How often have you committed to “30 Days” of some new idea, workout, or diet, and only managed maybe the first 5 to 10? I think we’ve all done that. People tout their systems as life changing and only a small commitment because 30 days doesn’t seem that long, right? That couldn’t be that hard!
But it is. It always is.
Which is why I want you to try something for me. Something I tried and actually stuck with and completed. Thirty days of yoga!
Now, I know what you’re thinking… “I can’t do yoga for one day, much less 30!” Or “Isn’t yoga for weird, vegan hippies?” Or “But I’m a guy! That’s a girl workout!” And you’re wrong about all those things. You can absolutely do yoga for 30 days. And yoga is for everyone! Not just girls and vegan hippies.
But yoga is still always going to be intimidating to those who haven’t tried it. Or tried and met the wrong instructor or classmates. Which is why I love Adriene from Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. I discovered her in January of 2015 when she started her first “30 Days of Yoga” where she released 30 straight days of full session yoga videos to guide you at home in your practice. The goal was to build up a community of old and new yogis and “Find What Feels Good” (her motto and brand). It wasn’t about losing weight, but learning to love your body the way it is and continually stretching it to its limits and building up physical strength. I completed the 30 Days program last year although it took me about 2 months to do it, and while I didn’t stick with yoga every day (or even most days) like I’d promised myself in 2015, I was excited for what Adriene had in store for 2016. And she didn’t disappoint.
This year it was “30 Days of Yoga Camp” and rather than just focusing on the physical practice, she also introduced daily mantras for building mental strength. And while I loved the original 30 Days of Yoga because it got me on the mat again after 2 years of yoga-less life, I’m utterly enthralled by and passionate about Yoga Camp! At first, I wondered if the mantras would be weird. I’d never done anything like that in my practice or really in life before. But as the days went by, I found myself fully embracing the mantras. I even used them as daily prompts for my journal and started a habit of journaling right after my yoga practice which contributed to a very calming and introspective time for me in the evenings after a stressful day at work. While I’ve always enjoyed yoga for its rhythm and almost dance-like quality at times, this 30 Day session really connected my mental and physical spaces much better than ever before, and I felt I reached some much needed places of peace and Zen on many days.
Plus there is the joy of a home practice. Right now, I just don’t have the money or the time to commit to an actual yoga class. And while I know there would be many benefits from having an instructor physically in the room to help adjust my mistakes and fellow yogis to share my experience with, for now, practicing with Adriene in my room alone is a welcome gift. It’s free. It’s void of self-consciousness. And Adriene has a fun and quirky personality so that I laugh at her awkward jokes and feel like she’s right in the room with me pushing me past some points that I’d like to just call it quits. And it made me realize that it’s a wonderful way to get more comfortable with your body and your yoga abilities before taking the leap into a physical classroom. You see, we’re all at different levels, and that’s great! Whether you’re a man or woman, a lifelong dancer and human pretzel or someone who’s never even been able to reach their toes, yoga can work for you! It’s frustrating when you first start out and you feel so out of balance and weak and shaking, but that’s why this practice is so great. In 30 days of 30 to 40 minute workouts, you’ll build the core strength and sense of balance that you need. Soon you’ll find those poses you initially struggled with can be attained with ease.
For me, it was an all around amazing experience physically and mentally. Which is why I think you should try it too! You don’t need experience or a super stretchy body. All you need is patience, perseverance and knowing how to find what feels good for your own body.
So many thanks Adriene for you dedication to the “Find What Feels Good Community.” You’ve changed my life in ways I don’t even fully understand yet, and I hope more people will find such good in your work as well!