Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Sunday, January 9, 2011

30 Day Yoga Challenge ~ Week 1

Over the past several years my yoga practice has fallen into a rut. My practice is regular; I do yoga 4 times a week for 30 minutes a session. BUT, I stick to the same poses and my practice doesn’t deepen.

In December I realized it was time to change and decided to challenge myself to 30 days straight of Yoga. I opened up the challenge to yoga students and posted it on Facebook. Quickly 24 people committed to the challenge. The group includes regular yoga students, and some occasional drop ins, 3 other yoga teachers. One of the teachers recruited 4 of her students, a Facebook fan that I haven’t met and two childhood friends!

My intention was to create a virtual group to support each other. I didn’t know how, or if this would work, but I really wanted it to. On January 2nd I sent a kick off e-mail to the group and by the next day the discussions began. Members began to forward podcasts, articles, and give suggestions and encouragement. I was THRILLED beyond belief. This was EXACTLY what I was hoping for.

Week one taught me to step out of my comfort zone. Over the past two years, my practice has been slow and gentle. I’ve been doing forward bends, child’s pose, pigeon pose and twists. I LOVE how I feel when I do them. I love how I feel comfort and nurtured when I’m settling into child’s pose. I love the unwinding in my spine in a twist, the quiet and stillness of a forward bend and the openness in my hips in pigeon pose.

This week I’ve been doing more challenging sequences either on my own or while watching a DVD or On Demand. One day while doing side plank and feeling good, I had what Oprah calls an ah-ha moment. Reflecting on my practice, I didn’t see myself as ‘stuck.’ But in that ah=ha moment I saw so much more. Over the past two years, I lost both of my parents; my dad to a sudden massive heart attack and 16 months later my Mom after a long battle with cancer. Those poses were what I needed at the time. They offered great comfort to me during a time when I needed it. 2011 is a time for me to heal, to live with gratitude and in yoga to become ‘un-stuck” It’s time for me to walk in confidence on and off the mat. What an amazing moment to recognize that.

I hope that this challenge will set me on the path of yoga as a daily practice. I'm beginning to see it as something I do everyday, like dishes, cooking dinner, brushing teeth. These are things I do everyday without question. I want yoga to be that for me.

I’ve also found that it’s not that hard to do everyday. I’ve had so many excuses not to do yoga on the weekends; I work on Saturdays, the kids have activities, I’m tired (really bad excuse) etc. etc. I’ve found that 10 minutes of Sun Salutations goes really far in giving me energy and focus throughout the day.

I look forward to week 2 with the group and look forward to more discussions, suggestions, encouragement and support.

This practice becomes firmly rooted when it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long time.” – The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali 1:14

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