I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was committing to the 30 Days of Yoga series from Yoga with Adriene – the idea is that you do a different video (from this youtube playlist) every day for 30 days. I already completed the series once back in January, but I struggled to actually do it every day. This time around, I wanted to really make the effort to get on my (new!) yoga mat every day and see what happened.
The thing that struck me most about the 30 Days challenge was that it didn’t feel at all like a chore. It was definitely hard to find the time to actually squeeze in a session (and I’ll talk about that more later), but the nice thing was that I always enjoyed doing a video, felt awesome afterwards and never dreaded it in a way you might spinning or something.
Not that it was easy. The videos are challenging and although I haven’t noticed a drastic change in my body 30 days later, I definitely feel stronger. Plus, it’s been satisfying to see how I’m improving – every day my heels were that bit closer to the ground in downward dog! Having felt a bit down on my body since Thomas was born, it’s nice to think of it in a different way: not so much about how it looks, but rather the cool things it can do. Having said that, you can still do this if you’re a complete beginner as there are always variations for different levels. I would also recommend checking out some of the videos in the Foundations of Yoga series as well as they break down lots of of the poses in more detail.
So, how do you find time for the 30 Days? Well… you just kind of have to. Thankfully, the longest videos were about 40 minutes, so I just tried to sneak away when possible and leave Pete with the kids. There were a few times when I did a video while Thomas lay on his playmat or had a nap (with mixed results), but at least I did it, even if I did have to keep stopping to cuddle a grumpy baby. George also can’t resist coming to ‘help’ me and demonstrate his (really rather good) downward dog. In theory, evenings are the best time for me once the kiddos are asleep, but I’m always so exhausted by then that I find I enjoy evening sessions a lot less. In fact, during the whole 30 Day challenge, the only two days I missed were when I’d not managed to do a session earlier in the day and just couldn’t face one by evening. So my advice for anyone wanting to get started is to do your video in the morning if possible – that way you feel great (and smug) for the rest of the day. Also, print off this cute calendar – there’s nothing like a reward chart to get you motivated! Like I say, I enjoyed doing the yoga so much that I didn’t need much of an incentive, but you could always promise yourself a treat at the end of the 30 Days, such as these H&M yoga clothes.
Now that it’s over – I am officially HOOKED on yoga. I want to continue a daily workout, but in a flexible way. From now on, not every day has to be 30 minutes or an hour of intense yoga – some days it might only be 10 minutes of gentle stretching – but the point is that I will try to take that time for me every day and continue to have fun and see what happens. I’ll be honest: I see some of the crazy things people can do with their body, and it makes me want to be able to do that too.
Right now, I’m trying to figure out the best way to fit in this daily discipline. In theory, I’d like to get up early before everyone else – I’m definitely a morning person, if only I could drag myself out of bed…
Rose and I have also been talking about going on a yoga retreat. Have you ever considered one? I’m not too keen on the idea of a detox one where you just eat raw food, but practising yoga for a few hours a day in a luxurious, sunny location? Sure, I’m in.
What do you think? Are you tempted to give 30 Days of Yoga a go?