I am so excited to report that as of today I have officially completed my thirty-day yoga non-challenge-challenge. Wow, I can’t believe it is already here, it felt like it went by pretty quickly. So, some of you may be wondering why I started this non-challenge-challenge, and why I even called it that.
About two months ago, I was leaning over my daughters stroller to strap her in and in that quick moment, doing something I have done a million times before, my right sciatic nerve had decided it had enough. With the aid of a neighbor, we drove to the hospital so I could be prescribed the Navy fix-it-all, Motrin with directions to rest up. As my daughters primary caregiver, rest is not typically included in my vocabulary. So, thankfully the hubby was able to get a day off so he could actually watch our girl for me and I could take it easy on the couch with a heating pad and some Motrin.
Can I be honest with you? The whole time I was “resting up” I kept thinking, I am only 29!! I am too young to be laid out on the couch with back problems!. I also was hearing a funny little mantra in my head that kept repeating over and over, “Use it or lose it lady!”. I knew that was in reference to my body. I had known for a while that I needed to start caring for my body better and not use raising my daughter as an excuse to why I am not in shape. When my sciatic went out on me for those few days, I felt it, I mean I really felt it–like it hurt to sit down on the toilet kind of felt it. After a few days I felt mostly normal again, but every so often I would get a shooting pain as a reminder that it was lingering in the background waiting to go out again.
About thirty-five days go, my friend, Errika, came over with her daughter for a Mommy and Me yoga photo session which was amazing to photograph and watch, and inspired me enough to want to get back into yoga myself. I have always had a love affair with yoga, even when I wasn’t actively practicing. I even have a subscription to Yoga Journal and still read it whether I am doing yoga or not. My love for yoga started seven years ago when I lived in Sicily, and Errika was my first teacher. So, it was only fitting that she would inspire me again for the beginning of my second yoga journey. After she left, I realized I just have to do it. Not plan to do it, or say I am going to do it, but just do it. So I woke up thirty days ago, on a Monday, and went for it.
Initially, I didn’t start it as a thirty-day challenge. I just told myself I would wake up and do it, no pressure. On day five, I asked myself, What if I can make it to thirty straight? If I didn’t call it a challenge, then I didn’t have to feel guilty if I missed a day. But dammit, it never really works that way, now does it? I thought I would get creative and call it a “non-challenge-challenge”, which I like the sound of by the way, and maybe because I like the sound of it- I have been able to stick to it.
Another confession I must make is….I hate commitment. I am horrible with it, if it doesn’t involve my husband or my daughter, then I will be damned if I can finish it or not. I mean honestly, I am surprised I even graduated with my bachelors, or that I am even still writing this blog for that matter (haha).
But here I am, thirty-day’s later and I am fully invested (notice how I didn’t say committed?). It was a challenging thirty-days for sure, there were definitely days that I had obstacles and wondered if I were going to break my streak. Day ten was the worst, up until then I was able to get up a couple of hours before the baby in the morning to get my session done. But day ten changed everything and since then, I have only been able to do two early morning sessions and instead have been doing my sessions in the afternoon during her nap time. I am thankful for that hiccup though, because it taught me to be flexible and not give up and also showed me that no matter happens in the day, I can always find time for it. For example, one day, Sadie decided she didn’t want to take a nap, and her father was on travel so I couldn’t ask him to watch her. Instead, I put her in her high chair and let her eat dinner, while I did yoga on the floor in front of her. That night was a short session…because she started throwing her food at me and giving me the “I’m done!” face.
What yoga have I been doing? A few people have asked me this along the way. On the recommendation of Errika, I have been scouring YouTube for my daily videos. Some of my favorite channels are: YogawithAdriene, YogawithLes, and DoYogaWithMe. I do various types, Hatha, Vinyasa flow, Power yoga, and my new favorite, Yin yoga. I attribute Yin yoga to really doing the deep healing my sciatic needed, if you are interested in that, the DoYogaWithMe channel is excellent for Yin yoga.
What are my results thus far? Well, I know people are going to ask it, so I will be upfront with it now. Thus far, I have lost 5 lbs, and gained tons of flexibility and strength, and some nice toning in my legs. Not to mention, I no longer have any back pain-none, nada, ziparoo! I do want to say that I didn’t start this to lose weight, I started it so I could heal myself. Although, I probably would have lost more weight if I had noshed less on homemade banana bread and carrot cake (DAMN YOU PINTEREST!).
So…the big question now is, What’s next???
Scroll down and find out 🙂
You know it wouldn’t be one of my posts without at least a small montage of pictures! and, someone actually requested that I be in my photos for once…so here it is:
Around day twenty-one, a thought popped in my head. Ok Stephanie, say you make it to thirty-days. What happens next? Do you just stop? Continue?…answer me woman!?!?!?!
Well people, I am happy to announce that my next non-challenge-challenge is:
Yup, I am going for 100 days, straight. This is more of a birthday gift to myself then it is a challenge. You see, I turn the big 3-0 on July 11th, and I almost called this the Yoga96 non-challenge-challenge, but I like round numbers so I tacked on the extra four to make it even.
There you have it folks–you’re all caught up now! I am looking forward to this next seventy days–I know there will be challenges, and days that I am not quite up for it, but I hope I will keep on keeping it on. Wish me luck and I hope this inspires you to get your yoga on too!