If you’ve been here before then you probably know that I challenged myself with 30 days of yoga. This was part of my February Goals and I’m pleased to say that I did it! I even did yoga during the runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend.
I thought I would share what I learned and talk about my experience in case any of you out there are interested in something similar or looking for a new challenge.
I’d done yoga on and off for a couple years, but I’d never done it for more than a few days in a row. I’m a person who is always in my head, so naturally I enjoy yoga. I also realized a while ago that it’s a great compliment to running, but was never able to incorporate it into my regular routine in a way where I saw many results.
I chose the 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene and was very pleased. Not only is she an inspiration, but she’s a real girl. I feel like she is an authentic person on camera and her programs are very accessible. I also appreciate that she caters to everyone because she mentions beginner, intermediate and advanced versions of most poses in her programs. Bonus: Adriene posts everything to YouTube which makes it super easy to access wherever!
Why I Did It
I wanted to challenge myself with doing it for one month to see how my body changed and I knew it would make me stronger and a better runner. I experienced other surprise effects too, more about this in a bit. Since I wasn’t in the throws of marathon training and high mileage I knew it was a good time to try it out.
What I Learned
I learned more than I ever could have expected, but here are the big takeaways. I was also very surprised that I didn’t get bored, but I think this program helped me because each day was different.
I had truly underestimated the mental focus I would gain from this experience. I was surprised that after one week I started to feel like I could think more clearly. My mind is so busy and constantly spinning, but yoga slowed that all way down for me.
After a couple consecutive days I felt stronger and saw my body start to change. I don’t know if I lost any weight (I haven’t been on a scale), but I watched my body shape up, tone up and get stronger. Moves that were challenging at first got easier and more accessible as time went on. I was also sore in places I didn’t even know had muscles, but wasn’t dying during the actual practices.
Doing yoga everyday really helps me with stress. I expected this, but didn’t really comprehend the effect that it would have on my everyday life. If I practiced yoga in the morning, it helped me start the day with focus and when I practiced before bed it allowed me to let go of the day and sleep better. I think it really just helped me stay in the right state of mind for the duration of the day too. Things that would have bothered me before didn’t and things that would have caused me anxiety before didn’t.
Body Tension & Restoration
Since I’m technically marathon training and running regularly, I expected it would help me with mobility and tension, but it did more than that. As a runner, I always seem to have areas of tightness no matter how much stretching and foam rolling I do. Doing yoga everyday helped to strengthen my weaknesses and seemed to help me with my running form in a very subtle way. I also think all the restoration poses helped my body recover so much quicker than before.
I can’t believe how much I changed from this experience. I looked forward to nearly every practice and always felt so much better afterwards. Not only was my body more relaxed in general but my mind seemed less cluttered if that makes sense.
I also found it pretty easy to do everyday because the practices aren’t longer than 35 minutes. I think it also helped because since I did it everyday it was a key part of my routine, like drinking a cup of coffee every morning.
I grew so much from this experience that I’m making a solid effort of including it in my weekly training goals 🙂
Have you ever done a fitness challenge like this? Tell me about it!