Happy 2018! I know I’ve been majorly slacking on the writing lately. My goal for 2018 is to publish at least once a month. I’m off to a bad start, since I missed January BUT this post talks about something I did in January so that kinda counts, right?
This past January, I participated in the TRUE 30-Day Yoga Challenge hosted by my favorite Youtube-yogi, Adriene. Starting January 2, there was a new video and theme every day. I did her 30-day challenge from last year, except I didn’t start in January and I didn’t do it every day…it took me about 2 months to complete. This year, I wanted to commit to starting at the beginning of the year, and not missing any sessions. I had a few reasons for wanting to participate in this:
- I want to do yoga at least twice a week this year, and I thought jumping in and doing it for 30 days straight would help me build a routine and become more consistent
- My doctor recommended yoga and meditation as treatment for all my gut issues. She thinks it might have to do with stress, so doing relaxing activities would help
- January is, hands down, the most stressful month of the entire year at work. I knew I would need something to help combat stress and this seemed perfect
I’m proud to say I only missed one day the entire month, and I made up for it by doing a double session the next day. I got through all 30 workouts and I learned a lot about myself along the way. It’s honestly so hard for me to really focus in on myself. I feel like I’m always going a mile a minute and always finding something to be stressed about. Adriene asked us about our motives, asked us what we love about ourselves, asked us to let go of the day’s stress….it was invigorating. I’m so glad I participated in this 30-day challenge. Here are some takeaway lessons from those 30 days:
- You have time to sit down and shut everything out. You do. You just have to make it. There were days when I only had an hour between jobs and instead of napping or watching TV, I made sure to do my yoga. Adriene makes this really easy-all of her videos are less than an hour, and a lot are even less than half an hour! Great for people who don’t have a ton of time.
- Sometimes sitting and breathing with your eyes closed is all you need. There were some days where I would come home and cry because of everything I had going on at work, and that’s when I knew it was time to put on that video and flow. And some days? I just laid there, listening to the video, doing some deep breathing until I felt like I was ready to start.
- I was considerably less stressed this January than I have been in past years. And that, is 100% because of my regular daily yoga practice.
- This was the first January in 3 years that I didn’t get seriously sick and have to miss work. In previous years, I have literally stressed myself out to the point of physical illness. But this year? I had a cough and sore throat for a few days but that was it (and pretty sure everyone gets that at some point in the winter). I didn’t have to go to the doctor or miss work.
- I feel like I have been sleeping better since I did the 30 day challenge. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because my stress is down and not keeping me up at night. Maybe it’s because if I feel like I can’t sleep, I do some deep yoga breaths and then I’m out.
- I learned a lot about myself, answering the questions Adriene asked us each session. The day she asked “what do you love about yourself?” it took me awhile to think of things. This was eye-opening for me. What DID I love about myself? Clearly this is something I still need to work on.
- I have been having a lot of body/self-esteem issues since my stomach issues flared up again. But on the mat, in the comfort of my own home, I’m not thinking about any of that. On the mat, I’m a warrior goddess. I am worthy. I am present. And even though she’s just a video on a screen, Adriene always makes me feel like she really has my back (because she does!!)
If you follow my instagram, you know that my “word of the year” is CALM. This challenge helped me to find a little calmness in each day, no matter how crazy and stressful that day was. Some days I did it in the afternoon, some days I did it first thing in the morning and carried the message of the day with me all day long.
I encourage everyone to try this challenge, whether a total newbie or seasoned yogi. I think everyone can benefit from this. You can start the challenge any time you want-you don’t have to wait for the first of the month or year. Just follow the videos consistently for 30 days. Here is the link for the TRUE 30-Day Yoga Challenge. Adriene also has monthly yoga calendars with a video for each day. Some of these are new videos and some are older ones. The theme for February is LOVE YO’SELF, and I’m loving it so far! Here is the link for February’s playlist, and you can sign up for her emails (highly recommend) on her website.
I’m so glad I started my 2018 like this. Thank you Adriene, and the FWFG community. This practice was truly life-changing for me. Until tomorrow….Namaste.