How Completing 30 Day Yoga Challenge Helped Me Benefit From Yoga
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How Completing a 30-Day Yoga Challenge Helped Me Benefit From Yoga

I’m nearly 39 and I’ve never done yoga before. I used to be very active and flexible as a child, doing acrobatic gymnastics for 4 years, but then I had a huge gap in sports until I was past my 30’s. This year in March I’ve tried yoga for the first time in my life and it was a huge turning point in my fitness experience, and not only…

I started my adventure totally spontaneously, with yoga teachers on youtube and since March I’ve been trying to practice yoga at least 5 days a week. I also took part in a 30 day yoga challenge (30 days of yoga with Adriene) which I started on the 20th of May, and today I’m sharing with you my experience after completing that challenge.

 

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How Completing a 30-Day Yoga Challenge Helped Me Benefit From Yoga

1. I got into a habit of practising yoga every day.

The sessions within that 30-day yoga challenge programme were only 30-min long and they were designed for beginners. Who doesn’t have 30 minutes a day to hop on a mat? Come on! I loved the fact that every day there was something new and that it was my own private half an hour when I could “escape” from all my daily duties and problems. I tried to do my yoga practice every day at the same time, and before I realised, it became a part of my daily routine and I was already looking forward to the next day yoga session. It became such a strong habit that now after completing the challenge I still continue practicing yoga every day, sometimes even twice during the day.

2. As a beginner I became more confident in yoga.

I got familiar with more and more asana names and began to learn how to control my breathing. The teacher was walking you through all the poses and breathing techniques with so much detail. There was absolutely no pressure but I was slowly learning and becoming better and better in some of the poses because I was doing them with more confidence and ease.

3. Improvement in strength and flexibility.

I remember how I used to struggle with pushups and pullups during my workouts. While doing this challenge I’ve noticed with an undeniable astonishment that I’m able to do a proper “man’s” pushup at last! I also see that doing pullups doesn’t cost me as much effort as it used to. I’m still not strong enough, but I can honestly see a huge difference. The same with flexibility. One of the best examples is a forward bend. Thanks to regular every day practice I managed to touch the ground with my full palms for the first time! Here’s a photo documenting that (sorry for poor quality of the second photo, that’s all I have). I’m so proud of this little progress!

Yoga Challenge Forward Fold Progress

4. My motivation went up!

Seeing progress is the best motivation-booster you can possibly have. I could see it and I could feel it. Learning the habit to exercise every day has also helped a lot so there’s no more motivation struggle in my case. I see that “it’s working” and I want to do more to see how far this journey can lead me (especially at my age).

5. Yoga opened my body and mind.

I became more aware of my body and started paying more attention to my posture and the way I move. I started listening to it and by slow regular practice and paying attention to breathing I’ve noticed that my body was capable of more than I thought. It goes the same way with your mind. I admit that I don’t really do much meditation. However even the fact that I could spend 30 minutes alone, I could cut out from the problems and direct my focus on my practice trying to activate proper regular breathing, calmed me down and cleared my mind.

6. I got rid of anxiety and depression.

Last year has been very difficult. I was totally overwhelmed and I felt stuck and hopeless way too often. What’s more, living in a country where it’s cold and it rains for most of the year doesn’t really help… So yoga turned out to be a fantastic, safe and natural way of fighting all that gloominess inside! It worked like a therapy for me. I loved the fact that I could have this time of practice only to myself, I could forget about the problems for a moment, concentrate and do something good for my body (and mind) instead. Savasana is indeed my favourite moment of yoga and I never skip it. Endorphins do their job too! It’s a perfect match. In this busy world, we often get caught in a loop and we don’t even realise that. My daily yoga-time put me back on proper track and brought balance in my life.

7. I became more rested.

One thing I couldn’t change in my life was my very bad habit of going to bed ridiculously late (at 1 or 2 or sometimes even at 3am ! ) and sleeping for about 5-6 hours… which in my case is not enough… As a result I was feeling overtired and bitchy almost every day, running on caffeine and promising myself every morning that I would be going to bed early next time. Never worked! Yoga helped me get out from that vicious circle. I was usually doing my practice in the afternoon or evening and after the whole session I felt so rested that I was nearly falling asleep on my mat. And so feeling so chilled and relaxed I usually went to bed earlier. Simple as that.

There’s one last thing which I’d love to mention when talking about benefits of yoga. And I think it’s very important. Thanks to yoga you slow down and you learn to enjoy the moment. There’s no rush, there’s no judgement, you learn to love your body and simply enjoy the journey. Yoga is not about perfection. It’s about the process! Your own individual process. To me it was a very liberating discovery and that is what made me fall in love with yoga most of all.

 

What do you need to start practising yoga?

All you need is a mat and some comfortable clothes.

You might also think about some props helping you to get to some of more challenging poses but you don’t necessarily need them. I have no props at all, though I think having a pair of yoga blocks or a yoga strap wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

It’s very wise to invest in a good quality non-slippery mat. I see that now. I’ve been using mats I had for my fitness workouts but I had a few situations when my hands slipped in a downward dog pose… I need a new mat myself.

Here’s a few items I find very attractive:

 

If you’d like to see my whole journey, I was documenting it on my Instagram account. Or if you want to see how I keep on practicing yoga, check my hashtag #fitnclassyyogazoneΒ Feel free to join me on that journey if you’d like to. I would love to meet more people with similar goals and interests.

Do you practice yoga? Have you ever tried a yoga challenge?

