Yoga Challenge: Days 3-6

I’ve just completed Day 6 of my 30 day yoga challenge.Catch up on the first few days here.  Why I love the challenge from Prana Yoga Studio is that:

1 – It’s the same people every day going through this journey.
2 – It’s at the same time every day. Set alarm. Get up. Go to yoga.
3 – It has a celebration near the end.

Lots of studios and online places do a 30 day (or 45 day) challenge but it’s a do-on-your-own-ish thing. You go to a class every day for 30 days and record your name and what class you went to. I think this is a fantastic way to do it for some people, but not for me. I like the routine. I like not being able to make excuses.

This time around, I’m experiencing things so differently. Although I know more the 2nd time in, I think that I set some expectations on what was going to happen naively. Towards the end of the last challenge (somewhere the middle of week 3 or so), I stopped being able to have sugar. I couldn’t drink pop, a chocolate bar was impossible – overall, junk just didn’t work. Really, I know I shouldn’t eat those things, and I don’t do it often, but I still do.

This time I’m already there. I tried to have a Ginger Ale yesterday and got 1/2 way through it. A few days ago I was craving chocolate – and extremely rare occurence for me as I don’t even really like chocolate (go ahead and faint now, but it’s true) – I had an aero and could eat about 6 squares and then I hit my limit.

This experience has also been extremely internal for me. I’m a fairly social person, and this time I don’t really want to talk to people. I’m not opposed to talking to them, and if they approach me I will definitely engage in a conversation, but I’m loving the introspectiveness of it all. Monday to Friday is silence before class and it’s bliss. You can smile and nod at others, but no words are to be exchanged unless absolutely necessary, and when they are, it needs to be in a whisper. It really makes me happy to be in silence. Life is so busy and kids are so LOUD that the silence starts my morning off right.

I’m also *really* not a morning person. My husband described me as a bear in the mornings and I’d agree with that. I need quiet. I need order. And I need to just be in my own head before waking up to the world.

But on to the classes.

Day 3:
Option 1 – Foundations Flow: Heidy
Option 2 – Core – Jaya

I missed out on a Jaya class on the Tuesday, so I went full on for core. Jaya worked us really hard and it was amazing. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t do it so I kept pushing on. Jaya is poetry in itself. Her meditation was awesome, the class was blissful and the savasana was so needed. I am a huge Jaya fan (as I’ve mentioned before) and taking her Core class solidified that. It also solidified my intense need to take more core. During this challenge I’m not taking extra classes – it’s expensive for one, but also, I don’t want to burn myself out. But once this challenge is over, Core will need to become one of my regular classes. If I have any hope of getting into handstand or crow continually, my core needs to get going.

Day 3 was my angry day. I don’t know why, but everything that happened ticked me off. I ranted, I vented, and I stewed. Looking back, I really should have taken 5 minutes to meditate, go into child’s pose, and just address my anger, but instead I spent the day trying to fight it off which didn’t help me at all.

Day 4:
Option 1: Vigorous Vinyasa – Isabelle
Option 2: Akhanda Flow – Erik

After my angry day 3, I wanted a class that involved many facets of yoga – chanting, deep introspectiveness, and flow. I did not want my ass kicked. I was feeling really raw from day 3, so I opted for Erik’s class. I loved it! Erik is funny!! I’ve taken classes from Erik before, but I honestly felt that this was the first time I really appreciated his class in its entirety. I was well rested after going to bed at 8:20 the night before, and I was ready. Erik does a traditional sun salutation with lunges as opposed to lots of forward folds. I like doing the traditional version now and again, but my hamstrings really love the loosening up for the forward folds. We chanted Anando Ham for a while, feeling the Bliss running through us. My top moment of this class was the Breath of Joy kundalini breathing. I had to stop myself from full-out grinning. I had a pretty big smile on my face during it as our arms flailed around to inhale-inhale-inhale-exhale. I had to leave early today since Chef Husband teaches on Thursdays at 8, but it was a great class.

Day 5:
Option 1: Yoga Flow – Brittany
Option 2: Happy Hips – Sean

On day 2 of the challenge I was sitting on my couch when all of a sudden I was overcome with a sense of dread. I felt that I would have to choose between Brittany and Sean and I didn’t want to do that. Then I thought I was maybe a) overreacting and b) crazy. And then I walked into the studio on Day 5 to see Brittany’s name on one door and Sean’s on the other. And I froze. And I walked up to Isabelle and said “Seriously Iz? Brittany and Sean on the same day?” and she laughed. Brittany and Sean are both super funny. I laugh out loud in both their classes. They’re both very strong people (I can’t even tell you how many facebook pictures Brittany has of herself in a handstand, and Sean can go into side crow on command). But mostly, when I’m in their classes I feel like I can do absolutely anything and that I’m safe. I was torn. I decided that I really couldn’t pick based on person so I’d pick based on what class I felt my body needed.

I stood for a minute and it came to me – I really needed to work on my hips. Happy Hips it was. And Happy Hips lead to Happy Amanda. Holy crow this class was mind-blowing. We did everything. My hips screamed; then sighed; then rejoiced. My back was loosey juicy. And my heart and mind were elated. I’ve taken many many yoga classes and Sean’s Happy Hips on Day 5 of my 2nd Yoga Challenge will go down as one of my favourite classes I have ever taken.

I did hear a rumour that there was some flying and some headstanding in Brittany’s class. Next time.

Day 6:
Option 1: Vinyasa Flow – Sean
Option 2: Restorative Akhanda Flow – Alethea

One thing I have learned over my time as a yoga practitioner is that I need balance. I need to respect my body’s need for rest. If I do more than 3 or so vigorous classes in a row and don’t through in a restorative or yin practice, I suffer. So I didn’t need to spend a lot of time choosing – I hope into studio 2. The funny thing is that by day 6, I haven’t actually stepped into studio 1 yet. It’s always been option 2 for me so far. Alethea was spectacular. She spoke of respecting the body, of self, and of listening to where we needed to be. We started with a guided meditation on our backs and eased slowly into warming up our bodies. We ended with supported bridge and spinal twists. My heart left happy. I think this might have been my first class I’ve taken with Alethea and I would absolutely take another. It was sweet, juicy, and gave me strength.

Although I haven’t yet, I may actually try to allow myself a nap today..

The beauty of Sunrise yoga is this – you actually start in the dark and when you emerge, the sun is shining. I caught a glimpse of the sunrise on Thursday when I left early. It was breathtaking – just like this challenge.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brittany Rudyck
    Sep 30, 2012 @ 18:45:42

    Love your blog Amanda! Hopefully I’ll see you in class sometime during the challenge!


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