If you’ve been following along with my fitness journey thus far, then it is no surprise that I am mildly obsessed with Revolution Studio. I got hooked when I did their yoga and cycle intro special and went religiously for 2 weeks to as many classes as I possible could, then I signed up for a yoga special they were running and went to as many yoga classes as I could in a 30-day period and most recently, I signed up for another 30-days of unlimited yoga and have practiced yoga EVERY SINGLE DAY for 30 days. Here is what I have learned from practicing yoga every day for 30 days.
First of all, yoga for me is more of a mental exercise than a physical one. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen incredible physical changes in my body, but that’s not what it is about for me. When I get on my yoga mat, it is time for me to focus on nothing but the current moment. It is very hard to practice yoga while carrying the weight of the day with you. When I walk into that room, nothing else matters except for my breathing, my focus and my practice. The other thing I really love about yoga is that it is MY yoga practice. Everyone in the room has their own yoga practice and is doing their own version of the suggested flow. At Revolution Studio, the instructors are adamant about listening to your body and doing what your body is craving, not what they are instructing. I remember one time one of the instructors was like, “If you lie in child’s pose for the next 45-minutes and do nothing but focus on your breath, I would be ecstatic that you listened to your body and were confident enough to do something different.”
Time of day made a huge difference when it came to my practice. If I could wake up to yoga and fall asleep to yoga, I would be a very happy human. Any day that I was able to wake up and practice yoga was a much more focused, peaceful and productive day, however, on days when I didn’t have time to squeeze in an A.M. flow, but instead ended the day with yoga, I was able to show up on my mat and just release whatever happened earlier that day and retire the night much more relaxed and calm.
So how did I really benefit from 30 days of yoga? My mindset shifted. I was constantly embracing the little wins and setting new ‘impossible’ goals for myself. I couldn’t do crow pose 30 days ago. It was physically impossible for me to do, but I kept telling myself that I wanted to do crow pose. That was my goal. At some point I was able to sort of do crow pose, but only for a few really brief seconds and only if I was having a good day, but I geeked out about my progress. It may not have been pretty, but I was doing something today, that I couldn’t do yesterday and I completely and wholeheartedly embraced that. Now I can do crow pose like nobody’s business and although I am still geeking out about this little win, I am already setting new goals for myself. I am looking at poses that are physically impossible for me to do right now, but I know one day I will be able to do as long as I just keep practicing and celebrating the little wins to keep me motivated along the way.
Physically I can see and feel a HUGE difference in my arms and core. I used to have arms. Just arms. They weren’t defined, but they also weren’t not defined. They were just arms. Now I can actually see and feel defined muscles, especially my shoulder and triceps. Don’t get me wrong, you might look at me and be like, “She’s cray cray. I don’t see shit.” But, I noticed a major difference and can tell during my practice. Down dog or plank use to be very hard for me to hold for a long period of time, and I would constantly have to drop down into child’s pose for a break. The past few classes, I have been able to move through the entire 45 minutes without dropping or even wanting to drop. My core is also much stronger and I know this because my balance is like night and day. I still wobble and occasionally fall, whatever … but it’s nothing compared to my first few classes. I can’t say I really see a physical difference in my core, but I can tell a major difference in my practice.
Overall, I felt like over the past 30 days I was constantly celebrating a win. Whether it was just that I was twisting a little deeper, stretching a little further, breathing a little deeper, or finally being able to hold a pose I had never been able to hold before, I was always winning. Just showing up everyday felt like a win. Now I challenge you to finish the year strong by taking the 30 day yoga challenge yourself! You may not want to join a gym or may hate taking classes, but I just googled “30 day yoga challenge” and there are a TON of results. Pick a program or sign up for a month at your local gym and then commit to showing up EVERY DAMN DAY. You will thank yourself in the end.