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Downward Dogging My Way Through A 30 Day Challenge

March 10th, 2016

YYoga Member Claire McArthur Shares Her Thoughts From Her Last 30 Day Challenge

I couldn’t touch my toes at the beginning of this year. Okay, maybe I could if I tried really hard, but I was not very flexible at all. I was also out of shape. How did my bacon loving, no exercise, very low attention span self, get into this? Well, I blame my better half, my roommate, Maria. She works out, eats healthy and enjoys a pretty healthy lifestyle. That’s when it all began.

Did I love my first class? No. I didn’t love it. The teacher kept telling me to close my third eye and then we had to do headstand/splits up against a wall. Yes, there were modifications and I took every one of them but it was still a bit much. I left the class asking myself what the hell I had just done. The best thing was when I woke up the next day my back didn’t hurt. I walked to work with no pain and I also slept better. I started to buy in to this yoga idea. So I went back to the studio the next day. And the next. I found a teacher, Elke- a former dancer, that I loved and I started going to her power and flow classes. I didn’t even know there were two different types of classes. There are actually many, many different types. Who knew?! Some teachers even play chill deep house during their classes. Then the studio announced it would hold a 30 day challenge. I never completed something like this, so I thought why not? It will only save me money and help my practice. So I went.

I went after work, before work, in-between work, on Sundays, nights and I even did back to back classes to make sure I stayed on track to complete the challenge. I started going to bed early and eating better food. I figured if I was to do this much good work for my body I should probably cut out at least half the bacon, scones and croissants in my life. I miss the croissants so much! I still don’t think I’m close to an intermediate level, but I can almost hold Crow, I’ve been working towards a steadier Sleeping Eagle flow to Half Moon pose, and I can almost do a cross body leg/arm hold thing.

I’ve learned to be a little more patient with myself and with others (which was definitely needed). I’m proud of my little accomplishments and the progress I have seen. I feel stronger so at least we know it’s working, right? It is important to live in the present, but also to take every day in strides, to look ahead and not dwell on decisions and actions you cannot change. I’ve met new friends and really enjoy being a part of the community at Y!

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