Nutrition Facts: 300 calories | 47g carbs | 8g fat | 13g protein
After finishing last month’s challenge I’ve been searching the web for a new one. I got inspired by the yoga classes I went to and all the information I found online, so I decided to give the Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge a try. Research tells us it takes exactly 21 days to create a new habit. And since I’ve always wanted to make meditation part of my everyday life (and not as a once-in-a-while-but-actually-never-make-time-for-it-practice), I think this challenge is perfect for me.
This challenge will start next Monday, July 16th. If there’s anyone out there who would like to join me, please sign up here for daily support and guidance (did I mention it’s FREE?). I will be posting updates about my progress (or lack of it). I would love to hear from you guys in the comments below. Who’s doing this with me?
Time flies! And I have to make a little confession.
I have to be honest with you. I wish I could give you a neat little list with all the different kinds of yoga I have been trying this week. But I haven’t done any yoga since last my last post. I feel slightly embarrassed to admit this, but since I’m letting you in on my life, and I promised you to keep you updated about this month’s challenge, I’m letting you know: I have been lazy.
Of course I cannot give you any thoughts on yoga I didn’t do. But since I have been trying out all sorts of classes these last few weeks I can give you some information about the different kinds of yoga I encountered.
First let me tell that before starting this challenge I already went to a few yoga classes:
- Some kind of regular yoga. This yoga probably had a name, but I cannot remember what it was. It was a long time ago and one thing I do remember is the fact that our teacher was a bit off and I found the class incredibly boring. As you can imagine, this was a one-time class.
- Ashtanga Yoga (did this on a regular basis at my gym a few years ago): I loved this form of yoga. I like to feel like I’m working out, and ashtanga definitely made my muscles burn!
- Iyengar Yoga: I did this when I was too tired to do ashtanga. With iyengar we used props like belts, blankets and foam blocks to make sure we performed our asanas correctly.
The last few weeks, even though this week wasn’t very productive, I felt like a girl on a mission. I started with a lot of questions. What will be in it for me? What will be hard? What kind of yoga would be my favorite? And the most important question: will I keep it up after the challenge.
I tried different forms of yoga as well as different studios and different teachers:
- Hatha Yoga: Not as intense as ashtanga, but at the same time not at all boring. It’s perfect to add to a medium-high workout schedule.
- Power Yoga: A bit like ashtanga. Great to use as an alternative for my normal workout. But a bit too much if I want to add it to my usual workouts.
- Mindfulness Yoga: Not for me. I’d rather keep my yoga and my meditation separated.
- Sivananda Yoga: A form of hatha. We started the session with a lot of ohm-ing, which creeps me out a bit. I guess I’m just not that type of yoga girl. Also the fact that one of my fellow students snored like a trucker during the whole 12-minute meditation session was not something that made me wanna go to that class again soon…
I definitely will be keeping yoga in my schedule. I have thought a lot about it and I think for me it’ll work best if I swap one of my regular workouts with a more intense form of yoga, like ashtanga or power yoga.
Another thing: yoga at home is not my thing. Just as working out at home is not my thing. I like going somewhere and having to stay there and work for a certain amount of time. I also like how at a studio chances are you will be learning a lot more than when you are watching some video on your computer or tv. Sure you can learn from that, but I’d like to be able to ask questions and have an instructor watching and correcting my moves.
And last but not least: I do like to incorporate some meditation. But that’s the one thing I’d rather do at home.
How about you? What’s the most annoying / strange / funny thing you experienced during a yoga class?
Happy Friday y’all! And namaste. Time for another recap.
- 60-min barre3 session at home on Saturday (technically not a yoga class, but it does incorporate some yoga moves)
- 75-min Mindfulness Yoga class on Monday (including 23 minutes of meditation)
- 75-min Sivananda Yoga class on Friday (including 12 minutes of meditation)
This week I managed to get a little more yoga in. I’m starting to find more balance between yoga and regular workouts. Before I started this challenge I felt a little bit stressed out. Thinking: I’m trying so hard to keep up this exercise schedule. I must be mad to wanna add something new to that. And in the first two weeks I really had to push myself to practice yoga three times a week. It felt like just another chore. But then I started to feel the difference: I’m more relaxed, especially the first few hours after a class. I haven’t felt RSI symptoms last two week, even though I have a few lingering deadlines at work, which normally result in a nagging pain in my neck, shoulder or wrist. AND I’m slowly learning to not strive for perfection, as I usually do, but listen to my body and stop or opt for an easier pose when certain asanas are too difficult for me. Yes peeps, it’s hard to believe, but I’m starting to accept my imperfections. Who would’ve known?
For those of you who are participating in this challenge (or have started a regular yoga schedule somewhere in the past): what changes did you notice after you started practicing yoga and/or meditation?
There are different forms of meditation. I have tried to empty my mind (not successful), focused on candle flames (painful to the eyes) and visualized long winding roads to gardens of enlightenment (…). But the one type of meditation that stuck with me these last few years (even though not practised enough), is mindfulness meditation. I like how this form of mediation focuses on the situation as it is right now. It helps me accept how things are and not dwell on the past or only focus on some future (that may — or may not — ever come).
So when I read a studio nearby teaches Mindfulness Yoga, I thought this would definitely be something to try. I mean, I love yoga, I love mindfulness, so I’ll probably like Mindfulness Yoga, right?
Unfortunately this is what happened. We started with a few simple asanas to warm up. Then ‘felt’ what these did to our body. Next Sun Salutation A. Then ‘feeling’ what the effect of it on our body. Every freakin’ time I felt like getting in the flow of the movements, I had to focus on the effect of the movement to my body. And I like the flow. I hate being distracted from the flow.
And I did ballet, and gymnastics, which both focus on perfection. And I want to learn how to practise yoga. And then meditate. Afterwards. Not meditate on yoga while doing yoga. And maybe that makes me a bad yogini, but that’s who I am. And I should accept that, don’t I? Isn’t that what yoga and mindfulness is all about?
Conclusion: I like yoga. I like mindfulness. But surprisingly I do not like Mindfulness Yoga.
How about you? Did you ever try this type of yoga? What did you think of it?
Although living with a DJ has it’s perks (like coming home on a regular Friday evening and finding your dinner table covered in DJ gear, with music blasting out the speakers in your living room, because the DJ ‘has to’ practice his skills once in a while) it sometimes just means falling asleep alone and getting up only one hour after he crawled into bed next to me, because he got home late after some midnight gig somewhere in some club. As was the case last night.
So this morning after he got home and we did some snuggling, I got up early to get a head start on this Saturday morning.
Dinner for breakfast anyone? I’m reading a lot about this concept ‘breakfast for dinner’, which I”m not unfamiliar with myself. But why not do it the other way around?
Actually this was the easiest way to get some healthy breakfast in since I saw this…
… when I went into the kitchen this morning (living room parties kind of make me not wanna clean the dishes…). Luckily I still had some leftovers from last night’s dinner. I didn’t think twice to use those for breakfast.
After refuelling (and cleaning those dishes!) I decided to try a mybarre3 workout. I’ve found this promotion code on Courtney‘s blog that gives you a free 15-day trial, and since I’m doing the June Yoga Challenge, as you all may know, this fits right in to my schedule at the moment.
Barre3 is a combination of yoga, pilates and ballet moves. I actually was amazed at how hard this workout was! It left me sweaty and shaky. No kidding. I just hope I’ll be able to walk tomorrow. I’ll definitely be back for some more workouts though!
Anyway, the DJ finally woke up, so I’m off. Don’t forget tomorrow’s Father’s Day. What will you be doing for your father to show him you love him?