“Some Yoga is better than No Yoga”

Hey friends! I’m here to challenge myself and I’m totally happy to take you along for the journey. 

Feel free to do it with me or just watch. I promise to show up with some awesome insight and awkward attempts at fitting yoga into my daily life. 😜

If you’re like me, you know you should be doing some kind of yoga or meditation often, but you struggle to make the time, effort, or intention to actually do it. 

Always Be in the Process of Setting New Habits

One of my goals this year is to always be in the process of setting new habits that will improve myself and push me past my comfort zone. 

Yoga, for me, is one of those habits. When I do yoga, even in short segments, I love it. My body feels better, my soul feels lighter and I’m so much better equipped to handle my day… but getting myself to do it is HARD. It’s just not my favorite thing. 

My true joy in fitness is in a group setting….with high energy, pounding music, and shared endorphins as people push past their own limits and feel like conquerors the end! BOOM!  It’s just the best feeling ever! But because of this, I tend to neglect slower, more intentional movements like Yoga.

So…here we goooooo!!!! Starting March 9th, 2020 for 21 days.

My Yoga Challenge:

Intention #1: Do Yoga every single day for 21 days.

Intention #2: Make a plan on Sunday with which videos I’ll do each day.

Intention #3: Explore different styles of Yoga and online instructors (aka: try new stuff)

Intention #4: Share the journey on social media and document the experience below.

Day 1 & 2:

I started this challenge from a pretty vulnerable place.

Two days beforehand we had a small tragedy… Our family fur baby (and beloved pet of 8 years) was violently attacked by coyotes and after about 4 hours of fighting for her life, she passed on. Not only is there basketball sized hole in our home and my heart right now, but there was some added trauma, as I scooped up my injured baby and held her in my arms during her last breaths.
For a moment, in the midst of my grief, I wanted to hold off on this challenge and wait until I felt a bit stronger…
and then, I realized that this would be a great opportunity to use yoga to help heal my saddened heart.
So my first choice for Yoga was a gentle yoga for grief.
 
Day 1: I didn’t get to it until 10 pm, so I chose a short Chi Gong movement to release grief and despair with Dr Kim D’Eramo.
I actually loved the breathing exercises and movements…she kept stopping to explain the process which took away from the flow, but I still noticed a difference in how I felt the next morning.

Day 2: Since the short video from the night before seemed helpful in relieving my pain and grief I thought I’d do another. This one was a little longer. It was Yoga for Grief – Yoga with Adriene. I appreciated her cueing during the breathing exercises and definitely felt better afterward.

Watch the Facebook Live I did about these first 2 days here.

Day 3:

I think this pic pretty well sums up my yoga skills. I am semi-flexible but awkward twists and strength poses are pretty difficult for me. I’m looking forward to improving on this! 👍🏻😆

This morning I decided to try something a little different…

Instead of doing a POST-workout yoga stretch I decided to try a PRE-workout yoga stretch. I was feeling a little sluggish and have been trying to reduce my caffeine consumption in the morning so I opted to do a 10 minute Morning Yoga Full Body Stretch from Yoga with Kassandra. 

I loved it! Totally got my juices flowing and I was ready to hop onto the treadmill afterward!

Day 4 & 5:

Total transparency here. Day 4 came and went without a second thought about getting my yoga done. BUT, to be fair, that was the day, here in the US, when the President announced the cancellation of all things… people started losing their minds and hoarding food and supplies. So I was just a little preoccupied. And I’ll be extra honest here…in the past I would have started coming up with all the reasons to give up on the challenge. I mean…we have a freaking PANDEMIC going on here. I would be completely justified to put this off, right?

Except, with everything shutting down and the potential of having my kids home from school for who-knows-how-long, there might not be a better time to adopt the habit of adding yoga to my everyday life. So I let go of what didn’t happen and moved on…

Day 5. I had to squeeze in a quickie between my morning workout and preparing for an overnight trip to southern Utah to pic up our new puppy. (If you missed my first entry, we lost our beloved dog a little over a week ago and have decided to welcome a new fur baby into our home.

Anyway, I found a 10 minute Yoga for Energy video on YouTube by Fightmaster Yoga that said it was “Better than Coffee”. Yahoo! Since I’ve been trying to cut back on caffeine, it seemed perfect. In the end…not quite the energetic boost of a cup of coffee but certainly better than nothing and I did feel more energized to finish my day!

To catch my live VB video for Day 4&5 click HERE

Day 6 & 7:

Day 6: Yoga in a hotel room is just plain awkward. I tried streaming some videos but the WiFi was patchy so I decided to make my movement more intuitive. After sitting in a car for hours It felt amazing to stretch my tight hips and back. I did a few movements to test tight areas like the forward bend, down dog and child’s pose (I do know a few of the basics) and really listened to my body.

Day 7: I loved it so much that I did the same thing the next morning (after sleeping in a not-so-comfy bed) it had the same effect and I felt much better equipped to make the long trek home. 

