Monday, February 13, 2012
I've been doing yoga occasionally for probably a decade. Never really got super committed to it, but enjoyed it when I did it. For me, I was always a runner first, then everything else fit in behind the daily run. I ran long distance for over 30 years and still love it. But it was just time for me to get out of old habits and into new things. So, I started doing more yoga along with all the other changes I was making in my life starting in November of last year. So that all that change would just be GIVING up things. It was also taking ON things.
At the yoga studio near my house they offer a 30 day yogathon twice a year in February and October. It intrigued me. It's a sweet little studio and really close to the house. I don't know. I think it appealed to the long distance runner in me. So, with only slightly more intention than a whim I signed up for February's yoga challenge. It's been almost two weeks now. So here's the report.
First, the most striking thing is the schedule. When you have committed to do something daily for any length of time well every obstacle that has ever stood in your way to working on a commitment shows up and you just can't let it stop you. So if you are tired, you go. If you are sore, you go. If you are in a bad mood, you go. If your son wants to have a certain dinner and you don't have all the ingredients you go and he eats something else because you don't have time to go to the store. If you left your cell phone on the desk at work, you go. If all you have energy for right now is curling up on the couch with the cat, you go. If your best friend from high school is in town, just for the day, you go. If you ever want to get in touch with your "excuse" side, sign up to do something daily. The excuse-o-meter will be pumping out ever more lame reasons why you can't do whatever it is and then you do it anyway.
So, aside from how I'm feeling physically, just blasting through excuses day after day after day has been pretty great. That might be the main skill building that's happening here. This is what your brain looks like on a steady diet of "Just do it!".
First of all, no disasters. Nothing has fallen through the cracks. My son is still alive. The cat eventually got fed. I managed to go to class when I was really tired and at the end of class, I was -- um -- really tired. Presumably, I would have continued to be really tired even if I hadn't gone to yoga class.
Otherwise, the physical stuff. Well, my skin looks incredible. I look like I get a 100 dollar facial every day or else I'm in love. (ha, I wish!) Have no idea why this is, but it's the first most noticeable thing. Second, I think that the little bit of meditation and concentration is helping me manage my stress level enormously. Third, I am much more aware of my body and what is happening with it even when I'm not in class. It's like I'm more IN my body all the time, which is very cool and may be the thing that keeps me really going after the challenge is over. It's like my life has another untapped dimension.
I'm not doing cardio right now, so my weight loss is slower -- and I'm slow to begin with there. But I feel fantastic. And my curves are less lumpy. I don't know, I'll take an "after" picture on day 29 and you guys can judge for yourself. It's hard to tell for me.