Another 30 Days, Another Challenge

I said that I would do it, and I’m starting now! Today is Day 1 of my 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. Since my Gallon A Day challenge that I finished last week, I’ve been looking forward to another challenge that will hopefully lead to me feeling better both physically and mentally.

I don’t think I need to explain too much about what this challenge is or why I’m doing it. Yoga is nice. I like it, but I have fallen away from it in the last year(s). In a turn of kismet, a friend of mine just signed up for a 30-day yoga challenge online today, perfectly coinciding with the beginning of my challenge. I decided to sign up as well. Every day, for 30 days, the website will email me a yoga video, usually 15-20 minutes long. However, I’m making this challenge up for myself, so these videos will be sort of a secondary, if-I-feel-like-it thing. I also got a few DVDs from the local library to use. I know several poses already, so I’m perfectly capable of running my own workout when I want to.

So, here are my rules for this challenge:

  • At least 10 minutes a day. Sure, I have videos and music that lasts way more than ten minutes, but I’m using this a minimum for two reasons: a) ten minutes is not overwhelming, you can do anything for ten minutes, and b) if I’m incredibly sore, or having a rough body day, ten minutes may be all I can manage and I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it.
  • Intensity can vary. At its most mild, yoga is stretching. So, even I end up incredibly sore from a workout the day before, I can stretch and do some deep breathing exercises and it will still be yoga. This challenge isn’t about losing weight or getting stronger; it’s about developing a healthy habit and feeling good.
  • At least 5 times a week. I may need to rest, let’s be honest. Unlike drinking water, this is a physical change in activity and I fear too much too fast could be detrimental. Other times, I may just need the weekend off. This is also why I set a ten-minute minimum.
  • No feeling guilty. If I can’t do a pose, I’m going to skip it. I’m not going to force myself to do anything that is beyond capabilities. I’m not saying I won’t try, but if I feel like saying no, I’m going to.

Now for some goals and hopes. I know I said I’m doing this for physical and mental health, but, hey, I can still hope for some concrete evidence that it’s all worth it:

  • Lose five pounds/one pants size. Not mandatory, but I figure if I can lose four pounds just by drinking more water, this shouldn’t be too hard. It would be nice at least.
  • Be more in touch with my creative side. Hopefully the meditation/introspection that takes place, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will benefit my poetry and other writing.
  • Soothe my poor fibromyalgiac episodes. This disease sucks. It’s total, unpredictable crap. Yoga is always at the top of the recommendation list for sufferers, but it’s always easy to say, “I’m in too much pain for yoga,” so I’d like to get to a point where yoga feels preventative.
  • Develop physical stamina. I have none. None. Doing theater usually requires dancing, which requires long rehearsals chock full of physical activity. It would be nice to walk into one of these situations, just once, and not experience a total body shock because I haven’t worked out since the last show, which was usually six months ago.

As with Gallon A Day, I will be posting my progress as often as possible. Tomorrow I will post Day 1’s experience. For now, I have to clean the floor so I feel okay about putting my pretty yoga mat down on it.

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