I want to be able to hold a handstand by the end of 2019, and what better way to tackle that goal than to do yoga every day? I didn’t start out January with a plan to do 30 days of yoga, but sometimes these things just happen. Yoga with Adriene does a 30 day yoga challenge every year, and when I went to do my first yoga session of 2019, I decided to try to do the 30 days just for fun. In the interest of full disclosure, I did miss a few days because of travel, so I finished the 30 day challenge in about 35 days, which is still pretty great in my opinion. These past 30 days of yoga have challenged me in ways I didn’t expect and help me grow in ways I never imagined. Let’s get started!
How I Grew Physically
I’ve never been the most flexible, and trust me, I’m still not, but I can do so much more with my body than I ever thought I could. I can nail Downward Dog, stay in Pigeon for more than five seconds, and Extended Child’s pose is my favorite way to finish a practice. Not only am I more bendy, but I’ve also improved my balance immensely. I’m a relatively klutzy person — I’m currently sporting a bruise on my knee the size of a baseball because I fell at an event this weekend — so balance has never been my strong suit, but through constant practice, I’ve actually improved. Who knew? My muscles also feel much more toned than they did at the beginning of this journey. There’s actually a surprising amount of leg, arm, and ab work needed to complete a yoga practice, and believe it or not, baby muscles will start to develop with regular practice.
How I Grew Mentally
Doing something for 30 days straight is a challenge. Even though I missed a few days, I did go 24 days straight with yoga. That required dedication and discipline to ensure I fit those yoga sessions into my schedule. Knowing that I could do it for 30 days encouraged me into believing that I can do anything for 30 days. I also forced myself to do the practices exactly as Adriene was instructing, so even if I was tired, I pushed through. Typically, I am really bad about that. Since no one is watching me, I’ll just give up or do it half-way, but this time I really stuck to the practice, and it made me a better yogi. I’m trying to apply that “go all out” attitude to other areas of my life as well. Go big or go home.
How I Grew Spiritually
I am not a spiritual person in the slightest, but there’s something about yoga that really centers me. Some people love meditation, which I am trying to incorporate more into my daily routine, but I also get the same benefits from yoga practice. I’m taking time away from my phone, focusing on my breath, and doing something good for my soul. After a yoga session, I feel grounded, sure of myself, and like I am ready to start the day. I know I won’t be doing yoga every single day moving forward, but I also know that those days that do start with a yoga practice are going to feel more full of purpose and direction.
Yoga practice doesn’t magically make your life perfect, but it can help get you there. Are there any practices you’d like to do more regularly? Let me know in the comments below.