Love xxx

Anna

How Completing 30 Day Yoga Challenge Helped Me Benefit From Yoga

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26 Comment

  1. Reply
    Amanda
    July 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Yoga is amazing! I only do it 2 times a day but I am looking forward to doing it more throughout the week! What a great post!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you Amanda. Good luck with your yoga adventure. It’s really worth to practice more often. All the best! xxx

    2. Reply
      Nichelle Womack
      July 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Thanks so much for an indepth understanding of Yoga. I practice every now and then. When I do, as you verified in your tips, I feel amazing. I need to do more at home in order to remain consistent. I still use my Wii to help me out when it’s just me.

      1. Reply
        Anna
        July 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        Thank you, Nichelle. I’m happy to hear that Wii helps you! I used to have it but I gave it to my godson a few years ago. I actually had no idea it could be used for yoga! That’s awesome! πŸ˜€

  2. Reply
    Kate
    July 5, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I loved reading about your progress! I recently got into Bikram hot yoga, which I did a month of, and I definitely noticed a lot of the same things you did. It’s amazing what stretching can do for mind, body, and spirit. I wrote an article on my hot yoga experience if you would like to check it out πŸ™‚ https://thetallreader.com/2018/06/12/hello-hot-yoga/

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Kate! Thank you for your comment and for leaving a link to your article. I’m glad we have similar experience πŸ™‚ It only proves that yoga is amazing indeed and it has so many benefits.
      I’ve just read your post and I loved it! I left you a comment there too.
      Have a lovely day!

  3. Reply
    Malea
    July 5, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Love this! So glad you enjoyed it. Yoga was one the most helpful things for helping me overcome my depression and anxiety.

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you, Malea, for leaving a comment under my post. I’m so happy for you that yoga helped you so much.

  4. Reply
    Mrs. SBF
    July 5, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    I absolutely LOVE yoga! If I don’t make the time for it, I feel the difference -body, mind and spirit! It’s such a good thing to have in one’s life!

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      I totally agree! It happened to me that I missed one day of my practice recently and I really felt like I was literally missing something. I could also feel the difference in my muscles. It’s really worth to be consistent in our practice. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  5. Reply
    Cassie
    July 6, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    This is great! I haven’t been able to make yoga a full habit. I’ve been stuck in a rut with one week on, one week off, but would love to practice daily. I could definitely benefit from those changes you listed with your 30 day challenge.

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Cassie. Yes, give it a try and see how it works for you. I’m sure you’re going to love it! Best of luck! xxx

  6. Reply
    Brandi Michel
    July 7, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for sharing your yoga experience. Especially where you share about how it helped with overcome depression. I was actually battling depression myself a few years ago and my Dr. prescribed exercise as a way to naturally fight it. It worked with no side-effects and a whole lot of other benefits too!!

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Your doctor definitely knows what’s good. And I’m glad to hear that it worked so well for you! Exercising has so many benefits. It’s only hard to start, but once we overcome our own weaknesses, it can only get better and better. So happy for you! πŸ™‚

  7. Reply
    Cristina Alciati
    July 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Lovely story. πŸ™‚ Although stretching is always a big part of my workouts I never really got into Yoga as such until I was introduced to Strala yoga which I thoroughly enjoy and find easier than other styles of yoga. I follow along to a quick routine before going to sleep as it helps me calm down. The amazing thing is that I wake up feeling more flexible than before I went to sleep.

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 10, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Cristina. I have to check Strala yoga as I haven’t heard about this one yet. It sounds like something I’d love to try myself πŸ™‚

  8. Reply
    Madi Rowan
    July 9, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    As a yoga-lover, this post makes me so happy to read! Yoga can really transform your mind, body, & soul, I know it has for me! I too completed the 30 day yoga challenge with Adriene in January & it was beyond wonderful…Adriene is the best!

    http://www.everydaywithmadirae.com

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 10, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Hi Madi! Thank you for leaving a comment under my post. I’m so happy to meet someone who has also completed Adriene’s yoga challenge! Yay!!! πŸ˜€ I’ve also checked your blog and it’s so neat and beautiful! I left you a comment there too. Have a wonderful day! xxx

  9. Reply
    Avani
    July 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    So cool.. Thanks for sharing

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 10, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Thank you, Avani πŸ™‚

  10. Reply
    jane
    July 9, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Great and encouraging post. Yoga is great but I am so inflexible. This encourages me. Thank you for sharing this inspiration

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 10, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Thank you for your comment, Jane. I’m inflexible too. Well, some parts are better than the others, but yoga really helps! Especially if you do it regularly. I’m glad that my post has inspired you to give it a go. Best of luck and enjoy! πŸ˜€

  11. Reply
    Brianna
    July 11, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I love these tips! I’ve been wanting to try yoga for years and I think you just gave me the boost I needed to go ahead and give it a try. I’d love to try out a place and get a membership but I think I’m gonna try it out at home first myself and see how it goes from there.

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 11, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      Hi Brianna! Thank you for your comment and I’m really happy that my post has motivated you to try yoga! If you ever have a chance, I do recommend classes, especially if you’ve never tried it before. The teacher can see how you’re doing different poses and correct you if need be. On the other hand Adriene’s instructions are very easy to follow and it’s great to start with her challenge if you don’t have a chance to attend classes, so you can just give it a go and see how you like it. Good luck and have fun!

  12. Reply
    Lorena
    July 11, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Well done for sticking to it. I’ve started a 30 day yoga practice once but never saw it through to the end. I will definitely try again.

    1. Reply
      Anna
      July 11, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Lorena. Thank you for your comment. I know, I’ve had a moment of crisis tbh, but my curiosity won πŸ˜€ Do try again, it’s really worth it! Hope you get to complete it this time. Good luck!

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