So, today is day #16 of my 30 Day Challenge and I think I’m finally hitting my stride. The last two mornings I have woken up without any issues, fully ready to go and excited for my morning practice. It’s truly been a challenge. Again, in the name of satya (truth) I’ll give you an honest run-down of how it’s gone.
I’ve taught a 6am Sunrise Yoga class at Westport Yoga several times in the last couple of weeks and I’m really starting to apply my experience and newly-found wisdom into the class to provide a gentle, yet invigorating experience for my students. The biggest thing that has hit home for me is that most people’s bodies take a lot more warming up than they do later in the day, and something that feels moderate in other practices feels quite deep in the morning. That heightened awareness is also extremely helpful in getting to know our most sensitive selves better. This also allows us to practice ahimsa (non-harm) toward ourselves by modifying our practice for the present moment and showing gratitude for where we are right now. Lastly, this has helped me appreciate my morning student’s tapas (disciplined use of energy) in getting up and dedicating their early morning to practice instead of extra sleep.
Full disclosure, I skipped day 8 in this block of my challenge. My body was feeling quite exhausted and I consciously let that day go and chose to sleep an extra 2 hours. I felt a mixture of guilt and relief, but ultimately, I think I made the right choice. I know my practice starts to really suffer when I don’t listen to my body and give myself the occasional break, so I feel it was the right choice. I’ll chalk this one up in the name of svadhyaya (self-study) which means self-awareness in all of our efforts, even to the point of accepting our limitations.
The no tv challenge was fine… My husband and I both work at home during the day and many times we’ll leave the tv on as background noise, so cutting that out and replacing it with Bach has been a very welcome change. I actually really missed it at night, though. When I thought this would open up the door to more quality time with my husband, I was wrong. I didn’t take into account that when we do do watch tv at night, one or both of us is usually still working! At least working on the couch together with a little distraction makes it seem like we’re hanging out and winding down. We have both chosen the life of entrepreneurs and working super long, focused days on many occasions comes with the territory. This might sound a bit depressing to some, but we are both doing what we love and are very supportive of each other. Anyway, it was nice to take tv for awhile, but I think the lesson learned is to approach it with moderation and high-selectivity in what we watch. Truth time: we watched all of True Detective in the next five days and it was fabulous!
I’ll be honest, these days were a bit of a blur. We “sprung forward” on day 11 and it took a few days getting used to waking up an hour earlier. I also was fighting off a cold my lovely husband brought home. Lastly, I’m working on a super-secret project right now (I will announce soon!), so most of my time and energy has been devoted to that on top of yoga, so I didn’t take on a 5 day challenge for this period. Excuses, excuses, I know… but I did get up every morning, practice, meditate, write, and have a mindful day, despite some major fatigue.
My dosha (Ayurvedic body constitution) is Vata all the way. One of the vata qualities is periods of hyperactivity followed by periods of exhaustion… this sounds about right and has caused problems for me in different areas of my life. I’m basically a cat. But, the remedy for this is implementing a daily routine, so I’m feeling this challenge is helping to mellow that out a bit and help me push through when I’m wanting to just lay low. The weather has started to improve here immensely in the last few days, so I’ve gotten some great play-time outside and am feeling revitalized and so stoked for the rest of this challenge. My energy is back up and I’m ready to go!
I made a change in my meditation during this period that has seriously helped me quite a bit. I’m not sure if I recommend this for everyone, but I stopped following a time limit. I was becoming hyper-focused on getting that 20 minutes in, to the point of feeling preoccupied with the time. Now I just meditate with no regard to time and I have felt freed to go much, much deeper. I don’t care if I do 5 minutes, or an hour, as long as I feel that connection with myself and the world that comes with diving into internal stillness. Hopefully, I’ll naturally be able to stay in meditation longer and longer. This also comes from svadhyaya and being respectful and mindful of my limitations. So, goodbye alarms and hello intuition!
The next 5 days:
The next 5 days, I’m adding the challenge of deep cleaning/organizing one room of my house/day. Like I said, my husband and I work a lot and we have a tendency to let things go when we’re busy. It’s feeling like spring and its time to clean, purge, and organize. This will also give me the opportunity to practice mindfulness while taking care of our home and things. I’m not a naturally organized person, so I’m hoping this will be a good lesson in tapas off the mat. I’ll let you know how it goes!Share