During the month of January I took a 21 yoga class challenge, 21 classes in 31 days. It was an awesome experience, here’s a few things I learned along the way.
1. Listen to your body
Maybe you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, or you had a very stressful day. In that case give your body a rest. I don’t mean just stay home though. Test yourself see what you can do and if you’re struggling, do some modified poses. You’ll thank yourself later when you leave the class not more exhausted but rejuvenated.
2. Every “body” is different
All body types come to yoga, tall, short, fat, skinny, old, young. So you never have to feel like you stick out. And also everybody is in different places in their body. Some people’s balance isn’t as good as others. Some people are more flexible. So don’t fret if you can’t do a certain pose and others can, it’s okay. Sometimes even your proportions can hinder you. If you have long legs or a short torso, you can’t control that, so no sweat.
3. Flatulence is normal
In one of my first classes a woman let out a loud and long fart. I was shocked! What was even more shocking was that no one said a thing, not even a giggle. I later found that certain poses put pressure on your stomach and that urge to “let one go” will come, it’s normal. Better out than in, isn’t that what they say?
4. Downward dog isn’t the devil
I bet if you ask any yogi they will tell you that they hated downward dog at first. It’s supposed to be a resting pose, but I felt no rest when we did it. Now I can say I struggle less with it and sometimes it actually feels like a resting pose. It comes with time and practice.
5. But frog pose is
I don’t care what anyone says frog pose is the worst. Imagine laying on the floor with your legs out to the side bent at the knee looking like a frog. Yes it stretches the hamstrings but it’s also extremely uncomfortable. And getting out of the pose? “Fuh gedda about it.” You will think you were 100 years old and arthritic as you try to get off that floor
6. Some people like to talk through their pain
So as I previously stated sometimes you hurt in yoga. When I’m in pain I’m quiet as I try to breath through it. Not everyone is like that, some people have to verbalize their pain in groans, complaints, and bad jokes. To be honest it annoyed me, I mean who wants to listen to that while their calves are on fire. Everyone processes pain differently though, so you got to suck it up.
7. Stay on your mat
What I mean by that is focus on you and what you’re doing, don’t stare at others. Watching others is a distraction that can prevent you from successfully doing a pose. I found that my closing my eyes or just looking straight ahead helped me keep from getting distracted.
8. Thin does not mean fit
None of the yoga instructors had these perfectly toned “yoga bodies”. Some had booties, or a little belly, or even some extra flab on their arms. And these are people who do yoga everyday multiple times a day. The people you see on fitness videos are not the norm.
9. Wear fitted tops and a sports bra
This is something only the busty girls of the world would understand. When your bending over and are up and down off the floor the “girls” tend to fall out of your bra and then your shirt. Attire that is actually made for working out is recommended.
10. I can do anything I set my mind to
21 yoga classes in 31 days was a daunting task for me. It meant I had to do yoga 5-6 times a week, something I had never done before. I’ve never been an active person. But I did it, I rose to the challenge. I am a strong woman, even if sometimes I don’t feel like I am.
One month into 2016 and I’ve already accomplished a goal. #crushingit
*Photo source weheartit