03 May 2015

Thoughts at Halfway

Saturday, May 2

No yoga today, and if I'm honest, I'm thankful for that. 

I have made it halfway through my sixty day challenge -- actually I'm on 31 classes. Wednesday's single class was followed by a double on Thursday to reach 30 classes in 30 days. That was followed by a 5:30AM class on Friday morning (necessary because I was on assignment and had a 64 mile commute that day). That meant that I had completed three classes in 14.5 hours. All three classes were actually pretty good. The surprising part was how flexible I was in the morning class where I am usually not very bendy... Needless to say, however, by the time I got home last night I was toast. I slept very well (almost too well -- I overslept by a few minutes but made it to work on time this morning).

So, I thought about sharing a few tidbits at the halfway point. 

1) This is more difficult than I remember

Of course it's been almost six years since my first go round with this yoga, and that first year I did two challenges that summer. At 47 things progress just a tad more slowly than at 41. 

2) I am more mindful of form. 

In the past, I would alter a pose or alter the entrance into a pose just to "look right". I didn't want to be the fat guy or the old guy who couldn't perform a pose. I was a "poser" of sorts (pardon the pun). Now, I'm far more interested in entering and exiting the postures correctly and safely. Thirty classes in and I'm seeing true results. 
Example: In Hands-to-Feet, I almost got my hands behind my heels on Friday morning. Actually I did get my hands in the right place for just half a second (just long enough to have one of those 'I am a yogi!' moments. Now, I don't sit out Triangle nearly as often, and if I fall out, I try to get back in a lot more often. My practice has become more meaningful to me. 


Somewhere around class 15 or 16, I had one of those "Oh No" moments. We had just finished Standing Head-to-Knee and I was adjusting my shorts (simple drawstring gym/basketball shorts) when I heard a worrying "SNAP" and felt my shorts go slack. 
"Uh-oh. Please, God, no."
I tugged at the waist and surprisingly, the was resistance. I figured that if I kept REALLY STILL and could get through Standing Bow without incident, I would continue.  I did, and I did, and once we got to the floor, I had no worries. Turns out that the string had held by one single strand. Now, there is always a backup pair of shorts in my bag!

4) You find support where you did not expect. 

As more of my fellow students and instructors have learned of my challenge, the response has been so positive I just can't believe it. When I walk in the studio or the locker room, people say:
"What day are you on?"
"You doing OK?"
"That is great! Keep going!"
The support really helps. 
Your challenge can, in turn, inspire others. For example, my work study partner showed up unexpectedly on Thursday for my 30th class. She had previously said she couldn't make it. When I asked her what changed, she replied simply:

"You encouraged me."

By the way, if you recall, she had to start her challenge eight days after me because of illness. She is somewhere in the mid20s and catching up. More inspiration!!

So there we are. A quiet Saturday evening has passed into a brilliant Sunday morning. Back at it today, then another tough stretch from Monday to Wednesday: three work shifts, two cleaning shifts, and another 5:30AM class on Tuesday as I'm on assignment again with another long commute. In addition, there will be three, maybe four more doubles before this challenge concludes because of my work schedule. As I recall from my previous challenges, classes 30 through 50 were really tough. You're deep into this thing, and there seems to be no end; no light at the end of the tunnel.


Just need to focus on the next class.
The next posture.
The next breath. 

Have a great week!!!


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