Namaste In Bed - My Yoga Challenge - Week 1
The what of it
My goal is to do yoga 5 days a week for a month, but more realistically:
20 yoga classes in 30 days.
Which of course means I have some wiggle room. Like if I get "sick" and miss a day I could double up on a day and still complete my classes. No rules about what type of classes.
The Why of it
1) Basically everything hurts all the time.
These days it's a spiritual // mental // emotional hurt too, but on good days it's a physical hurt. I went out for drinks with some friends and was talking about how my feet have been asleep for like 2 years now and apparently that's not normal.
2) I kept going to this super hard yoga class and was getting discouraged because when I finally mastered the side-plank the teacher told us to raise our leg and I was getting pretty whiny about it (internal monologue was in full self-pity // mad frustration mode) when I realized that other people go to class more than once and week and that's why they were better at it then me. (I also recognize they are also better probably due to me lacking a natural affinity to yoga, but I mean once a week isn't really going to see massive improvements.)
3) I went to Nicaragua with my friend who was // is going through a - let's call it a transition - time. She has always loved running and yoga and her life is changing enough right now that she suddenly dramatically realized that she hadn't made any time for herself or these passions for a long time. Over many a tearful beer + rum soaked dinner // hang out on the balcony where an old naked man glared us into silence (but I digress) we discussed the need for setting better intentions for 2017 and how apparently doing lots of yoga is better for your body than not doing lots of yoga (see again point 2) so I kind of got on board with the idea too.
4) Exercise has always been my best counselor, and yoga is a really good one. So is kickboxing, for almost the opposite reasons.
5) I always seem to do better with a really concrete goal.
So in summary, the why of it-
I want my body to stop hurting, and my hip to stop popping, and my neck to turn in both directions, and I want to be able to do the things in class without swearing at the front row and I want to feel better emotionally // spiritually // mentally too and with a set goal its NBD.
THe How of it
Semperviva has this amazing introductory offer where new students can have an unlimited month for $39 and if you complete 12 classes in 30 days you can get the next 2 months for the price of 1. It's basically an unemployed person's self-actualizing dream situation.
Especially as most drop-in classes in Vancouver are in the $20+ range.
They also have 4 studios across Vancouver, all of which are fairly public-transit-accessible for me.
class 1 - hatha
Kyle came with me to class on Granville Island which has a pretty outstanding view. The instructor was pretty wonderful and asked us to embrace a secret smile across our lips and hearts, which I wasn't really feeling (I was nursing a 2-day hangover which always makes me feel a little weepy), but I liked the idea of it. There was a joyful breathing situation which really did pick up my spirits but my Sunday hangover // McDonalds breakfast // Kraft Dinner lunch // Mr Noodles dinner // Cake between every meal body was like fuuuuuuuuuuuuck this. So it was pretty painful. I came home and fell asleep on the couch before 10pm.
class 2 - Hatha
An evening class where I hardly cried silently to myself at all! The pain was definitely less which was nice, but I had this weird moment where I looked down in my forward fold and realized my hands were flat on the ground. I remember how hard I had to work to get to that point in my undergrad when I first started doing yoga, and now without even realizing it I was doing it again- but I felt less flexy somehow (I don't mean emotionally, I mean I still feel physically really stiff, I just probably don't look it) which almost made me laugh out loud. Eyes bulging, being like, WTF is this nonsense?
There was also an interesting self reflection moment where the instructor asked us to just focus on being present because it is really good for our bodies and minds, and I realized that I had a way easier time of doing that when I was really, really busy, I think because this was my one time during the day I had time to just hang out with myself. Now with my way less intense schedule I let my mind wander way more.
class 3 - hatha
I went to the wrong studio, but hopped on a bus and still got there in "time" and found a sweet spot in the back. Except after sitting there for a minute I realized that the door directly behind the mat was the bathroom and that the bathroom is very popular and the door kept opening onto my mat. I shifted over by one and got pretty into class, it started with some dynamic lying down stuff which was pretty cool.
Turns out moving one spot away from the bathroom does very little when someone in the class decides that savasana makes them crazy nauseous and goes into the bathroom running the tap and gagging through the whole thing. I gave myself a pass on not getting deep into meditation and learned my lesson about situating myself where nobody can see me as the only priority.
Later that night I went to kickboxing and had the realization that Hatha, while not as insane as Power Vinyasa, still requires muscles to be used (sometimes the really obvious things don't occur to me, ok?) and my muscles were very, very tired. However, my hip felt better when trying to kick Ronnie in the head (he told me to) so I think this yoga challenge might be paying off!
class 4- Yin
I did a spin class during the day so thought a relaxing Yin might be nice. I was feeling super proud of myself for being super zen through so much of the beginning, and then all of a sudden ALL THE THOUGHTS. I can't tell you what I was thinking about because they were useless thoughts that I can't remember anymore. So I'll be working on that I guess.
class 5 - Restorative
This was my first ever restorative class and when I came into class and saw the mats were set up in a circle, piled high with blankets + bolsters + blocks + moon rocks for third eye relaxation + eye pillows I nearly clapped for joy! My overview of what it means to do restorative yoga- essentially guided napping. Loved it!
Week 1 // 25% done // Summary
So far I'm enjoying going to yoga classes but I didn't hit a magic mark that I hoped I might where I wake up without noticing that everything is the worst (totally limped out of bed this morning because my feet are cramped up, sooooo, not quite perfection yet.) So far everything is still hurting and I still haven't been brave enough to attempt an early morning class (I'm writing this post literally in bed with a cup of coffee on my side table) but I'm down for keeping the challenge going. Week 2 bring it!