How 31 Days of Yoga Changed My Soul
April 17, 2017
“We make our habits, then our habits make us.” -John Dryden
At the beginning of January, a friend of mine was in town. It was an extremely awkward visit and the friendship has since dissipated. The friendship had grown old and stale and I could feel that since my recent move to Utah, I had also started to feel a little old and stale. I needed to hit refresh.
I had dabbled in at-home yoga before (never consistently) but always loved how I felt when I took the time to hit my mat. And after this extremely awkward encounter with my past and myself I knew it was time for a change. I decided that since my eating habits were already pretty in check, that it was time to get back into yoga.
Back in 2012 I discovered Yoga with Adriene and I loved her stuff back then. So on January 3rd of this year I Googled “yoga with adriene” with the hopes of finding some sort of plan that would help me stay on track. She had just started her 31 Day Revolution on the first and I knew that was what I needed. I needed to make a 31 day commitment to myself and do this. FINISH IT. I always start projects and only follow them through until about halfway before I am bored and ready to move on. I wanted to really commit to this. So I did.
A 31 day yoga program that builds off of itself. And Adriene does an AMAZING job of showing you all the different levels of flexibility for different poses, she’s hilarious, and knows what she is talking about. I decided that the best way for me to be successful in this commitment to myself, would be to get up and do each day’s “session” before work, my shower, and even before coffee. In the first two days I did two videos a day so I could catch up with others participating in the Revolution and be doing the 31 day challenge with people all over the world.
At first it wasn’t easy to hit the mat. And honestly, some mornings I laid on it and wondered why I was doing yoga; I looked and felt fine. But I knew I could be better than “fine”. I didn’t miss a single day in those 29 days of my 31 day revolution and I can assure you that never once did I think to myself, “Darn! I wish I hadn’t taken that half hour for myself this morning! What a waste.” (each video is anywhere from 19-45 minutes, average length being right around 30 minutes). By day 5 I was hooked.
I love this set of 31 videos for a lot of reasons. It building off itself was so helpful. She knew what you’d done the day before because she had led you. She focused on different parts of the body everyday, with a little bit of abs and a whole lotta cat-cow daily. And as much as I like to say it’s the very first thing I do in the mornings… I did learn the hard way that it is imperative to brush your teeth before any face down deep breathing positions, like a solid child’s pose. Eeesh. Brush your teeth, THEN yoga.
All jokes aside; within the first two weeks I felt different. Little things, like, my body felt longer. The girls at work even commented on how lean and tall I was looking. I even began to realize the power of my breath. My breath moves my body up and down my yoga mat every morning and for the first time I started to notice the ways that my breath powers me off the mat. Managing your breath helps to control your emotions, pain (especially menstrual pain!), to be more in the moment, and deep slow breathing techniques even help me fall asleep faster. Breath is life.
I don’t know if it was because I felt taller or maybe just the yoga itself, but for the first time, in a long time, I started to feel super confident. And not in a, “I got a super hot new dress” kind of way. It was this “inner confidence” I had so often heard referenced before. The inside of my body and mind feel good and it literally shines through my skin. It’s given me the courage to face things from my past, my own personal weaknesses, and I even started dating again after taking the time to heal after two extremely unhealthy relationships, the last ending over a year ago.
Since the 3rd of January, I have done yoga everyday (with exception to an 8 day injury at the beginning of February and a another week off due to an illness). It is a habit. And I can say with certainty that is my most favorite habit I have ever developed. I feel good and I look good. I just started the 31 day Revolution over again and I can already see how much more flexible I have become since January (even being forced to miss two weeks… gotta listen to your body, and mine said, “rest”). The feeling this transformation has given me isn’t easy for me to put into words, but if you allow it, yoga will deeply change you. I hope everyone can experience the greatness that I have found in this.