Well, I actually began 2021 with my very first polar plunge… which was an insanely rejuvenating way to begin the New Year. BUT this blog isn’t about that. It’s about the effects I saw from a consistent, 30-day yoga practice on my mind, body, and spirit.
For some context, I’ve been practicing yoga for about 7 years. I’ve done many types of yoga, from restorative to Kundalini to hot power yoga, and consider myself to be an intermediate/experienced yogi.
Though, over the past year of quarantine/work from home life, I’ve felt a stagnancy in my body and in my spirit. My sangha stopped meeting, I stopped seeing my therapist (and then started again after a few months), and I stopped going to the gym and to my local yoga studios. I worked out at home as much as I could muster the energy to, but I’ve never really enjoyed doing yoga at home. I love having a yoga instructor guide me and keep me focused and accountable. I love the energetic atmosphere of doing yoga in a cozy room with people from my community. It’s so incredibly healing.
After noticing the negative effects of being home and inactive this much, like decreased flexibility, aches and pains, lack of community, and a disconnection between my mind, body, and spirit, I felt called to join a movement of movement. Some of you may know of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube… well, she had a 30-day yoga journey called Breath on her channel that started just after New Year’s Day. I joined in and instantly felt grounded and at peace in her loving corner of the interweb.
The say it takes 21 days to form a habit, but I was hooked by week two. Yoga is now the first thing I do every morning after waking up. I even look forward to getting up some days (say whaaat) because of this practice and the benefits I’m receiving from spending time with myself on my mat. I enjoy reading the raw and encouraging comments under each video and it gives me reassurance that even though I’m practicing by myself, I’m not practicing alone. Also, my boyfriend enthusiastically joins in during the weekends, which makes it all the more sweet.
I don’t foresee a time where I’m not doing yoga every morning, which feels wild because I’ve never really been this consistent with a movement practice, except for the chuck of time I worked at a yoga studio in college in exchange for free yoga classes, though that practice was all over the place in terms of time and days spent on my mat. This practice I’ve started gives me structure in the morning, which is the time of day that I’m both the most productive and the most anxious. It grounds me and centers me before I do anything else, even before checking my phone. As a writer who works with podcasters and listens to podcasts all day, this period of quietude is glorious.
I’ve come back into a deep connection with my body, how it feels and what it needs, as well as what my mind and spirit need. It’s a time of contemplation and release, a time of reflection and being present with what is.
My flexibility and strength are improving in addition to an improved connection to my breath and the power my breath holds. I’ve become more aware of the emotions and feelings I experience throughout the day, using breathwork as a tool for working through difficult moments. The breath is my anchor and the achor is my breath.
I could go on about the benefits of yoga, but I’ll leave it at this. Coming back to my yoga practice has renewed my strength, my energy, and my confidence in myself. It pushes me to challenge myself each day, even for just one round of breath, and gives me space to connect with my true, authentic self.
If you’ve never done yoga or have little experience with it, I strongly encourage you to try it out for yourself and see how the practice impacts your life. See how your inner critic shows up and how your higher Self handles that.
If you’re an avid yogi or dabble in yoga every once in a while, I urge you to try doing yoga each day for 30 days and see what comes up for you.
Leave your experience with practicing yoga and/or a 30-day yoga journey in the comments below and let’s start a discussion!
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