Wait what?

Yes, I did yoga for 30 days straight for the first time ever! I’ll be attending Wanderlust O’ahu (yoga festival) at the end of the month and thought I should prepare. Don’t want to pop a hip now! I’ve had such a transformative experience and I’d like to tell you about.

mountain-pose

On January 16, 2017, I started my 30 day yoga adventure at Yoga Hawaii in Kaimuki. A beautiful little studio with a variety of classes. I practiced ashtanga, hatha, vinyasa, vin, kundalini, shakti flow and restorative yoga. It truly was fantastic. Above is the hardest move in yoga: mountain pose. AT THE SAME TIME try activating your entire legs, put most of your weight in your outer feet, suck in your stomach, bring your hips forward, hold a kegel, pull your shoulders down and back, open your chest, flex your arms and pretend to look at at peace. Every time I activate one muscle the others fall out. Hard AF – I’ll be practicing this one often and whenever I need to be reminded that I have all the muscles.

downward-dog

My wonderful partner joined me on this journey by attending 6:30am classes (most days)! Eek! He wasn’t too happy about that but couldn’t deny that each day we practiced yoga in the morning we felt incredibly relaxed, awake and ready to take on our day.

I’ve been working on my downward dog. I used to think of it as a relaxation pose but if you hold if long enough HELLO HAMSTRINGS! I’ve been focusing on sucking my tummy in while trying to make my butt touch the sky. It feels crazy.

upward-dog

The instructors at Yoga Hawaii were really great at being welcoming and answering all my questions. I’m so grateful to have been exposed to so many moves I haven’t done before. During a beginner yoga session the instructor guided me through each pose and modification of a sun salutation. Here is upward dog. Two years ago I sprained my knee in a long boarding accident and couldn’t bend my knees or hold this pose for very long at all. Performing this move with ease now reminded me how amazing my body is and that I should thank it more.

low-lunge

As long as I’ve been doing yoga I’ve had instructors mention feelings of release, light and emotion accompanied by various postures. I used to think they were totally out of it. But I’m glad to say I’ve hopped on the crazy train! During this super hip opener (low lunge) my instructor mentioned the hips are where we hold our emotions. 10 seconds into the hold I let out a sob. It wasn’t sad or too painful – I just felt really emotional and relieved. I suggest hip openers like this one for anyone who sits all day at work/school or is holding back some emotional B.S. because this move will open you right up!

wide-leg-forward-bend

I’ve also learned how to set an intention to my practice. Whether I was trying to achieve calm, relaxation, flexibility or just some exercise I began setting my intention at the beginning of each practice. Half the time I forgot it until the end but because I did I couldn’t help but believe I achieved that goal. I was calmer, more flexible and happier than when I walked in.

wheel

If I learned anything from this 30 day challenge it is: to breathe. At the studio we began and ended most classes with some breathing exercises. It really helps to just fill my lungs and pay attention to my breathing. Life, work, the news and family can really grind my gears. Learning to step back and just fill my lungs calmed my body and mind. I think I’m better for it. You should try it.


Are you sold? Are you going to attend your first donation based yoga class?! Let me know how it goes. If you liked this post please comment below if you’d like to see more yoga or whatever else I’m up to. I’ll be checking my resolutions off my list one at a time. Stay tuned.

Comment below, like, follow, share.

ox,

Leslie

Photos captured by Andrew. ❤

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7 thoughts on “I did yoga for 30 days and all I learned was how to breathe

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