40 Days Challenge: Week 3

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Week 3 is over! Here is your celebration song! (Well, the chorus is on point, but the rest of it is pretty unrelated.)

My third week of the 40 Days challenge started out in pain! I must have slept poorly on Sunday night because on Monday morning, the right side of my neck and part of my right shoulder were completely tense. It was so bad that I couldn’t tilt my head all the way back, and turning my head to the right made me want to scream in agony! Throughout Monday, I thought the pain would gradually disappear, but by the time I went to my class that night (in order to attend the meditation workshop afterward), I was still hurting. It’s kind of weird how much something simple like being able to move your head and neck freely allows you to do so much in your yoga practice. For my practices on Monday and Tuesday, I almost felt impeded by the pain; I found myself having to take child’s pose more often, and even “easy” poses like low cobra just weren’t happening because I couldn’t put my head back even a little. Needless to say, this was not a great way to start my week!

I skipped going to the studio on Wednesday, and I was starting to feel better on Thursday, but I was still a bit tense, so I opted for a Foundations class. I don’t go to them often, and usually if I do one, it’s because I did a vinyasa class before it and want to use Foundations as a cool-down. The Foundations classes at breathe are a lot of fun—you get some good stretches in and go for poses that might not necessarily “fit”in a vinyasa flow class. However, the classes are more low-impact, and if you’re looking for the same level of intensity you get in the hot classes, you probably won’t find it there. Still, Foundations was just what I needed that day. I’d been craving a Foundations class for a while; doing five power vinyasa classes in one week can be difficult! Sometimes I forget that it’s okay to slow my practice down and rest every now and then—even if it’s just taking child’s pose for a sort of yoga power nap! (As an added bonus, the Foundations classes that I have attended have always featured plenty of laughter! Many of the students in these classes are somewhere around my parents’ age, and they have a great sense of humor about what they’re doing and don’t take it too seriously. Picture doing yoga with a bunch of sarcastic aunts and uncles, and that’s pretty much a Foundations class!)

By Friday, my neck felt better, and I was able to complete my last two classes on Friday evening and Saturday morning. I was glad to get them done by that point because my husband and I attended a wedding on Saturday afternoon, and I just didn’t want to have to worry the whole time about getting up early the next day to make it to my last class for the week. This turned out to be useful since I felt a bit under the weather on Sunday. (Seasonal allergies maybe? Who knows?)

Baptiste’s theme for Week 3 was equanimity: “the art of meeting life as it meets you—calmly, without drama or fuss.” I admit that this theme didn’t feature prominently in my thoughts this week, but I noticed that I was able to let go of some stress from Week 2, thoughts that were unrelated to my practice and really not even helpful to hold on to. Also, despite attending a workshop dedicated entirely to meditation, and featuring a short period to practice meditating, I have still been totally failing at developing a meditation routine. I’ve noticed a wave of calm come over me in the past week, though, which could have resulted from making it to the halfway point of 40 Days or maybe just from learning to release those negative thoughts. (My choices in music the past few days may have had an effect as well, and I promise I’ll have some yoga practice playlists up soon!)

Week 4 is all about restoration. I’m supposed to be doing a fruit/juice cleanse for three days this week (I chose to add in veggies as well), but I’m not so sure how this is going to go. With the theme of restoration, though, a restorative yoga class might come in handy at some point this week.

And now, some Week 4 inspiration:

This is how I felt when I began doing yoga! What are all these crazy people doing? (Please note, this is totally not a pose in our classes. Honestly, unless you’re in Cirque du Soleil, I’m not sure if it’s even possible.)

This video makes me laugh every time I see it. Yes, it’s an advertisement, but penguins + yoga = winning combo!

Listen to the music I posted above! Seriously, it’s magical! See you next week!

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