If you’re reading this, I’ve made it to day 20! I wrote about days 1-10 of the challenge already, but since I didn’t start the blog until day 10 I had to rely on my memory. From here, though, I’ll write a little bit each day and hit publish on day 20.
- Day 11 I had a really upset stomach again so I think I need to get a little bit more careful with food for a while to make sure I’m not accidentally glutening. Had a lovely time at the pub quiz with friends, and got home very hungry but was an adult and decided to do yoga first. So happy I did! It was wonderful! Day 11’s video was super slow and stretchy and breathy, and every single Chaturanga I did was controlled and slow with elbows in all the way to the ground! I achieved my goal! So now I guess I need to focus on holding it steady in low plank, then eventually pushing up again. I also got my elbows to the ground and chilled in lizard pose for the first time, but the left side is easier than the right. I can’t believe how much my body is changing. Afterward I felt freakin’ awesome (and much less hungry) so I ate apple slices with peanut butter and had a great sleep.
- Day 12 I was still feeling wicked after yesterday, so I got up and did a bunch of chores then put coffee on to brew while I did my yoga to start the day off. Awesome choice – today was Yoga for Spinal Health, and lying in bed beforehand I was really sore in my left shoulder/neck where I tweaked something gardening a few weeks ago. After the practise the pain went away. I managed to step my left foot up to a lunge in one go for the first time, and kept on with the awesome controlled Chaturangas. My tree and warrior 3 are pretty solid when my left leg is the base, but harder and wobblier on the right. Good incentive to keep working on it.
- Day 13 was a killer. I got up early to go to a bootcamp with my friend – so after half an hour of running, squats, and lifting weights my body was feeling pretty sore – I came straight home and did the yoga video to hopefully prevent some of the pain to come! I was really glad I did, I could feel it breathing a little life back into my hamstrings and glutes… and then I undid all my hard work by spending the next 7 or so hours digging out a solid clay garden bed and planting carrots. I was proud, but complete jelly by the end of the day!
- Day 14 I was definitely feeling it. I had to get up early again and was out all day doing a photoshoot for a project next year, so by the time I got home I was just wrecked. It must have been the combo of the physical tiredness from yesterday, the mental tiredness of the day, and the sudden crushing weight of life stresses that come after me on a Sunday night, but I was sad and weary, and decided to do it tomorrow.
- Day 15, honestly, was no better. I had hayfever so badly overnight that I barely slept, had to cover my face in a cold wet flannel and woke up feeling like I had the flu and had probably also been run over by a bus. My knuckles were all swollen and painful to move, I had a sore throat and the sniffles, and I just felt sad and anxious and awful. I stayed at home and made soup and apple crumble to try and pull myself up, but yoga was off the cards.
- So today, Day 16, I felt very guilty. I also still felt like total shit. Pretty sure I’m having a depressive episode along with a fibro flare – basically, struggling. I made the choice though: I was going to do the yoga even if it was the only thing I managed. So I started with Day 14, reasoning it was only 17 minutes long. I really struggled with those 17 minutes – I felt like a loser for skipping two days, my body was still really sore, with my joints screaming and my muscles refusing to loosen up. I got through it, hated it, and got off the mat. Then, I thought, well, I have more to do. Maybe I’ll look and see what Day 15 looks like. I sat on the mat, clicked on the video, and read this description: “Today would be the perfect day to commit to staying present. You have made it this far – stay in the moment and reconnect to your intentions. This 30 min yoga sequence is great for anxiety and stress relief.” So I said “fuck it, I need that” and started it up. I’m really glad. Doing the second video made my body start to come back, like I could feel it a little bit again. It still wasn’t easy, I’m still in pain and need to be careful but by the end I felt a little looser and a little more free in my movement. The calm lasted for about half an hour in my day of numb worry and sadness, but I’m really grateful for it. Just before bed I decided to do Day 16 (again, only 17 minutes). I held my nose to my knees in forward fold, and held up side plank on both sides without any problem, went “WTF?!” and here I am, back on track with this thing.
I wasn’t back on track with this thing. Sadly the flare just got worse, and after this date (December 5th) I had to stop for a while because I simply couldn’t bear weight on my wrists. It was pretty miserable, I was pretty miserable, it wasn’t a good time. A lot of other stuff went wrong in my life at the end of 2017, and when I had to stop with the yoga challenge because of my body I really felt like everything was a failure and out of my control. I’d been enjoying it so much, it was so good for me, and I couldn’t do it. December continued, Christmas arrived, and I knew I needed to get over the feeling that I had failed, and just start again. I made the decision that it would be ok. So,
- Day 17, December 31st. I got out the mat and just picked up where I left off. Adriene didn’t seem to mind that I’d had a 26 day gap. I noticed that I wasn’t quite as strong or balanced as I had been, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought, and it felt quite wonderful. I’m also trying to get regular running (or at least walks) back in so I did a short but steep 1.5km Zealandia fence run before the yoga too.
- And funnily enough, Day 18 coincided with the first day of 2018. There’s a group of friends who are providing moral support for each other to do yoga every day of January which is awesome, I think the community spirit will help me a lot! But flip remind me never to stop for a month again, my triceps were SO DAMN SORE after yesterday! Did a 3.5km run out and back on Highbury Fling, hard in the muggy air.
- All that positivity, and today I had a total mental health crash – like, a crying over cold pizza and lying on the couch in the foetal position watching crappy horror on Netflix crash. I felt like I couldn’t achieve anything at all, let alone a run and yoga. Thankfully as the day cooled down and the evening set in I was able to meet up with a friend and we ended up doing a 5km bush walk with the dog, up a lot of hills to the Karori side of the Zealandia fence. It was lovely and I got back so much happier, got out my mat, and was surprised to find Day 19 was a gentle, breath focused day. I swear it’s spooky how they’re so often exactly what I need. I feel much better and calmer now. I’m glad to be back.
Depending on when Yoga with Adriene’s new 30 day challenge True drops in our weird future timezone I may skip to that series so that I can do the videos alongside my friends. So instead of publishing on day 20, I’m going to publish now – both a little earlier and a little later than anticipated.
I can’t wait to do more yoga this year!