So Part I of the Challenge is complete, and I’m off and running on the Challenge Part II. I finished Part I on 11/23, but decided to skip posting Thanksgiving Day and just move everything over to one post. I kicked off Part II on 11/26.
Finishing Up Part I
Day 39: We have a brand new instructor! And by brand new, I mean he just got back from teacher training. This was his first class, and I made sure I was there. Class was a bit long (went over by 15 minutes), but I find that to be the case with most first time classes. It was really, really hot, and I was dead at the end of it. Yet for some reason, I came back in the afternoon for a double….
The Double was just a bad idea. I thought it would be nice because I was in the middle of week one of three very busy weeks. However, today was a nice, calm day. I thought I would give myself a treat by doing a double. But really, I should have stayed home. I don’t think I was well hydrated, class was just no fun, and I was exhausted afterwards.
Days 40 & 41: These classes were nothing special. They were fine. I noticed that my flexibility seemed to be increasing (of course, right before I had to stop for three days!). My shoulders are more open. I can get my arms behind my ears in half-moon. I locked my right leg when I kicked out in SH2K and on both days got my forehead to my knee on my left leg.
Because I did a double, I ended up doing 42 classes in 41 days. I could not tell you when I last did a double, but I think it might be worth doing them once a week. I’m not going to do that right now. But I did notice a lack of stamina when I hit my double.
Starting Part II
Day 1: I’m back after being gone for three days. I am concerned about my hydration and remind myself to take it easy. Had a pretty good class. Couldn’t kick my right leg out in SH2K and found my hamstrings to be a bit tight. I was a bit tight everywhere (had just come back from a four hour plane ride!) so class overall felt pretty good. The three days off was a nice mental break. Class didn’t seem to take 100 hours.
Day 2: This was not a fun class. I think, after being gone for three days, that the first class back felt great and wonderful because I had been gone for three days. Now I’m back into it, and it kinda sucks. I didn’t want to be here today. I felt tight pretty much everywhere, and by the time we hit the floor I was mentally done. I managed to do both sets of camel and then sat out pretty much everything else to the end.
Day 3: I notice I have lost some flexibility. I assume it’s from the three days I took off, but who can really say. I miss it, and I am hopeful that it will return. I noticed I had regressed as soon as I came back from my three days off, but I assumed that I would get it right back. Three days off isn’t that long, right? I am learning not to assume anything.
Day 4: I hate hands to feet pose. I hate the whole warm-up series. Always have. Can’t say why. I have noticed that I want to come out of hands to feet early, and I have been allowing myself to do so simply for the reason that I want to come out early. Let’s be honest – this is hardly a real reason. So today I stay in the posture and evaluate if I really need to come out. I conclude that I don’t. I breathe and survive.
Day 5: I am done by spine strengthening. Actually, this is the case for pretty much all of my classes these days. I can do the first two postures in the series and then I am just beat. Enough already. Let me die.
Day 6: Since Part II has started up I have noticed that I am massively and incredibly fidgety. I am always a little on the fidgety side. I am aware of this, and it’s something I am trying to work on. Well, have been anyways….lately it seems to have gone out the window. I have to scratch, wipe my face, crack my knuckles…how many ways can I fidget? Oh trust me ….there are many,
Day 7: Can I just say that class is hard….like really, really, really hard. I’m not dying or anything, but this is no cake-walk. There’s this weird part of me that looks forward to each class and yet hates the idea of going at the same time.
Day 8: No matter how bad of a mood I am in when I get to class, no matter how tired I am when I get to class, no matter how much I do not want to be on that damn mat….I am always glad I went to class.
One of my yoga teachers asked me how my challenge was going. I brought up the fact that I was extremely fidgety lately and received this awesome response:
You might be fidgety because you are being pulled in so many directions right now. You’ve got a lot going on with work/travel/ life/the challenge. You’re kind of on overdrive and it will seep into other places in your life. Bring fidgety doesn’t make your practice bad or you a bad practitioner. It gives you the awareness to tune into those aspects.
It’s okay to be fidgety or a mess or distracted. Yoga is meant to bring the uncomfortable to the surface so you can address it. I think your fidgety-ness is a good thing.
How wonderful is that? I guess I hadn’t really thought of it in terms of good vs. bad but more like why in the heck am I so fidgety lately????!!!! The fidgety-ness has been an interesting aspect of my practice this week. Sometimes I worry that I am distracting others (I am all over the place right now in class) but then I remember that they aren’t supposed to be paying attention to me anyways.
So our practice gives us what we need, which isn’t always what we want, life informs practice, and practice informs life. That’s the take away for this post.