30-Day Challenge

If you’ve known me for more than a month and I haven’t gone somewhere that’s a pretty rare month in my life. I’m known in my circle of friends as The Wanderer, The One Who Can’t Stay Put, The Commitiphobe. I like to move, I dance around the world soaking in as much as I possibly can. So when I committed to the 30-day PoYoMo yoga challenge I kind of laughed at myself. Can I really do this? Generally when I say I’m going to do something, I put my head down and do it.

           

Yoga has been in and out of my life for years. Recently the practice has been more in that out. Sure, 30 days of yoga, I can do that! Unknowingly to myself it was easier in some ways and way way way harder in others. I knew I wouldn’t make it to the studio every day so I stocked up on Baron Baptiste DVDs, Jillian Michael meltdowns and easy flow Giaim vinyasas to mix up my home practice. Amanda and Jared’s classes that I attended were awesome, but what I didn’t expect was my home practice to flourish.

            The idea of doing yoga at home, by myself was daunting. Honestly, I felt stupid. It didn’t seem real if I wasn’t surrounded by the amazing bodies that attend hot yoga. The heat building in my bedroom by my own breath seemed labor-some and lame. But practice by practice I felt myself improve. I bended into poses at home and then bent further as Jared’s class pushed me to try new things.

The first time I got into Crow pose I looked around to see if anyone noticed, I then fell. But then I laughed. Acknowledgment of a pose is not what I should be looking for. I laughed because I realized that mid success and smiled as my body fell, when I got up to try again I smiled brighter. My home practice became mine. It became more real every time I set my mat down.

            I practiced yoga for 34 days in a row. At home, at the studio, sometimes after a few drinks I did a few vinyasas, I led a group of friends through some salutations when we visited the beach. Not every practice was perfect, but I earned each day by moving my body. Each practice led to learning something new about myself, improving my practice and staying committed. As my body improved I noticed my mind shifting too; instead of being annoyed and frustrated at work, I’d breathe, take note of the situation and find something positive in it. I was becoming one of those people. And I liked it.

            The support of the studio, the yogis, and even the facebook updates helped keep me accountable. However, the best thing I found through out the month of September was my own motivation and commitment to myself. No one was forcing me to drip sweat for an hour, no one was giving me a prize at the end. The prize was completion, the prize was knowing that I did it on my own and with support. I felt pride and strength at the end. I continue to practice because I continue to see myself grow.

ImageImage

Step Outside of Yourself.

My morning typically starts with coffee (let’s be honest, ALWAYS coffee,) my computer and  some sort of breakfast. I venture from my computer to a book or the gym, my yoga mat or the pool. Today I found my way to The Red Book and my journal. The chapter I just read is titled: Breaking the Rules: Healthy transgressions make the heavens applaud. Sera, the author…yes, we’re on a first name basis–talks about breaking out of the social norms in order to transgress, to change, to grow. Breaking social norms certainly is one way to mindfully mix up your life and move on and up, but breaking personal norms is too. I think, in many ways, probably more powerful.

She speaks of stepping outside of ourselves, outside of our normal habits and comfort zones and change it up a bit. Shutting off the TV and reading, drinking tea instead of coffee (no way, okay, maybe I’ll try it one day,) hitting on that dude at the bar, saying no when you are hit on by that other dude at the bar, quitting a kick-ass job that’s making you miserable. Ignoring that little voice inside of you that said “no” and scream “YES” back at it. Telling that voice to shut the eff up!

This morning I’ve been reflecting on my last few weeks. I’ve been scared and uncertain about my future. I told a friend of mine that I was “terrified” of an opportunity that is in front of me and he said, “Nope, no way, I don’t believe that YOU are scared.” I’m good at faking it, not so good at making it. I need to begin to see what others see in me. Another friend suggests I face my fear, challenge myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I need to get uncomfortable. My yoga instructors say “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Really–though, that’s the only way we can grow.

One of my goals is to silence my fearful voice that has gotten so loud in my head. I’m going to stop telling myself Well, Self, you failed at not stuffing french fries in your mouth yesterday, so obviously you’re going to fail today…where’s the ketchup? That voice is going to shut the eff up. It’s going start saying things like Look at you, you sexy woman! You CAN succeed, you CAN do this.

How are you going to change today? What are you going to do to move forward, grow, and improve?