Yoga. Every day. For 40 days.
That was the deal, and I’m here to say: I DID IT.
We celebrated tonight at Be Yoga. And now, I’m just going to celebrate myself for a moment, with a little photoshop journaling:
This is the first successful New Years Resolution I’ve ever made. (And therefore I have no idea what to do with myself now.)
You know what made this one different? I really, really wanted it. I wasn’t doing it because I “should” or because I “had to.” I wanted this. I wanted it so much that I started early; I actually had 44 consecutive practices. I wanted it so much that I don’t want it to end.
I didn’t go all-out every day for 40 days. Some days, I definitely kicked butt. But some days I was sick, some days I was resenting my uterus (or celebrating not being pregnant… either way), and some days I was just too sore (I’m looking at you, chaturangas!). So I ended up taking 30 classes and doing 10 home practices. I’m crazy-proud of myself for doing it every day, despite the emotional roller coaster that 2012 has been so far. I’m also so glad that I did those 10 home practices. It’s much harder to focus at home, but I think it’s super-important for me to develop a home practice. I would not have been ready for that without this challenge to motivate me.
You may recall that the other thing I did during my 40 days was commit to eating Paleo or Primal. I haven’t talked about it much since early January. For one thing, I honestly feel a little funny writing about bacon when I have beloved vegan and vegetarian friends (including my mom, betcha didn’t know that!) But really, eating paleo just hasn’t been a big deal since I got through the first 2 weeks. I’m just… eating food. Enjoying it. And feeling really, really good. The part that has been a big deal, though? This:
I spent 40 days eating as much as I wanted. Yes, I ate a lot of bacon. I had to say goodbye to bagels, but never had to go hungry or count a calorie or measure a portion. And I lost about 15 pounds.
Basically, I spent 40 days eating as much as I wanted, doing something I loved every day, and never seeing the inside of a gym. And now, I feel stronger and leaner. The new pants I bought at the end of December are baggy-saggy. Ok, great!
Those were the physical benefits. I was pretty pleased with them. Truly, though, those physical benefits are not nearly as profound as the emotional, spiritual, and… intangible benefits of these 40 days. Here are some of those intangibles:
The patience… something I never thought was within my grasp. (Just ask my husband.)
The stability… during a tumultuous time for me, my marriage, and my home life. Things have been crazy, work + grad school keeps me busy, but devoting this time to myself and my practice every day was invaluable. I had a perfect excuse to take a break, every day, and spend an hour breathing and forgetting my problems. It kept me sane.
The creative energy absolutely bursting out my ears… unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’ve always had a creative drive, but usually not enough to actually do anything about it. During this 40 days, though, I’ve felt so inspired and motivated. This was the most unexpected result of my practice, and I loved it. I was even inspired to go way outside my comfort zone and submit an article to Elephant Journal!
The love and friendship… we had an amazing group of women committed to 40 days together. So much strength and beauty in one place! I feel lucky to have met each one of these ladies. I’m so grateful for the support and community I found here.
The love… for myself. Learning to accept and love myself—including my body, just as it is—has been so significant for me. I always thought I’d like myself “after I lose weight.” It turns out, I can like myself now, too! The rest will come.
So. Ummm… now that this is over… what the heck do I do next? I’m not sure yet. I need some new goals. I want to pause first, though, and appreciate this moment. I feel the way I feel when I’ve just finished a great book, and I can’t bear to jump into another book yet. It would be a betrayal to move on like nothing happened! I’ll know when it’s time.
Until then, goodnight.