30 Day Yoga Challenge

So since the Marathon 3 months ago I really haven’t exercised much at all. My body took a long time to properly recover and I have found tenderness to the ligaments on the outside of my knees, I don’t want to push my body to injury by working it too hard after such an intense experience.

I’m maintaining health by walking a lot, and being mindful of what I’m eating and drinking. I’m not satisfied though. It’s not the exercise I miss per se, and I’m thrilled with the shape I’m in; I think it’s the structure of training which I miss, the endorphins, the routine, and yeah – the challenge (along with the sense of accomplishment).

Settling back in to Australian life from a UK Winter I’m seeing people exercising everywhere. The weather’s great and we are living in Saint Kilda; quite a funky, fit, lifestyle focused community. However if I’m not ready to start running again and without wanting to spend ridiculous fees on a gym membership, what can I do?

My boyfriend Marcus joined a local Yoga club, which offers multiple varieties of Yoga practices, from the calm and relaxed Yin Yang, to the more intense and heated Hot Flow yoga (and a few fitting somewhere in between). I had tried Bikram yoga in the UK last year and have to say I was quite unenchanted. But hearing Marcus talking about this yoga club, the casual friendliness and welcoming nature of both the teachers and the other students, and the variety of practices on offer I decided to join for their new member introductory offer: $35 for 30 days.

Now, I have heard of the 30 day challenges. Friends of mine in the UK had done so with the Bikram yoga, and the thought entered my head. Could I do it? Should I do it? Would it be good to do it?

It played around in my mind, and I realised there was no reason not to give it a try. The first yoga class I attended the first day was great. My only other reference point being Bikram, the warm but gentle and relaxed slow flow yoga was a wonderful surprise. I looked at what class I could take the next day… The only times I could attend were hot Yoga classes. Now whilst not as intense a practice as Bikram, the room is still warmed to about 40 degrees celcius, and being their most popular classes, the rooms are packed with lovely sweaty people. I took the class the next day and did not enjoy it in the slightest. My breathing was sharp and I found it almost impossible not to breath through the mouth, and I found my self dizzy and lightheaded. However I made it through, and, whether you want to call it out of foolishness, or dedication to my self-appointed challenge, signed up for the same style class the next day (today).

I woke up feeling great this morning, and even quite keen for the class, despite last night’s experience. I’m not sure whether it was the change in attitude, a different teacher, or a little bit of practise the last couple of days, but today’s lesson was 100 times better. I was more relaxed, more comfortable, and found my breathing very deep and natural.

My skin is also looking amazing, and a lot of muscular tension in my body is already starting to ease.

If this is somewhat due to 3 days in a row of yoga practise I can only imagine what a month will do!

So I’m in it for the long haul. I’m interested in noticing any changes in my body, mind, skin, and sleep patterns and will report back at the end of the 30 day challenge, hopefully victorious!