To conclude 31 days of yoga, I chose a new practice this evening -- 30 minutes of "lunar flow" from Yoga Download. I'm so glad I decided to check out a few yoga downloads -- and just in time to use Tina's coupon for 50% off! I also downloaded gentle hatha, moon salutes, and yoga for back pain. I'm excited to try out these other practices, too! I was a little bit worried about the minimal visuals using the audio download, but found I only needed to glance at the PDF containing the pose illustrations during unfamiliar poses.
Speaking of unfamiliar poses . . . whoa half-pigeon! My hips have never felt so loose and free. Plow is going to kick my ass, however. :) I can't wait to be strong enough to do the shoulder stand!
Reflecting on the past month . . .
. . . although my level of motivation and participation in the challenge has ebbed and flowed, I am proud of myself for practicing yoga for 30 of the past 31 days! I recorded my practices on a wall calendar, and I must admit . . . that empty square still haunts me a little. I remember that day, though, and know that there was no way yoga would have fit.
HOWEVER, I have practiced 745 minutes of yoga this month, (nearly 12 1/2 hours,) averaging 24 minutes and a couple of seconds per day. WOW!
I have noticed improvements in my overall flexibility and general fitness, but I believe the greatest benefits I’ve reaped from this challenge have been emotional/spiritual. I think the combination of focused, deep breathing and challenging body postures allow me to decompress in a way that is very beneficial to me. I have a high-stress job, (preschool teacher for low-income, high-needs children,) and often struggle turning work “off” when I get home. Practicing yoga immediately after work has become a crucial part of my weeknight routine! My evenings have been more relaxed, productive, and focused, and I seriously think I have been sleeping better, too!
I am thankful I have developed a new habit – and I bet my chiropractor will be thankful, too! (I have had chronic/severe back pain for many years, now – and I have been pain-free this entire month! Woooo yoga!)
I have always HATED “exercise,” although I love to be busy and active – I love to walk with friends, bike, and explore the wilderness, but have set foot in a “gym” literally less than five times my entire adult life. I’ve discovered, thanks to this challenge, “exercise” that I actually enjoy! No longer will the long, cold Minnesota winters be so lazy for me!
With that said . . . bring on spring, and more yoga!
(P.S. I forgot to mention . . . I continue to do sun salutes and various yoga poses with the children I teach, and they beg to go to the conference room for “yoga class!” I think it’s so cute when they say “namaste” to each other!)
How was your month of yoga, if you were practicing along?