Every now and then time is needed to mentally and physically process certain events. It has been 2 weeks since I finished Nova Yoga’s 30-Day Challenge. An unexpected pass won during a giveaway became one of the coolest projects I have ever embraced and came just as I had committed to slowly return to my yoga practice.
Well, there was nothing slow about this Challenge. The first class happened hours before the first blizzard of the year and the last class fell on the morning of a snowstorm. Then again, it did not matter the weather, as long as the classes were taking place, I was there with my green mat and purple strap in hand. I did a class every day for 30 days experimenting with different yoga styles, getting to know the various teachers, and learning much about myself in the process. Dynamic flow classes were perfect to sweat out any undesirable thoughts lingering this busy mind. Challenging core classes where awe and inspiration were created by the energy of diehard yogis. The emotionally trying Yin classes that demand body and mind surrender – so needed in these Yang times.
The first 2 weeks of the Challenge went by quickly. I was eager to have some “me time” after a day of entertaining our 1-year old. Being a stay-at-home-mom is great but also arduous and a tad house bound once the sidewalks disappear under the arrival of snow and ice. On the third week I could have easily snuggled on the couch with a cup of tea, trying to finish one the 3 books that have been sitting on my bedside table for months. On that third week I was feeling defeated. My maternity leave was ending, Chris and I were ironing out the details of our new “back-to-work routine”, and Samuel was not eating or sleeping due to teething. That week passed along with the teething symptoms. Returning to work was also much less painful than thinking about returning to work. Juggling a full-time job, being a mother, and daily yoga classes was sometimes hectic but possible because I have the most supportive partner, family, and friends who understood how important this Challenge was for me.
I fully experienced how the body changes daily, mirroring my mood, absorbing the energy of the people around me. Sometimes the flow was effortless. Sometimes it was easy to adventure into a new pose or variation of a pose. Other times, the hips would weight a ton and the mind was too busy to focus on any balancing pose. It’s empowering to embrace where you are at that moment and not beat yourself up because you can’t do Tree Pose on the left like you did the day before.
Now, I am going to the studio a couple of times a week and do yoga as often as possible at home – even if is just a few sun salutations while Samuel is crawling around. For a more involved home practice, I use YouTube videos from inspirational Nova Yoga’s owner Melanie Caines, and some great courses I bought online from renowned yoga teachers Alanna Kaivalya and Sadie Nardini.
Are you doing or have you done any type of yoga challenge? How do you keep your home practice stimulating? I would love to hear about your experiences.