It’s official! I’ve completed my first 30 Days to Live Challenge! When I began this process, I was eager to share the benefits to practicing yoga, what was learned and the overall value attained by trying something new. So let’s jump right in!
This last week unrolling my mat was almost nostalgic. Not that I won’t continue to do so now that the challenge is coming to a close, more so that I felt like I was settling into a nice routine. In the first week everything was easy, the excitement of creating this personal challenge and sharing my experience with you was all consuming- my motivator! Then life snuck its way right in and I fell off the wagon only in the second week. After picking myself up off the floor, I was able to make some much needed adjustments in my third week, cutting myself a break and loosening the (unspoken and unwritten) “rules” of this challenge.
Once I was able to approach this experience in a way that worked best for me (sans the internal pressure), I was able to get into the actual practice of yoga and understand all it has to offer. Thirty days ago, I was struggling with the amount of tension held in my shoulders and neck area. My partner often told me I looked like I the hunchback of Notre Dame (jokingly of course), but I knew I had wanted to find targeted yoga poses for that area. Believe it or not, my said “hump” is no longer [as] present and my range of motion has improved immensely! A few other areas where I’ve noticed slight improvements include my lower back and hips. I can comfortably graze the tops of my toes when bending over forward and have noticed that when bending down I no longer feel any strain in my lower back. My job requires a lot of standing and constant walking around so I had to find a few specific poses for my hips. With the assistance of my yoga straps I was able to slowly regulate the opening up my hips. This really helped alleviate those end of the day aches and pains!
So, there are many things that I have learned over the course of the past 30 days. Here are a few worth mentioning:
- The incorporation of yoga into my life has only benefitted my overall well-being.
- My sleeping patterns have become more consistent and I am now waking up feeling refreshed versus being a cranky morning troll!
- Less tension in my neck and shoulder area.
- I am much more physically aware of my body and its ailments.
What value came from this experience?
Merriam Webster defines the word value as relative worth or importance. At the beginning of this challenge, yoga had very little worth to me. Yea, I’d practiced before in the past, and yea I know how good I feel when it’s a regular in my life, but there was no initial reason to actually do 30 days of it. It just so happened to be the challenge I picked out of a hat (Literally. I wrote a few challenge ideas out, threw them in a hat and this was lucky number 1!)! As the month went on, I was reminded of all the positives that come from incorporating this simple act of daily stretching and that is when I realized its true value – I need this practice in my life in order to feel my best!
Thus far it has been trail and error. I’ve learned that making changes to your lifestyle must go hand in hand with adjustments. Make things work for you, not the other way around. I am looking forward to doing just that in the next 30 Days to Live challenge and can’t wait to share another new experience with you!
With what you know now, would you consider trying yoga?