This is Sandie.
She has taking on a 30 Day yoga challenge in aid of Pakistan with the help of Sinead and other teachers at Hush Yoga. She will share with us her experience of practicing yoga every day for 30 days in a row. Here’s her first blog post. Keep it up Sandie. We’re with you all the way!
“Perseverance Furthers? ” (Chinese Book of Changes)
(Guest Blog by Sandra Louise Moran)
To help raise money for the Pakistan Flood Victims, I am taking part in the ‘30 Day Yoga Challenge’ with the help of Sinead at HushYoga. Whilst I love yoga, I only normally practice once or twice a week – so this is a really big challenge for me.
In deciding to take on this challenge, a friend asked me whether I was doing it for a “spiritual journey type of vibe, or a ‘no pain no gain’ attitude or lets all save the world buzz”. Obviously it is a very worthwhile cause. I was also driven by curiosity: what changes will I notice in myself after practising yoga every day for 30 days? Will I finally be able to do the poses which I thought impossible? Will I be able to stick with my commitment, notwithstanding everyday distractions?
Starting out I was very nervous, but also really excited! In my first week I practiced Hatha Vinyasa, Hatha Flow and Ashtanga. I also dedicated time to focus on Pranayama and Meditation. Whilst I found Hatha Vinyasa with Sinead physically demanding, I really enjoyed the flowing movement from one pose into another. In contrast, I struggled to enjoy the Hatha class where I had to ‘hold’ the pose; my body instinctively wanted to go with a more breath – synchronized movement and I felt quite restless. I definitely need to work on this!
I did a lot of back bends this week – such as the bridge, camel and bow. Practising back bends every day for a week has already helped to straighten out the unflattering slouch I have developed from hours in front of the computer.
The highlight of the week was definitely achieving the handstand (albeit an assisted handstand) – I’ve only done this once before and had developed a sort of mental block against it. I felt such a sense of achievement, it was brilliant! It also made me realise that some of the poses that I thought I couldn’t achieve before because I lacked strength, have more to do with fear than ability.
The most challenging pose this week was the crane pose – I’m convinced that’s the exception to my realisation!
I also practiced at home two days this week – focusing on Sun Salutations, Meditation and Pranayama. I found it very hard to motivate myself practising at home on my own – it’s a very different experience. I’ve never meditated before. Anytime I tried, I began to think about work or other things going on in my life. But I found a technique I learned from Sinead quite useful – placing your hand just beneath your collar bone, really helps you to focus and remove yourself from the outside world.
After week one of the challenge, I’m feeling really relaxed and motivated and a lot more ambitious – and definitely aiming to be able to do a headstand by Day 30. The fundraising is going well, and every contribution helps. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the cause, there’s a collection point in the studio or get in touch via e-mail.