The month of September I took Yoga Girl’s #yogaeverydamnday challenge. Basically, this challenge is for you to get on your mat every damn day.. Even if its just for 2 minutes of child pose. Just get on your mat.
I decided to take this challenge as a form of meditation. I am always so present when I get on my mat. For the amount of time I commit to practice, I am there- practicing. My mind will drift to other human-ly thoughts, like my to-do list or what I’m going to eat later, but I will always reconnect to my breath. My mind always returns to the hollowness of the pose, the depth of my inhale, the length of my exhale. I get lost in the release, the thoughtless stretch and the inevitable yoga-high that hits you after shavasna.
I got on my mat for 30 days straight. Some days for 5 minutes of stretching, some for an hour of vinyasa, some for 45 minutes of kundalini… But I did it. I got on my mat every day for 30 days straight… And this is what shifted for me:
- I started breathing so much deeper, all the time. I noticed my breathing was so much deeper. Not shallow short breaths, but long inhales and exhales. This kept my stress levels lower, my heart rate down, and my over all mood higher! I first noticed this when a dog ran at me and my angel-pup Athena when we were on our walk.. Instead of panicking like is characteristic of me, I just yelled at the dog to stop and go home. It was an interesting experience, which led me to think about what was going on… I was observing my actions for the next few days, and realized how much deeper I was breathing! It made so much sense.
- My back never hurt. I have a problem with my spine, its not scoliosis exactly- but I have a “natural curvature” to my upper spine that hurts quite often. Going to the chiropractor for regular adjustments helps a lot (I am actually looking to getting some energy work done- to see if I can find the root of the problem.. If anyone has any recommendations please let me know!!).. But daily yoga gave me the same effect. My body felt so good. I felt limber, and aligned in a way that is hard to put into words. It felt right, natural. I just felt better overall physically. My body was actually craving yoga daily.
- I was in-tune with my body. I don’t know how it was happening, but I felt so full of energy after my practice each day, and this carried with me through out the whole month. I was feeling inspired. I think that the best thing we can do is treat our human vessel with love and respect. Yoga is medicine for the body. I was getting in such a flow and rhythm with what my body needed. After the first few weeks of doing follow-along videos on Gaia Yoga, I was creating my own flows. I was listening to my body during the practice and it felt like I was dancing. I understood what needed to be stretched, how much I needed to stretch it, what felt good, and it all fit together so beautifully. It was like magic, so exciting and beautiful.
Of course I benefited in other ways, too. I was more energetic, more flexible, I felt accomplished and proud! I highly recommend committing to 30 days of yoga, even if its only 10 minutes a day. You will see a shift in your life, with out a doubt. Unfortunately the past month I was not as consistent in my practice… I started a new job & have been crazy busy and worn down- trying to balance my business with work and play.. But I plan to dive back in soon!! Let me know if you practice yoga, how regularly you get on your mat, and how it has impacted you. Have a lovely week friends, I’m about to hop on my mat right now hehe!