Dog Days of Summer Yoga Challenge

Can you do yoga, every day, for 21 days?

I’m a member of yogasteya.com and the members in the virtual community posed the question this summer.   I’ve heard it takes 21 days of repetition to make something a habit. Being accountable to others would help keep me honest.  It would also make me develop my home practice because, confession time here, I really didn’t have one.  I’m great at going to the studio or teaching.  Meditation is part of my morning routine.  I love reading about yoga philosophy.  But the physical work on the mat was an area that I needed to grow.  So I publicly declared my intent to participate.

Day 1 (21 June 2015) – 10 min restorative yoga, 15 + 25 min meditation

Day 2 (22 June 2015) – 60 min yoga with Dianne at Eastside Yoga (ESY) + taught 60 min yin yoga class, 15 min meditation

Day 3 (23 June 2015) – 8 min yoga, 25 min meditation

Day 4 (24 June 2015) – 60 min yoga with Dianne at ESY, 15 min meditation

Day 5 (25 June 2015) – 5 to 7 min?  No timer for yoga today.  15 min meditation.

Day 6 (26 June 2015) – 5-7 min? Restorative in bed.  No timer, at end of day.  15 min meditation.

Day 7 (27 June 2015) – 15 min meditation only

Day 8 (28 June 2015) – Finished 14 hours car travel, did a standing yoga practice under the stars, bending spine in all directions, Hasta padagustasana, no formal meditation, grumpy to other half since overtired and over-planning about how to pitch tent before it got dark and being surrounded by black flies.

Day 9 (29 June 2015) – Spontaneous yoga on Horsehoe Bay at Pukaskwa National Park, standing L twist, Wall Dog and Warrior 3 at deck rail, Janu Sirsasana, wide legged FF; 15 min meditation at picnic table and so tired that I dozed off 3x; shower and early to bed to read and write

Day 10 (30 June 2015) – Meditation sans timer, by Pukaskwa Visitor Centre.  Nature, water, rock, breeze, bliss.  A few cat-cows after.

Day 11 (01 July 2015) – 15 min meditation on picnic table.  Time check at 3 min left.  Breath aware and posture relaxing.  Red squirrel, campers talking, bird song.  Standing wide legged FF, eagle arms, twists.  Felt my spine subluxation–>release!

Day 12 (02 July 2015) – Yoga on the rocks facing Lake Superior.  Tree pose in hiking boots, on the boulders.  A little Yin then a seated twist. Shared rowing duty in double kayak was not going well until I opted to stop the struggle and breathe…then we got it together.  Looking for a moment to do yoga is a conscious choice.  Mat and yoga gear are all optional.  15 min meditation with the Mosquitos.

Day 13 (03 July 2015) – Warrior 1 with lunge, Warrior 2 with eagle arms, Warrior 3.  15 min meditation in tent and sleepy.

Day 14 (04 July 2015) – Epic 19 km hike to White River Suspension Bridge.  Advil and 2 Crossfire beers that night.  Yoga outside by picnic table = Warrior 2, Crescent warrior lunge  with arms clasped behind, Chair, standing lateral sidebends. 14.5 min meditation.

Day 15 (05 July 2015) – Yoga in tent before bed.  Happy Baby, reclined twist, reclined pigeon, apanasana with knee circles.  14.5 min meditation.

Day 16 (06 July 2015) –  Had a 12 hour travel day. No yoga asana.  Meditation while driving?  Could not stay on my breath for more than 5 min.

Day 17 (07 July 2015) – Seated poses after 15 min meditation before bedtime.  Shoulder opening.  Almost skipped doing yoga.

Day 18 (08 July 2015) – Standing poses of Warrior 2, Tree, Dancer, giant arm circles in Tadasana.  15 min meditation.

Day 19 (09 July 2015) – No mat, in pjs.  Standing poses before bedtime.  Chair, Half Moon (looking up!), Tadasana with shoulder openers.  15 min meditation.

Day 20 (10 July 2015) – Long day with truck trouble so picked up hubby and then went to Whole Foods.  Stonehenge, Butterfly at Wall, apanasana, reclined twist and felt my spine crack.  15 min meditation.

Day 21 (11 July 2015) -“The End”…but didn’t go out as I expected. Long day, PMS cramps, didn’t accomplish a lot.  My yoga practice was a much needed “savasana/nap”.

As I end today (unofficially Dog Days 22) with a standing practice, I’m grateful to the Yogasteya members that started the 21 day challenge. I’ve learned:
– morning meditation is the foundation of my practice and gives me a chance to check in before I start the day.
– I’ve had the rare luxury of being able to take classes with Dianne, at my local studio and with many great teachers, which made a personal practice less of a priority…until now
– yoga poses work best when I do them based on where I am starting (stand, sit, lie down).
– a mat and yoga clothes are optional (I am dressed but have done asanas in my skivvies).
– being accountable to others helped keep me on track until I found my own rhythm. The challenge now is to keep going.
– I can feel the poses that seem to suit my needs, in the moment.

Hugs to all and thanks for being out there, wherever you are!