Apologies for the late update! I’ve decided to combine these two weeks since they almost felt like they melded into one anyway.
Restoration was the theme for Week 4. Baptiste recommended a three-day fruit and juice cleanse. I wasn’t entirely successful, but instead of accepting failure, I added in veggies and simply concentrated on healthy eating in general. Here’s a snapshot of what I did for those days:
On Monday, I ate a banana before yoga, and I ordered one of breathe’s amazon cherry smoothies for “lunch” (with acerola cherries, papaya, strawberry, banana, and OJ—delicious!). I ate vegetable soup for dinner with a nine-grain bread and some tropical fruit and carrot juice to drink. I also drank water and had a couple of snacks—sort of cheating, but nothing truly awful (a slice of nine-grain bread with almond butter and cacao nibs). On Tuesday, I drank water mostly and a chai smoothie (chai, almond milk, banana, and honey—my favorite). I snacked on cantaloupe, and for dinner I ate sauteed veggies (eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms) in a balsamic marinade and sprinkled with no more than an ounce of goat cheese. I ate a nine-grain bread with it and drank a berry smoothie drink (from Bolthouse Farms). Dessert was a small piece of chocolate and herbal tea. Finally, on Wednesday, I started the day with chocolate granola with almond milk, and later I drank tropical fruit/carrot juice and ate a spring mix/spinach salad with campari tomato, yellow bell pepper, blueberries, goat cheese, walnuts, and pomegranate dressing (I like to call this a dessert salad because of how sweet it is).
I continued the rest of the week with snacking on cantaloupe, blueberries, and veggies, and drinking plenty of fruit smoothies and juices. While it wasn’t a traditional cleanse, I noticed that I felt amazing eating this way! I avoided things like soy products, eggs, dairy (except goat cheese, which doesn’t bother me), and alcohol until Sunday; I already don’t eat meat or seafood, so that wasn’t a problem. Not only did I feel happier, lighter, and not at all bloated like I do every now and then, but I also got a sense of accomplishment from fitting into a dress I haven’t worn in at least three years! I had gained a few stubborn pounds a while back that just would not come off, and with the regiment of the 40 day challenge, I’ve noticed a slight amount of weight loss—just enough to fit back into a few things that haven’t fit properly in a while. My metabolism is definitely “revved” thanks to some of Cyndi Weis’s advice from the Week 1 workshop. I’ve also been drinking kombucha tea drinks, a natural probiotic, which has definitely aided in digestion—plus they taste great!
The workshops I’ve taken for Weeks 4 and 5 were Discovering Shoulder Stand and Exploring Arm Balances. Other than using the wall for support, I am really not much closer with my shoulder stand, but I have been attempting to build strength in my shoulders. Part of the arm balance workshop focused on crow (bakasana), which I’ve always had trouble with. I’m much closer now—I just need to work on actually holding the pose rather than immediately falling out of it. The only downside is that I have ugly bruises on my triceps—yuck! I like the switch from lecture workshops to asana challenges. The lectures were great, but it’s been nice to get advice on some of the poses I’ve had trouble with for the second half of 40 days. For Week 6, I’ll be taking “Core-Focused Vinyasa.” I’m excited because, although core exercises used to frighten me, I actually look forward to it now because it’s one of the areas that needs the most work. Plus, I love the feeling I get when I leave a class with a tight abdomen. It hurts in a good way, I guess!
Now that we’re in the home stretch, I definitely feel a great sense of accomplishment. Getting back into an old outfit or two was a sort of informal goal of mine for 40 days, so I’m glad that I’m getting there. My energy levels are way up; yesterday, Joe and I went on an awesome six-mile hike through a park trail near us. I’ve even managed to get my friend Amanda interested in yoga, and she’ll be accompanying me to class on the last day of the challenge—what a way to end it! (She’s the fifth person I will have brought with me to breathe—think I can get a toaster oven or a subscription to Time for “converting” so many people?). Finally, Seane Corn’s full-day immersion is coming up on Saturday, so I’ll definitely have a great report for you guys after that! It’s amazing to me that it’s already here!
Now, some inspiration. DDP Yoga might not be my thing or yours, but you can’t deny how inspiring this video is! Here’s an extended version of the shorter video that’s been going around.