What I Learned From my 31 Day Yoga Challenge

I have been trying to get into yoga for several years now. Try as I might, nothing sticks. I’ve tried purchasing several class packages to motivate me. I’ve set goals to try practicing once a month. I’ve gone to multiple classes, trying different types, instructors & locations. I just didn’t like yoga. Annnnd if we’re being completely honest, I still don’t really like it, but I have an appreciation for it. I think that’s what got me to enjoy it more, accepting that it’s not something I love, but settling into finding it acceptable. And who knows, maybe this will grow into love!

Practicing on my own
I didn’t realize one of the things I disliked most about yoga, was heading to classes where everyone already knew what they were doing (even those darned beginner classes!) and I was constantly comparing myself to them and trying to achieve the perfect pose instead of clearing my mind and just being. Being at home on my own is definitely my jam. I don’t worry about other people around me, I just do my thang!

Making it a daily practice (temporarily)
Getting myself to practice each and every day for 31 straight days, got me into a routine. I should have known from past experiences, things for me tend to stick best when I make them part of my routine. As the 31 days are over, I don’t intend to continue making it a daily practice, but my goal is to try for a practice once a week.

Combining it with meditation
Meditation has always been a goal of mine too. Which also hasn’t stuck 😉 I find that clearing my mind and focusing on my breath while doing yoga is a form of meditation. I’m sure some people may consider this cheating, but it works for me.

Honouring where I am each day
The yoga guru I have started following, Adriene, has a bit of a mantray, “Honour yourself where you are at today.” It seems simple enough, but it’s actually unknowingly powerful. I will admit to going through some days being insanely productive, easily checking off my to-do list and getting even more done. And other days, I don’t even get halfway through my list and I put myself down wondering why I suck and  can’t just be super awesome every single day. But every day is different, energy levels are different, moods are different – life is ever changing. So taking a moment every single morning to feel out where I am, really helps set the tone for the day. It’s ok if I’m not on my A game 100% of the time. This was a pretty big breakthrough for me.

Loving my body
Not totally in love with my body, but I find this is helping me become a small step closer every time I practice a bit of yoga. I appreciate it more and find more kindness with myself. That’s a pretty cool thing.

And now that you’ve come alllll the way down this far of a post that you may find slightly boring (kudos if you’re still with me!), your reward is a cute picture of Sunny and a snail that she tried to be best friends with on our morning walk recently.

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Do you practice yoga? Do you have any online videos to share with me?

10 thoughts on “What I Learned From my 31 Day Yoga Challenge

  1. I used to try yoga here and there, but never really found the right fit for me until I started bikram. Though I had to be coerced into even trying bikram because the thought of it just sounds ridiculous. And now I am hooked, though since Sahara the motivation to go has been a lot harder. But I still go. Definitely a big believer in honouring where you are on the day, because some days I can slay a class, and others I am just lying on the floor gasping for breath. Each one is OK.

    1. I’m not even sure I have ever tried bikram. Maybe I should try that.
      Be gentle with yourself, I imagine it’s very difficult to do things you normally enjoy right now and that’s totally ok.
      <3

  2. I find that when I do yoga I feel more centered. I just never make time to do it. I actually like going to class because it makes me focus more. When I try to do it at home I get distracted with my pups or feel like I should be doing something else. I love the gratitude that usually comes with yoga too. I put myself down a lot in my head (like you similarly said “why am I not awesome all the time”) so it’s nice to have some time to unwind with yoga. Maybe I should do a month challenge!

    1. It can be hard to find the time! I think I will struggle a bit at first, but I’m pretty good at sticking to something if I manage to get it embedded in my routine. The gratitude is pretty awesome, especially self-gratitude!

  3. I had this great idea that I might do 5 min yoga each morning but the child on me made it difficult (yes it seems that I was fun to sit on) So I admire that you did 31 days of it – I think doing my body balance classes with a bit of yoga has helped me appreciate it even if I am not great at it – but I went in recently and the class was replaced with a yoga class and I found it harder than expected but I missed the energy of body balance which moves faster. Oh and I read just recently that yoga is really all about just focusing on the pose so if you use yoga as meditation then it sounds like you are doing it right. Good luck with it.

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