My 31 day, every day Yoga Challenge to raise money for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind is almost up (thank goodness!). I'm sooo close to my fundraising goal (just 45$ more before the end of the week! click here to donate!) and there have been moments of frustration and pride, that's for sure!
*** UPDATE: I have now achieved my goal thanks to a lovely supporter- Theresa!!! Thank you ALL so very much for helping me raise 500$ for The Canadian National Institute for the Blind. I could still raise even MORE, so if you'd still like to donate, my week isn't done yet! Yay!! (cue happy dance). Now off to Karma Yoga class!
Hilly terrain in NBFor the most part, working full time and arriving home at supper time starving (after our 35 min walk) usually means that yoga happens between 8-9pm... resulting in lots of slower, yin type practice. Which is unusual for my vatta pitta self. I am still doing the full hour apartment 'friend' yoga once during the work week, yoga in the park (sometimes twice) on the weekends and a full yogaglo class once a week (solitary). So I guess it has been a lesson in balance.
What I did that was brand new was my first EVER Mysore class.... yep and I am definitely not an Ashtangi lol.
The wonderful Jack at Sunrise Studio advised that I take the Mysore class... however maybe I misrepresented my knowledge of the primary series. As in, the postures are all familiar, but knowing the sequence definitely is not.
In any case, I was so very nervous about attending this class. I read all (four!) of his blog posts about attending Mysore, I made Andrew come with me (he took a simultaneously offered Kripalu class and LOVED it) and studied the cheat sheets furiously while waiting to get started. Holy poop I was stressed. I really just wanted to run out of the studio... but since I was the only person there that wasn't really an option. hah.
Jack was wonderfully patient and I think soon realized that I was able to do the surya namaskars by myself (fingers together, I am a finger splayer!) and that was about it. I have never received so much 1:1 attention during a yoga practice in my life- I learned SO much! However, when other people started arriving, I felt a bit awkward... I was demanding a lot of the teacher's attention (at one point he just sat right in front of my mat!).
I was also amazed at how FAST they were zipping through the postures... my sun sals and flows are very slow. I breathe slowly, lowering slowly to build strength and mindfulness of each posture, like flowing through water. I'm not so great at popping in and out of a pose without hurting myself.
This meant that there was no way I could complete the primary in 90 minutes (gasp!).
pretty green swamp on our way home (lots of these marshes in NS)In any case, I do believe that perhaps some more beginner, guided Ashtanga would be better for my next visit- but did I ever learn a LOT about my practice. :)
Also, I had my first real, oh crap how am I going to accomplish this, challenge with the yoga every day this weekend when Andrew and I went to visit the future "in-laws" in New Brunswick. They're pretty darn traditional (as you'll remember from our wedding issues) and although supportive of my yoga "thing", aren't exactly the yoga-types.
My plan- go to the *one* yoga class offered that weekend (there are only three studios in the city) and practice in the bedroom each morning.
Well, the yoga studio owner was difficult to get in touch with (obviously not a fan of twitter... sigh perfect example of how it could be used for business!) and didn't provide the studio's actual address on the map. Just a red "A" flag with the general street name. Right. Didn't make it on time, came back seething mad (note to self, found my zen-killer; not finding yoga studios).
Wouldn't you know, it was a beautiful morning... so I practiced on their deck outside. Although a bit weird (since Andrew's mom I guess kept peaking out and asking "whatever is she doing??"), I managed to practice about 45min each day outside in the beautiful sunshine. Perfect!
What I have learned so far in this "yoga every day" journey:
- having to do something every day kinda takes the fun out of it...
- sun salutations get *real* boring after a few weeks
- 30 minutes of practice can go by pretty quickly when I'm not too tired
- Practicing with friends or at a class now feels like a freebie!
- Andrew is ridiculously supportive, and without his encouragement I might have punked out a few nights (but I didn't!!)
- I am NEVER going to be extremely bendy. Just a fact. Even with continuous practice. And that is O.K.
- However, daily practice has allowed me to improve ever so slightly my forward hand to foot flexibility (although I may have pulled something...)
- Practicing yoga for a good cause feels FANTASTIC. I highly advise it! (like Roseanne from itsallyogababy. She is participating in Yoga Mala Montreal on May 30th and raising money via 108 sun sals for Le Garde-Manger Pour Tous!). who provides hot meals for kids from underprivileged families in Montreal. You can help by donating!)
Yes! forward go!!
this face is "ahhh TAKE THE PICTURE BEFORE I FALL!" faceMy plan for this week (tentative) is to take a yoga class in a studio every.single.day (since I'll be practicing every day anyways!). My last yoga hoorah!
Will I practice every day after this is over? Probably not... but 20-30 minute yin yoga has actually been quite beneficial.. so I think I'll keep that :)
Blessings and Happy Victoria Day!
article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com