Tag Archives: ashtanga

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge :: Day 7

8 Jun

Hoorah! Today is my first rest day since I began this 30-day Yoga Challenge on June 1st (and first day work-out free since May 28th). My body is rejoicing!

I woke up this morning sooooooo tired. I think I muttered “coffee” to the boyfriend, but he still hasn’t brewed it yet. I will try extra hard to avoid spelling errors.

Yesterday was Day 7 of the yoga challenge and I was dragging. The rain that fell heavily while I was driving to the studio was rather telling of my mood. I wanted to drive home and lay on the couch instead. Preferably with some ice cream. Or a bag of chips. Or both. Instead I made a dash into the studio.

Yesterday’s class was an Ashtanga 1 class. Somewhere between child’s pose and shavasana I slowly forgot about my aspirations of being a couch potato. I took advantage of the slower pace to really focus on my poses. I don’t know how many times I had to remind myself to drop my shoulders, but it was up there. I could tell that I had a stressful day at work because my shoulders were so tense.

I’m going to enjoy my day off of yoga today. I almost wish I could double up either tomorrow or Sunday so that I could have a second rest day, but my weekend is just too busy. Rather than let myself feel overwhelmed by all of my plans this weekend, I’m going to try and focus on enjoying every activity and stay in the moment.

And I really hope one of those moments involves a cupcake of sorts. 🙂

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!