Try trusting yourself enough to move your body in an inspired way. Some days it might look like a dance-off to you favorite tunes in your living room and others its a nice walk or run outdoors. I loved taking a moment to myself and just trust the flow and feeling of finding those tight spots, lingering there for as long as I needed to release the tension.

Day 8:

Today was “one of those days!” We have a new member of the family (aka: new pup) and literally everytime I would get on the treadmill I would have to jump off because she was about to pee on the carpet or needing attention for various reasons so I opted take her for a walk and then chose a 20 minute Total Body Yoga to Strengthen and Tone with Sarah Beth Yoga later in the afternoon. It was Awesome!

If there is anything I’ve already learned from my first week of daily yoga…NOT ONE TIME have I felt regret for taking a time-out to do it. Believe me, I’ve thought of every excuse not to start, but once I’m done, I release a big sigh of relief and gratitude ❤.

Side Note: Isn’t she the cutest??

Day 9: 

After a KILLER Bodypump workout this morning, all I wanted was to release the tension in my poor muscles that will no-doubt be sore tomorrow. I chose a short Post-workout Yoga Stretch with Adriene. All I have to say is Ahhhhhhh…mazing!! I might do it again before bed to keep the lactic acid from building up in my muscles to much and avoid being so sore in the morning. 

 Day 10:

After a quick run on the treadmill I opted to do Adriene’s Post Workout routine again…it was simple and effective, and well…things are about to get crazy so I’m choosing into keeping it simple right now.

Day 11-13: ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!

Day 11: The world has literally started shutting down around me. No, for real!  The last thing I expected when I started this challenge was to come face to face with a full pandemic shut-down, start homeschooling my kids, all the sports and social activities are CANCELLED… and to top it off we are adjusting to a new dog (which I thought would bring some much needed peace after losing our beloved Zoey, but she’s such a scaredy cat that no one can get near her and she’s pooping and peeing all over the house!).

In an attempt to keep up with my challenge I chose a 10 minute Core Workout from Boho Beautiful as my workout and feeling pretty accomplished to have done anything at all.

Day 12 & 13: Nothing. Nada. No yoga, no fitness, just me trying to navigate the new schedules and homework that comes with keeping up with multiple teachers and online classes for 2 high schoolers (both on IEPs) and a 7th grader. We don’t have enough computers or sanity to cope with this craziness and I’m feeling lucky if I get to step outside for a moment of fresh air, let alone make the time to workout or stretch!

Day 14 (Sunday): Just Breathe…

Even church services are now conducted at home..and everything seems crazy! What has transpired over the past week is almost unbelievable! The fact that I haven’t worked out in 3 days is guaranteed to increase my anxiety levels as the situation around the world continues to escalate quickly.

So on this day, I took a step back and a very deep breath…got intentional to just move my body, and immediately felt gratitude for this challenge…some simple yoga was just what I needed. I grabbed the first video I could find for stress and anxiety and found the 15 minute CALMING YOGA for Stress Relief and Anxiety by Sara Beth Yoga.

Each time I filled my lungs to the max, I could feel the physical and emotional release as the breath exhaled out of me. Each deep stretch brought a feeling of peace and gratitude. I found some clarity in the opportunities ahead of me…opportunities to bond with my kids, to better understand what they are learning in school (especially my struggling learners), an opportunity to slow down, play games as a family in the evenings, reconstruct my schedule and become more efficient within my business etc.

 Day 15-20:

This week was spent primarily on creating a routine and schedule. Most days I chose to do 5 minutes of yoga in the morning or evening. I didn’t do a video but chose to just intuitively stretch and open up the areas of my body and my energy that felt tight and closed off. There has been no lack of stress during this time, but gratitude has been plentiful, and when things have gotten to be too much or overwhelming, using this tool to redirect my stress energy and come back to the simplicity of breath has made all the difference. I missed 1 day this week and have otherwise tried to keep the habit going and hope to continue to do so. 

Day 21:

A great way to finish this challenge was getting my kids involved. I’m not gonna lie…they grumbled about doing it, and giggled their way through most of the movements. It was far from a relaxing experience, however, it lightened the mood and broke up the monotony.

And now….I feel NEW CHALLENGE coming on! Having my kids home has sparked a need to get them into better physical shape, to make sure that we are monitoring our device usage (especially during this quarantining time) and to keep them from becoming an electronically induced zombie generation during a time of social isolation, so I’ve challenged the teens to their own yoga challenge. 

In case you are wondering, we have finally found a rhythm with our schoolwork, mom work, device and TV schedule and even the new pup is feeling more confident about it all. Sending my biggest virtual hugs for anyone who might be struggling during this time, and if I can offer one piece of advice…slow down, take a breath, find gratitude, and give yourself some grace.

Read 5 Tips to Avoid the Zombie Apocalypse for some ideas on how to organize their schedules and create some fun kid fitness opportunities at home.

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