Last month I started a 30-day yoga challenge. You can read about why I decided to give Yoga a try – Here. But it basically boiled down to my hopes that it would help me with my running. Since the beginning of the year, my family and I have made an effort to live a more active and healthy lifestyle. We started eating Keto and we started Running. I never imagined that both of those things would have me trying Yoga. I have always kind of shunned Yoga as viable exercise. Until now. Since the 30 days are officially over its time to revisit Yoga and make some decisions.
30 Day Yoga Challenge – Results
The Challenge – A Recap
One month ago I committed to doing 30 days of Yoga. Based on tips from other yoga enthusiasts ad my own research I challenged myself to 15 minutes of Yoga a day. Because I am a FabFitFun member I was able to use their community portal to access a series of yoga videos created with beginners in mind. The yoga videos I used was a set of three – Upper Body, Core & Lower Body. I rotated them, doing one a day for 30 days.
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Initial Thoughts on Yoga
I have kept a diary of the 30 Day Yoga Challenge so that I could go back and review what I thought as I went along. Here are some of the notes I made when I first started out.
- Finding a place to do Yoga is kind of challenging. It takes up a fair bit of room and while I could do it outside I am kind of afraid of falling. More specifically – falling in front of the neighbors. Staying close enough to the wi-fi so the videos work was also a priority since I have no idea what I am doing.
- This Yoga thing is a lot harder than I initially thought. In particular, the upper body workout was very challenging. My wrists hurt holding some of the poses. I guess this makes sense since I have very little upper body strength.
- The Lower body workout seemed easier. The poses were easier to hold and while I felt a tension in my legs, it wasn’t anything like my wrists the day before.
- Probably should have tried to learn a few of these poses beforehand. Trying to follow the video and perform the pose can be challenging. Good thing videos can be paused!
- The core body workout was simple in terms of the poses but challenging as a workout. I could definitely feel it in my stomach when I was finished. My stomach got a good workout and I would probably prefer this to a bunch of sit-ups and crunches!
As Time Went on…
Alright, so I might have been a bit skeptical about the yoga thing at the start. I was also lacking some confidence and afraid of looking silly. After a few days, as I learned the poses, a lot of that fear went away. I still had some trouble with a couple of poses – balance isn’t earned overnight! But I started to look forward to my Yoga. I didn’t feel like I was bumbling through the movements and following the videos got easier.
3 Lessons learned from my 30 Day Yoga Challenge
- Don’t be afraid of falling or looking silly. I did have trouble balancing for some of the poses. My daughter even got it in a photo! You’re trying something new and you are doing something to improve yourself as a person. You should be proud of those initial struggles and also know that they don’t last forever.
- Even a small amount of time to relax every day can make a huge difference in our overall mood. 15 minutes of breathing and stretching doesn’t seem like much on the outside but its a lot on the inside.
- Take your time! It’s okay if you have to pause the video. It’s okay if you have to try the pose a few times before you get it right. It’s okay if you can’t do the pose perfectly or at all. You will get better if you keep trying.
Do you feel that Yoga is working?
I don’t know if 30 days was enough time to get a definitive answer when it comes to my running. I haven’t gotten any faster yet! But, I will say that I have learned to relax more while running and doing some yoga after a long run seems to help me recover faster.
The self-awareness I have gained during yoga sessions has made me more aware of my breathing and tension I might be carrying with me as I run. I feel that this self-awareness will really help me as I advance. As for core and muscle strength, I think I need a bit more time to really see how yoga will affect me.
While I started yoga primarily for fitness reasons I have grown to enjoy the way it makes me feel overall. I feel more relaxed and peaceful during the day – even when things go wrong. I am not a person with overly high anxiety but I do tend to get crabby when plans are changed or something isn’t working out the way I hoped. Yoga seems to be a mood balancer of sorts. Feeling off about something? Relaxing for 15 minutes really helps. I can certainly see why breathing and meditation is a tool so many people find useful.
Do you plan to keep doing Yoga?
Yes. Although I don’t know for sure that it’s going to advance my running any faster then I was advancing without it I do know that it’s not hurting! I also know that my balance is improving, my stress is decreasing and I haven’t had nearly as much muscle achiness after a hard workout.
All of these benefits are worth pursuing and I expect as I am better able to perform some of the poses I will see a larger difference in my muscle and core strength. I don’t think I will ever look forward to the upper body portions of my yoga workouts but I will continue to do them in the hopes that I gain more strength and balance there as well.