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30 Days of Yoga, Week 1

April 3, 2011
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Today I completed the first week of my 30 Day Yoga commitment. Eight days is not a lot, but it was actually harder than I thought it would be in some ways. Finding time every day to be alone, peaceful and undisturbed was just about doable, but the hard part was making myself use that time to do yoga, instead of read, check email, reorganize a sock drawer……you know, anything but.
I imagined myself right here

Sunset over Qanat Bakish, Lebanon. (1910m - 2050m)

And it didn’t start very well. We spent last weekend in the mountains, to catch the last days of snow before spring really sprung.  I was thinking yogi thoughts for my first day : Me, on a mountaintop, effortlessly holding Warrior Pose as the sun set and the mist swirled beneath me….

My kids were thinking a different thought:

Snowmommysnowmommylooksnowmommylooklooksnow!!

They’ve seen snow before. Many times, in fact. But that is what is so amazing and beautiful about children, they can get that excited over and over again about the same thing. Why can’t we be more like that? (Probably because we’d be put away pretty quickly….how sad!)

So I let my older daughter play outside while I practiced in front of the window where I could see her. But I couldn’t concentrate. I kept stopping to stand up and peek at her. Back to downward dog… Then I’d stand up again just to make sure she was safe. Then again. The day was so gorgeous…..finally after about 30 minutes I gave up and just went outside to play too.

See what a gorgeous day

Yes, I was taking pictures between poses.

Day 2: Better.

Day 3: Useless. Kept putting it off and putting it off and before I knew it , it was 11pm. I mentioned (hopefully?)  to my husband that I hadn’t done my yoga and he didn’t let me off the hook at all, “No babe come on, you have to”. Drat. OK. Tired and grumpy, I rolled out the mat, but 10 minutes into it, our little one woke up and refused to go back to sleep…….

Day 4: Better.

Days 5, 6 & 7: I figured out that I had to make this a priority if it was going to happen. I went back to Kaizen – a little bit every day. I promised myself to do whatever I could, and so I created Pajama Yoga. First thing, before breakfast, before everything, and it was fantastic.  Almost immediately I started feeling the benefits, both physically and mentally.

Day 8: Today. Still Pajama Yoga, but being Sunday, the whole family joined in; Husband, two-year-old, four-year-old and me. Ok, it wasn’t very serious, but it was lots of fun.

So my family is supportive (!) which is key, and the emails I am receiving daily from my teacher have also been helpful . Every few days I received an email addressing the precise issues I was dealing with – it’s like she’s reading my mind, actually kind of spooky.

What I learned this week:

1- It’s hard to do something every day, but there is something liberating about it too. Learning to be disciplined with yourself physically has a positive effect on your mental discipline as well. I have a feeling I’m going to have more to say about this when my month is through.

2- There is a subtle but important distinction between kindness (to yourself) and self-indulgence.

3- A little bit, every day, goes a long way.

And a bonus lesson came in an email after day 1, from my ‘yoga buddy’ Angelique, who is a writer in New Zealand and is also taking this course:

You should always stop and go play with your kids when you can.  I get to say this because my eldest, who is 18, has just left home and it feels like yesterday he was just four.  I still have two at home and I’m so aware of how fast time goes. I’m so proud of them and yet at the same time I wish I could hold on to them forever.  But that isn’t a parent’s job – so Hana – go play with them.  A half hour is plenty of yoga :O

Have you ever done anything like this?

Not necessarily yoga, but any kind of commitment to doing something every day ? I would love to hear about it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 2:41 pm

    Hi Hana! Lovely post! I laughed at the part about your image of yoga in the mountains vs. your kids’ idea. Ha! Also loved your yoga buddy’s comments. I did the 30 days during the last session. I didn’t blog about it until after it was over, but you can see what I wrote starting here http://christenhansel.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/tell-me-a-story/
    I look forward to following your journey. Very cool. Keep up the good work!

  2. April 8, 2011 12:01 am

    Wonderful post Hana! I’m such a fan of pajama yoga. My boyfriend often works 17-18 hour days so his yoga is 10 minutes in bed in the morning with his legs up the wall. Honestly, it’s all he needs at the moment.

    Isn’t Angelique great? I love that she wrote you that.

  3. joumana jaamour permalink
    April 21, 2011 7:36 pm

    Hi Hana, love ur stories. I tried training for a marathon last year ( yes, i love running too ) and it was a challenge to be disciplined to run all the time. i wanted to skip so many days but it was incredibly satisfying at the end . I trained till i ran 17 km and then, unfortunately, i had to stop for personal reasons. I still want to achieve a marathon but it is so hard to commit again ad yes, being adults can be so confining unless of course u want to run a marathon with moi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Joumana

    • April 21, 2011 10:15 pm

      Hi Joumana!

      Wow, 17 km !! I’ve only made it to 10k so far, so a full marathon does feel like a big goal at the moment, but definitely one day!

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