But then the 1st September came around and I saw my sister's post online and thought, 'actually, how lovely to have an excuse to do at least 5 mins of yoga and carve out a little me time every day for 30 days.' I've also been trying to find a yoga class that I love but which also fits into my weekly schedule, especially with marathon training looming on the horizon. I thought this might be the kick up the bum I needed to find a good class if nothing else.
The challenge was to do at least 5 mins of yoga every day in September and post on Instagram about it using hashtags #yogagirlchallenge and #yogaeverydamnday. Posting a pic every single day was definitely the worst thing about this challenge! My sister and I would text each other daily to moan about how stupid we felt putting pics of us on a yoga mat online EVERY SINGLE DAY! If you follow me on Instagram - apologies. It also turns out that as I am not your usual Instagram-yogi, (ie stick thin and able to get into every single mad looking twist and pose, and who bangs on about 'wellness') the amount of interesting pics you can take on your mat is pretty limited. I did enjoy however putting a video of me online attempting and failing to do headstands - just to counteract these images of yoga perfection which I most definitely do not embody.
I mostly did my yoga at home using online classes - hands down the best thing to come out of this challenge was finally sorting my spare room from 'laundry room' and changing it to 'yoga studio'! (read: spare room with yoga mat, but without the mound of washing)
|spare room turned yoga studio|
I started the challenge with some Runners World 'Yoga for Runners', but through posting every day was recommended by blogger Sarah to try Cat Meffan's YouTube vids. These were amazing and would highly recommend if you want to do some yoga yourself at home - they are set out by duration and class intention so you can really choose what suits you that day and how much time you have. Some are as little as 10 mins and all are really varied.
I also managed to get to some new classes to see if these would be a good fit for me and my weekly routine. I really enjoyed all of them and it's so nice to practice at a class and be led by a real teacher to mix things up a bit. I also find classes much more challenging as they push you further into your practice. I will definitely be fitting in a weekly yin class once I get deep into marathon training in the winter. I also used the challenge as an excuse to sack off running one night and treated myself to one of my all time favourite yoga teacher's classes - 1.5 hours of Yin and mandala flow. Eirian of Cariad Yoga is a great teacher, but I only manage to get to her classes sporadically due to running club clashes. So that was lovely and as always I left feeling all zen and glowy.
Anyway, apart from clearing out my spare room other benefits I noticed from practicing every day were better and clearer head space, sleeping better and more toned arms! I didn't feel at all stress free throughout the month, but I did find that taking even 15 mins to practice when I was stressed really helped. I loved carving out some time during the day to do this and having a kick up the bum to actually practice myself at home, which I dont usually do but I really hope to continue. I found I was improving and by week 3 I was noticing that I was able to take some deeper stretches and more advanced poses than usual. Although some days I did nearly forget, but a little pre-bed yoga routine was a nice way to round off the day! I'm amazed that I managed to complete the whole month, particularly during a boozy holiday and an even boozier hen do weekend away.
So all in all I really enjoyed it and really liked having a little month long yoga project and starting or finishing the day on the mat. I will definitely try and continue to do yoga more frequently - I do however promise to stop littering your Instagram feeds with annoying pics of me in yoga poses.
|30 day yoga challenge complete|