A few days ago, I completed a 14-day yoga challenge with Fiji McAlpine from doyogawithme.com. I had been cutting some slack on my physical exercise for a while and I needed something to get active again. It wasn’t exactly an easy challenge as it was for intermediate-level yogis, but Fiji’s classes are easy to follow as her instructions are really clear.
I would wake up early in the morning before everyone else wakes up, move the coffee table aside and spread my yoga mat on the floor of my living room. It felt great to be practicing at the start of the day, with the early sun ray shooting through the window and birds chirping outside of my house. After sweating my ass out with the sequence of challenging moves, I would then shower and get started with my day. I often felt fresh and wide awake after that.
Albeit a short period of time, I felt like I’ve changed a little after these 14 days.
When I first started practising yoga again, I was shivering when on my plank and I couldn’t get halfway up with my chaturanga (low plank pose in yoga similar to a push-up). I had always had a weak upper body, and slacking off in my routine only made it worse. My body also ached quite terrible every morning when I woke up on the first few days. But after two weeks of yoga for every single day, my body muscles have definitely adapted and strengthened. The aches are getting away and hey, I’m slowly getting better at my chaturanga, perhaps I’ll get to see my tiny triceps soon!
With all the twisting and bending, it’s inevitable that my body was going to get more flexible with the practice. One thing I like about yoga is that the movements are strong but gentle. You don’t force your body to achieve a goal right away, instead you try to guide it there millimetre by millimetre. I mean, that’s how things are in life right? You get to your end goal step-by-step, you don’t just teleport there.
Yassssss. I sure see a difference in my one-legged poses between the first and last day. I learned to concentrate better and with my strength improving, I was able to balance better.
So cliché, but so true. Yoga has trained me to be more mindful of my breath and movement. Every inhale and exhale, every step forward and back, my seat bones against the chair and feet on the ground, I learned to be aware of them and be present. Staying mindful means my mind doesn’t wander too far off to my past or my weaknesses; I am aware of what I’m experiencing (physically and emotionally) and I am able to focus and handle things better. Yeap, mindfulness about my muscle sore and stretches has definitely improved my body posture too!
Two weeks of yoga may seem like a very short time, and honestly these impacts aren’t extremely significant and are barely visible, but that’s what I like about it. I wanted a practice that is sustainable and can help me grow both mentally and physically day by day, not an intense workout that would cause me to sore too badly and give up after two weeks. I rested for two days after the challenge, and I was back on track again this morning. I felt so productive and proud of myself for being so on top of my shit now. LOL
For those of you who are interested in taking this 14-day yoga challenge, you can click on this link. It is an amazing site with all sorts of free videos and guides for yoga and meditation. If you’re considering to start learning yoga, there’re beginner guides too!
P/s: I am not sponsored by Do Yoga With Me. I just thought it’s an amazing website and I want to share it with you, since I really benefited from it. Enjoy!