30 Day Yoga Challenge

Picture by: Kike Vega

That’s it. 2 weeks ago was my last day of the 30-day yoga challenge, as a result of confinement.

I decided to share my impressions with you – no fancy talk, no exaggeration, no “it was astonishing, it changed my life!”

So what’s my review after these 30 days? 

-Am I more flexible? Frankly… no! I’m still about as flexible as a table and still can’t touch the ground while standing up!

-Am I more muscular? I’m about as muscular as a green bean!

-Am I more patient? Not sure either!!

Now you’re probably thinking, “She sent all these newsletters promoting her yoga challenge, and it was just a bunch of crap!”

Well, it turns out it wasn’t! Sure, I’m still not super flexible, I didn’t get any strength. BUT…

-My neck hurts less

I hold a lot of tension in my neck. Sometimes it’s like wearing an elephant around my neck all day long. I see that, especially in my dance classes (I usually go to hip hop classes). When other people dance, they move their heads easily, Beyoncé style, and I get stuck… Robocop style! And my neck cracks so loudly that my neighbors 3 floors up can probably hear it!

Although my neck is still not as relaxed as I would like it to be, I feel a clear improvement since I started yoga.  

-My feet hurt less 

I have chronic foot pain. In high school, I had to do endless physical therapy to soften my tendons. I had such pain that I had great difficulty walking. Today, I can walk easily but I still have recurring pain, and this pain has greatly diminished since I started practicing yoga.

-I’m watching fewer stupid videos

In the morning, while having breakfast, I tend to waste time on videos whose content is not exactly educational… i.e., stupid shows! 

But after my yoga session, I’m in a calm, relaxed, peaceful state and I don’t feel like watching videos or using the computer at all. And I believe it’s for the best! On the contrary, I aspire to prolong this moment of quietude, so I read, I appreciate the silence; it’s a soothing moment that replenishes my mind.  

-I’m more focused

This factor is undeniable. I’d heard that yoga helps improve concentration, and I can confirm that. I am less flighty, more efficient, and more productive. 

Yoga pushes us to be fully present of the moment, aware of what is around us, and to stop going on autopilot. 

Many yoga poses push us not to let ourselves be distracted in order to reach total balance and complete anchorage. There are exercises that, if we are not concentrating and staying conscious of our breath, we’ll lose our balance and we fall. 

This concentration needed in yoga is reflected throughout the day. My mind is more stable. I am less distracted. Similarly, starting the day by stimulating my body allows me to start the day with good energy that is conducive to a great mindset!

-I’m sleeping better

During this anxiety-provoking period, I was afraid of having sleep problems, but I’ve actually been sleeping extremely well. I sleep like a baby. And I am convinced that yoga is a part of the reason for that

To sum up: 

So no, in 30 days I haven’t felt the extraordinary, amazing, transcendental effects of yoga that some people might experience! I think that for this, I must keep on practicing. Yoga is like everything else in life: it is persistence that pays.

I still don’t do the headstand, and my arms are still about as toned as spaghetti. On the other hand, I did feel some very beneficial effects that make me say that Monday 2 weeks ago was indeed my last day of the yoga challenge, but certainly not my last day of yoga altogether.

I will continue to practice every week, still with Adrienne (I’m a fan!). Actually, since the challenge ended, I’ve kept practicing almost every day. Who knows – maybe I’ll give you an update after 1 year of the yoga challenge, and maybe I’ll finally be able to touch the ground with my hands! Hope springs eternal! 

I began yoga because of the quarantine. It is during this confusing period that I started a wholesome practice. 

There are situations in life, like the COVID-19, that happen beyond our control. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can choose how to respond to these situations.

In every moment, there’s something positive to gain and lessons to learn.

It’s up to us to see the glass half full rather than half empty 🙂

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