I’m on day 8 of a 40 day yoga challenge and am finding it very transformational. I’m understanding what yoga is all about and what the real goal is. I used to think yoga was focused on getting yourself into impressive poses, gaining strength, and increasing flexibility. That was the ego making yoga into a competition and focusing on what everyone else is doing and looking like, that’s a workout, not yoga. The process of centring yourself has been interesting and has come from ignoring what others are doing, how far they’re stretching, and how many reps they’re doing. By focusing on myself, specifically on controlling my breathing and controlling the mind chatter that tries to distract me from looking inside, has led to a lot of personal insight.
By not muscling through and forcing yoga, it has led to a relaxed practice with more ease and reward. I feel much calmer and am amazed at how some muscles have come back to life after being ignored for many years. The biggest difference has been in my hips, shoulders, and knees, all of which were injured in hockey and locked with limited mobility. In my last class, it was said that the hips are your emotional suitcases, where feelings are locked up. After doing a few hip opening exercises, I’m feeling the release, having old pains removed, and feel less tension in my body. I look forward to the remaining 32 days, it will be an interesting experience and I will focus taking it a day at a time.