What 31 Days of Yoga Did To Me

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Heyo, fellow yogis and yoginis! 

As you may know from this Get Healthy With Me post I finally got around to do the free Revolution program from Yoga with Adriene on youtube for the past 31 days. I like to challenge myself every now and then – Day Zero Project, 1 Month Self Love Photo-A-Day, 10 Day Alkaline Diet Detox, 1 Month of No Sugar, now 1 Month of Yoga, and maybe 1 Month of De-cluttering or 1 Month of Meditation or a Digital Detox in the future? – to expand the limits of my body as well as my mind. It's amazing what we humans are able to do. We only have to try!

Today I want to talk about how 31 Days of Yoga changed me. Gosh, that sounds dramatic!

31 Days of Yoga

To be honest, doing yoga every.single.day sounded intimidating to me at first. Especially since this month my daily routine was interrupted by two trips (to London and to my grandma) which seemed to make this task impossible. For my London trip right at the beginning of the challenge I decided to skip the yoga challenge for 4 days and instead catch up on it later. That made the start quite hard, and I ended up doing not only 1 but 2 yoga sessions each day for a while. One in the morning, one in the evening. As hard and time-consuming (1 hour each day) that was, it actually helped me to get into the yoga routine really quickly – after having done 2 yoga sessions each day it even felt weird to do only 1 session each day after that, like something was missing.

The Mind

Since this month was also the most intense phase of finishing up my master thesis which put me in a lot of stress, doing a balancing yoga practice every day definitely helped with shaking off any worries, grounding myself and calming my racing thoughts. It's amazing how a simple thing like breathing consciously can have such a big impact on yourself. I also find myself taking some of the "yogic peace" off the mat and into my day-to-day life. When I'm on the bike, in a traffic jam, upset about something or feeling disconnected from myself. 

The Body

In terms of my body, I can definitely feel the changes. Not only have I gained lean muscle mass over the past four weeks (I am now able to lower my body from plank down to the mat completely due to my strengthened arm and core muscles!!), but I also gained a noticeable amount(?) of balance and flexibility. I'm so thrilled to be able to do a stable tree pose, a rather decent crow pose and dancer pose, and even my first Eight Crooked Limbs! Still working on that though. After about 2 weeks I also noticed that my breath had changed – it was starting to become deeper, slower and more audible. Usually I don't even notice my breath, it's so quiet and weak, but now it has become strong and present. I'm so happy about that! :)

What now?

Today was my very last session (Practice Presence), and it was a wonderful ending to an amazing month. For the first time in my life, I created my own 35-minute long yoga session and felt more or less comfortable doing it! I trust my body more. I listen to the movement it needs and just play around. Of course, there are SO many things for me to learn about yoga, about my body, but I feel like I'm well on the way to a more creative, free yoga practice. I would also love to be trained to become a yoga teacher in the near future. I also want to work on the more challenging poses, such as dancer pose, king pigeon pose (you can see me work towards that in the pictures of this post), eight crooked limbs and scorpion pose – that will be a long journey though.

Due to my Vietnam trip I will not be able to watch my usual yoga workout videos, but perhaps I can practice doing my own free-style yoga sessions every now and then. I'm excited to see how my body will change over the next few years!!

Have you ever done daily yoga? What are your experiences?