This week, I completed day 30 of a self committed 30 Day Yoga Challenge. As I reflect, this is what I see:
1) I think I cracked my sternum bone. The sternum is the flattened bone located in the center of your chest right in front of your heart. I woke up almost every day of my challenge, with that center bone feeling sore, stretched and stimulated - as if my heart was knocking on the back door. A subtle yet obvious reminder to keep my heart open on the regular.
2) I went in to the challenge with expectations. I thought to myself, I will rock out Bird of Paradise and an amazing handstand by the end of this challenge. Well, I cannot. On about day 4, my left hip locked up and the Universe requested that I slow my sh*t down. Beautiful life lessons were available and open, once the expectations of performance were dropped. Write this down: expectations wreck possibility.
3) With the slower theme, I found myself trying new styles of yoga. I ventured to yin classes, I practiced at home with my yoga mat, a candle and my dog via www.yogavibes.com and I joined a meditation class at a local studio. I met new and amazing teachers, people and I explored my body in different styles. An adventure of yoga, really. I expanded in new ways. Remind yourself to venture into the unknown some times. I sent a card once that read "Life Starts at the End of Your Comfort Zone" - and let me tell you, there was some uncomfortable in that Meditation class. Ram, ram, ram, ram....
4) I now feel a deeper connection with my teachers. To rock my accountability, I committed to certain classes and teachers through the weeks and my cracked open heart gives thanks to the beautiful sequencing, the unreal wisdom and the welcoming love of Mia Togo, Mary Beth Larue, Kyra Anastasia and Hala Khouri. It was a beautiful reminder that every student has a teacher, and every teacher has their students.
5) I practiced yoga for me. When I was on the mat, I was in my body. I was alive. Stop looking around, go inside and feel you.
6) My Savasanahs throughout the 30 days were UNREAL. I literally transported to a different space where time melts and for a moment, there is silence in my mind. Most of my teachers allow for a longer savasanah and it truly allows for the release, the let go and the movement of the practice to settle in. For 30 days I took 5 minutes a day to do nothing, lay flat and breathe, that is beautiful.
7) I love the commitment. 30 days of yoga in a row is a big commitment. Where will I find the time? How will I fit it all in? But when you truly decide to commit, you don't miss a beat and you begin to feel the subtle beauty of commitment and achievement. You begin to consider: how, perhaps could this be possible in other areas of my life? Explore your commitments and be true to yourself.
8) Accountability works. I completed the challenge with my best friend who lives in Indiana. We had specific rules to follow and we would check in with one another often. I could not miss a class when I knew she has already gone to her class that morning. Find a friend and commit together.
9) Yoga is a beautiful practice. The body movement, the power of breath, the open heart space, the tranquil mind.... It has shifted me. Find you version of yoga (be it running, cooking, reading, making delicious lattes...) and feel the shift.
10) And finally, I sit here and ponder the next 30 day challenge? I feel invigorated, confident and excited with my heart wide open ready to commit to something inspiring - what will it be?
Press Play: Fun TED talk about 30 day challenges: HERE
What is something new you have wanted to try that you could commit to for 30 days?
What are you waiting for?