Move over sitting-in-bed-watching-YouTube, this girl has a new hobby!
I decided to kick January 2018 off with something new… and not just a brand, spanking year but an actual new contribution to my life.
I had been interested in the idea of yoga for a while so when one of the article suggestions for The Growing Up Guide was a 30 day yoga challenge, I decided it would give me the motivation to stick to it.
My exercise journey over the years has been a bit of a rollercoaster… but with more downs than ups. So basically, a really boring rollercoaster. Think more merri-go-round than Space Mountain. But the merri-go-round is often broken down. The entrance is chained off. There’s an out of service sign in place. That’s my relationship with exercise.
I’ll be really motivated for a day or two and then couch potato life for months.
The most active I’ve ever been is regularly taking the dog for a walk.
Don’t get me wrong that’s still exercise. Especially when your dog doesn’t like other dogs.
I want something more though, something different, something that I could transition into easily and be more motivated to stick to.
And that’s where the 30 day challenge yoga flowed into my life.
Let’s start my stream of thoughts with a bit of honesty.
I admit that with all my good intentions, some days I still had a lack of motivation.
his 30 day challenge has actually taken 49 days.
BUT they say I see it, I still stuck to it and have still completed the challenge.
Research isn’t really my game so the way I chose my 30 day challenge was to load up YouTube, type 30 day yoga challenge into the search bar and select the top one.
The top option happened to be Bad Yogi… and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Erin from Bad Yogi has a really relatable personality making it easy to connect with her and her yoga flows. The only negative thing I have to say about her is that this is a beginner’s challenge and she expected me to be able to do a headstand on day 20…
Get. To. Fuck.
Did we not establish in the first 19 days that I have no strength in my matchstick arms?!
Every day is something completely different so there is no opportunity for you to get bored plus, each flow is roughly 15 minutes so it doesn’t take up too much time which is great when you have the attention span of a goldfish.
Yoga is said to improve strength, flexibility and balance.
I knew going in I don’t have much strength. I don’t have any sort of muscle mass, we’ve mentioned my matchstick arms and I have to ask people to open bottles and jars for me regularly. Strength has been a tricky one with things being easier or harder than expected. I’m on my way to doing a crow stand. Don’t get ahead of yourself, I still can’t actually do it, matchstick arms, remember? But when it was first introduced, I didn’t even have enough strength to balance my knees on my arms even with my feet still firmly planted on the floor. Now, I can actually get my feet off the floor, only for a second before I collapse but definite improvement and will get better the more I work on it.
The same with flexibility, I knew I didn’t have much. I don’t really feel like I’m more flexible from the challenge but it’s something I’m persevering with. I’m doing leg stretches every day in the hopes that by the end of the year, I can get into splits but we’ll see how well that goes.
Balance knocked me (ha!). I thought more than anything I had pretty good balance… turns out, I don’t. I’ve found myself stumbling at the most basic of movements and at times, balance has been quite tricky. I can’t really say there has been any balance improvement, maybe it’s just my clumsy nature.
Yoga has also helped my back. I have a curved spine and have to move a lot because I get back pain if I sit or stand in the same position for too long. I’ve still found a bit of discomfort on long work days but it’s noticeably better and this has been a great benefit of yoga. I think the stretching helps to realign my body.
The challenge has been mostly beneficial to my mental health. I start every morning with meditation which really helps my outlook on the day but after a day of work, no matter whether you have meditated that morning or not, you’ll still feel a bit of stress of your shoulders. I’ve found yoga really great for taking some me time, letting everything go and balancing out my emotions. It gives a positive ending to my day and I’ve been falling asleep like a dream.
I found I love the feeling of stretching, I love child’s pose and I love relaxing on the floor.
I found I hate downward facing dog, I hate planks and I’m not even gonna attempt that bloody newsstand.
Overall, I’ve found I look forward to yoga and have a real state of zen when I’m practising.
The challenge may be over but I have loved yoga so will be sticking to it. I find it has really complemented my life and whilst it’s not the strenuous exercise I maybe need, it is something I have found to be beneficial. I’ve upgraded from merri-go-round to the Dumbo ride at Disney.
For now, I’m gonna stick with Bad Yogi as I enjoy her flows but if anyone has any recommendations, please leave them in the comments!
This blog post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way. All opinions are my own and just that: opinions.