timer?!

Yoga Instructor: Relax your face…

Me: (in my head) Yeah, right. Relax? I don’t think I can. Why does Gumby Girl in front of me look like she’s peaceful and napping?

Yoga Instructor: Relax your eyelids…

Me: (in my head) $@#&%!!!

Yoga Instructor: Okay release.

Me: (in my head) Good God!

This pretty much continued itself for over an hour. I’ve never been so happy for Shavasana to come.

In retrospect, we spent the entire class deep stretching trouble spots for me so that was good. But damn, that was HARD. I might try to avoid this class, even though I think it was good for me.

Day 2: Ashtanga 1

The studio website describes this practice as “Ashtanga Yoga offers a vigorous flow of specific classic poses that heat the body to safely stretch and strengthen with an accent on the soothing breath.”

I’ve been meaning to try out this class but it always conflicted with my running on Saturday mornings. I’m glad I finally got to try it out because I liked it!

This class catered a bit more to my A.D.D (self-diagnosed, of course) and I was able to find a natural rhythm. Yes, it was still challenging, but I didn’t seem to mind as much. And I certainly didn’t curse as much in my head.

Also, our instructor was funny, which made some of the poses a lot more bearable. I’m easily distracted by jokes. Oh… I also lose my balance when I laugh. This happened several times. 🙂

Have you tried either of these styles of yoga? Why do you love/hate them?

On a side note, I’ve worked out six days in a row. Thursday I did a 20-minute cycle ride and arms. I feel like I could wrestle a bear and win. A tiny, baby bear. But nonetheless a bear. I’m rewarding myself with something fried today. I don’t know what, but I know it has to be battered and cooked in oil. Speaking of which, I’m overdue for lunch.

Happy weekend!

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge

2 Jun

The yoga studio that I’ve been going to issued a 30-day yoga challenge for the month of June. The goal is to take 26 yoga classes in 30 days, hopefully helping you discover the benefits of daily practice. I, however, am hoping to discover that I have the ability to be bendy, just like the girl who practiced in front of me yesterday. She was like Gumby. I’m quite sure she doesn’t have bones.

Downward Dog

(Source)

I found myself going back and forth on whether I should take the challenge, and finally decided to do it. Here’s why:

  • That damn IT band. It’s still working on Operation Heal. Since I won’t be rejoining my Marathonfest running group until it’s healed, I need something to do something in the meantime. If not, I’m going to bore on the stationary bike and at-home yoga and likely become a couch potato.
  • It’s just what the doctor ordered. Okay, so he didn’t exactly say I needed to challenge myself to 26 days of yoga in the span of one month. But he did say I need to stretch like I’ve never stretched before. And I needed to strengthen my hips, legs and core. I think yoga covers both.
  • Blogging about my home workouts is boring. Not just for me… I’m not sure how you feel, but you’re likely nodding your head in agreement.

I did have some things holding me back, but I think I came up with solutions:

  • The cost. In order to complete the challenge I would have to get an unlimited monthly class, which runs $135. This is a huge cost for me but was able to work it into my budget. Goodbye lunches and afternoon Starbucks trips with my co-workers. Hello Lean Cuisines and leftovers!
  • My hair. Yes, my hair was a part of the consideration process. Are you done snickering? No? Fine, I’ll give you a minute… Okay, I recently just got the ol’ Ombre do and it’s smokin’. Or should I say fried? See, I have very, very dark hair, so to get the my ends so light it required a lot of bleach. This bleach blonde requires special care  like avoid chlorine, ease up on the straightening iron, don’t wash hair every day. How can I sweat every day and not wash my hair and straighten?? I decided dry shampoo, curly hair and up do’s would be my solution.
  •  I hate to do laundry. My yoga clothes are really my running clothes. And I only have so many running clothes that are  yoga comfy. And I just spent $135, so I don’t have money to be buying new yoga clothes. I’m going to have to do laundry a lot. Did I mention that I hate doing laundry? I’m just going to have to suck it up.
  • There goes my social life. Wait, what social life? Yoga is my new best friend. For the month of June that is. Afterwards, we’ll probably get in a big fight and not talk to each other for a while while I go back to my old best friend, Running. And my running buddies, whom I already miss terribly.

And so, yesterday I embarked on this crazy journey of 26 yoga classes during the month of June. Also taking this challenge is Carolina from Peas in a Blog. I’m looking forward to sweating alongside her. I’m also looking forward to discovering that I too have no bones! 🙂

Have you ever done a streak, whether it be a run streak or a yoga streak or a (fill-in-an-excercise) streak? What were your biggest challenges?