Ok…I did it. I actually did my 100 day challenge! As of today (May 11th), I am actually on Day 104. My plan is to simply go everyday unless there is some good reason I cannot. Eventually I will have to get on a plane to take a vacation and this will come to an end. But for now, I go if I can.
In starting my 100-Day challenge (way back in January), I was very curious as to what I would experience. Over the course of time, I encountered two main themes that ran through my challenge, and today I will share one of them with you. The first theme I encountered was the question, why am I doing this?
Now, this question isn’t what it seems on the surface. I never asked myself why I was doing a 100-Day challenge. I had been wanting to do one for a couple of years! I had the motivation and interest to see where it would take me. No, what I noticed I was doing was starting to question what I did/did not do on the mat and why.
Let’s start with a simple example in SH2K. I’ve had a problem lately where I am cramping up in SH2K. I think I understand the issue now -it’s about my form and I’m working on it. But, when I was in SH2K and got a cramp, what did I do? I came out of the posture.
So the question might look like this:
Question: Why did I just come out of SH2K?
Answer: Because I have a cramp.
Analysis of Answer: That’s a reasonable thing to do.
That was an easy example. Now, let’s take something else – how about triangle? Ha ha. You know I love me some triangle. Now the question could look like this:
Question: Why did I come out of triangle early?
Answer: Because I hate staying in it.
Analysis of Answer: That’s not a great reason but high five for being honest and self-aware (I am constantly finding reasons to give myself mental high-fives when I am on the mat)!
This could also evolve into something like this in Eagle:
Question: Do I really need to come out of Eagle?
Answer: No. I can hold on for a little longer. I just want to come out. I don’t need to come out.
Analysis of Answer: Looking good!
One of the themes then that ran through my challenge were these conversations I had with myself, and I had them pretty much constantly. Obviously sometimes I did fall out of postures, and I didn’t have time to give any thought to such conversation. But if I felt myself starting to come out, I tried to catch myself and ask myself why. Why was I coming – or thinking about coming – out of the posture?
Of course sometimes things went as in my example with Eagle. I understood that I didn’t need to come out. I wasn’t falling out. I wasn’t cramping. I wasn’t dizzy. No real reason to come out. I might have been uncomfortable, and I would acknowledge this, but being uncomfortable isn’t a reason to come out of a posture. I had to learn to sit with my discomfort.
Was I perfect? Heck no. Not even close. Like I said, sometimes I came out because I was uncomfortable and didn’t feel like engaging with the discomfort. Did I face myself down about this? Absolutely. Anytime you see me come out of a posture – if it’s not an obvious fall out – feel free to ask me why. I should know, and I won’t lie to you.
I do hope (and expect) that this theme will continue to evolve. I expect that it will continue to evolve in my practice, but I also hope that it will start to show itself in my daily life outside the hot room. I haven’t found a direct connection yet, but I suspect over time it will seep in, and I am excited about how it could impact my life.
For now, the next time you want to come out of a posture ask yourself why. Take a minute to explore that reason and see if you think it’s legit. And if it’s not legit, if you come out because you simply don’t like the posture, be honest with yourself.