Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Yoga Challenge

Hi Blog Friends,

Boy am I frazzled! I have so much work to do and not enough time to do it. My to do list keeps growing and it seems like my days are getting shorter and shorter. Working this hard to build a new business without seeing instant gratification (it may take a while before I start collecting commissions) is enough to drive this girl bat shit crazy. Serious.

To keep myself sane, slim, happy, centered and kind, I am doing a month long yoga challenge. I had hoped to do a challenge like this in January when I did a cleanse diet and also did not partake in wine or other adult beverages. However, I seriously hurt my should in the first week of January and while I wanted to push through the pain and just do it anyway, Aaron warned me not to and to heal first, then do yoga. So I only did yoga about 18 times in January rather than 31. February flew by with guests, trips, etc., so March is my month! April 3rd is also my 31st birthday, and I have to admit, I am feeling a bit weird about it. I didn't really mind my 30th birthday, but 31 seems so....much closer to 40.

On March 2nd, I realized that I had the power to give myself a birthday gift EVERYDAY until my birthday. I have the ability to keep myself younger, leaner, and stronger and I can do this everyday! What is this gift, you may ask? The! Instead of looking at this as something I "have to do", I am looking at it as something I "get to do". I have challenged myself to do at least one hour of yoga per day until my April 3rd birthday. Preferably, all of those sessions will be at the heated studio I belong to, but at least 5 of them per week WILL be at the studio. So far, I am on day 10, and due to being out of town for one day, I did a 75 minute Dave Farmar podcast. Wowza! It was almost as hard as my studio classes. I feel great, have been sleeping like a ROCK and feel my arms getting more toned. Yippee! It's amazing how much I have improved since I have been doing hot yoga in the past year (although it is a little bit sad that I have been doing yoga for about 8 years and still can't do many of the postures). I can now hold high plank, low plank, side plank. With the help of my friend Susan, I can also now do head stand! Thanks Susan!

In addition to motivating myself by looking at each yoga class as a gift to myself, I am also thinking of challenging poses and times during class as gifts. Rather than thinking to myself "I hate humble warrior... I can't do another sit up, push up, chaturunga, etc." I think to myself "If you do this work you will love the way you feel and look and that is a gift!"  I know its a little far fetched, but its keeping me pretty motivated and I feel like I have really been able to push my limits in class.

The hardest thing about yoga for me is "letting go". I can't stop thinking about: all the meetings I have, laundry I need to do, when I am going to walk the dog, how I am I going to pay my bills, when will I read those 30 books I want to read this year, what am I going to make for dinner, when will I find time to call my friends back.....AH! It's craziness how busy my mind gets when I am on my yoga mat. (Why can't my mind work that fast on Mondays at work? :) ) Well last week, I had a total break through. I had an amazing session. I thought about work....but only briefly and only twice...and then I just let it go. I really focused all of my attention on breathing....imagine that! and it worked! I was in a complete and total zone. I felt so light and just flowed through all of the poses. Even the instructor noticed. That day was wonderful. I felt totally energized, refreshed, and was completely productive. Now I have tried to recreate that feeling and guess what? I haven't been able to do it again. But I realize that it's really true what they say about yoga: where you are now in yoga is EXACTLY where you need to be. I am sure I will feel that amazing feeling again...hopefully sooner than later.

I decided it was time to get a new yoga mat since I have had the same one for 8 years and even though I wash it....that's just gross. However, I do have to say, I felt a little sacrilegious giving up using the mat on  which I have learned so much on over the past several years.  The blue one on the left is the old one. It is getting so thin, it's all slippery, it has a whole in it, and I love it. :) My new one is on the right. It's so pretty! It has a nice tree on it (which I never really see because I use yogi toes over the top) but it is super thick and really non slippery and just great. Such an improvement. Out with the old and in with the new, I guess?

I am feeling really good about completing this challenge as long as I don't hurt myself. I just am not quite sure what I will do next weekend....Aaron and I have been talking about going camping for two nights. It would just leave me with one day to do yoga in the forest....which could be fun...or totally weird! We will see. I did yoga while camping one day last fall and it was great...but it was also 630 am and no one could see me.

I actually bought my new yoga mat in a very unlikely place that actually doesn't have any yoga studios that I could find: YUMA! I went for a whole weekend for a car show and did not take ONE picture of an old car. The weekend was fun...lots of Aaron's dad's friends hanging out, talking about cars, drinking wine, sharing appetizers, etc. I sat by the pool and went shopping at Target and Old Navy, and we went out for a couple of non descript meals. It's Yuma... I didn't expect much in terms of great restaurants. It was a nice calm weekend away from home which is not a bad thing. (One of the bad things about Yuma is all the fat people! My gosh! They need to exersice and stop eating such bad fatty food. Bleck!)

On the drive home it was pouring rain but it stopped for a while and we went to the CENTER OF THE WORLD. That's right! The center of the world. I even got a cool certificate saying so! There is this weird place right outside of Yuma on the California side called Felicity. France and the US established this place to create a monument to mankind and the history of the world. There are all these big marble walls that are being  engraved to tell the history of the world. It's actually kind of a cult inspired kind of way. There is a little pyramid that you stand inside of and there was a little Asian lady who told us "congratulations! you have made it to the center of the world!". It was very serious and ceremonial. We all got to make a wish while standing on the little "dot" inside the pyramid. There is also a little church built in honor of Saint Felicity. (I hope you all can sense the sarcasm in my blogging voice).

Here are the walls.
You can see the pyramid in the background. And the little person in the red jacket was the little Asian lady. She was very excited about all of this. Check out their website: This is all apparently based on a CHILDRENS  book. Ugh! So weird! I seriously kept looking for people wearing white robes and chanting.
Here is the little church (which was actually pretty cute)

There is also a section of the stairs from the Eiffel Tower! I really didn't get the whole "French Connection" thing...

It's pretty weird to drive on the 8 freeway and see this stairwell riding up towards the sky. If that doesn't scream "cult" I don't l know what does.

Once we got into the mountains, it starting snowing! 

This was taken from a moving car, but you get the idea.

Anyway, off to see Cirque de Soliel! 

And by the way, DAD, if you have not tried yoga yet, what are you waiting for??????

1 comment:

  1. You are so funny....
    Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I turn 34....on April 2 ( blah! )