- Yes, those are my toes, and yes, they say “40 Days!”
I’m happy to report that I’ve made it through the first two weeks so far. It’s been difficult this time around; unlike last time, I have a very full schedule involving teaching four English classes this semester (and having to read a seemingly infinite number of student essays!). Fortunately, I feel as if I’ve set a rhythm these past two weeks, and if I’ve managed to fit yoga into them so far, I should be all right for the month of October. The requirements are the same as last time: five studio classes (on five separate days) plus one asana or “lifestyle” workshop each week.
The very first day of 40 Days kicked off with a workshop entitled “Tadasana in Every Asana.” This workshop emphasized the Tadasana posture in a few poses—including crow. I’m still not very good at crow, but I liked the workshop and I can always use advice on alignment. The rest of the week went by pretty uneventfully. I took a Foundations class mid-week, which between my teaching schedule and the other 40 Days commitments was a nice respite. At the end of week 1, my friend, Amanda, came with me. She’s been going with me consistently since the end of my first 40 Days challenge, and she threatened to beat me up if I don’t complete it this time. Nothing like the threat of violence to keep you motivated!
Week 2 proved to be a bit more difficult. While I attended all vinyasa classes, two were basics classes because 1. they fit my schedule better, and 2. I began to feel sick in the middle of the week! I have no idea what I had, but I wound up in bed for an entire day just trying to regain my strength. Week 2 also finished (almost, at least) with another workshop, per the 40 Days requirements. This one was on goal setting—not necessarily related to yoga, but it seemed like a really good lesson to assist my Type A-style thinking! We started out with a meditation on imagining a typical day in our lives ten years from now. We thought about the following questions:
Where do we wake up? What do we do upon waking? Who are we with? What do we do in the morning? Where do we work? What is our mid-day like (lunch, working, meeting with others, etc.)? What do we do once we get home for the evening? What’s for dinner? What’s our ritual before bed like?
After thinking about this and visualizing where we each wanted to be, we then wrote down our visualization and tried to connect any common themes and images. We then broke down our goals on how to get there in increments of one, five, and ten years with measurable, declarative statements and with deadlines in mind (e.g. “I save $10,000 for my MBA by September 12” as opposed to something like “I will save money for school”). We shared our goals in small groups and were instructed to share our goals with those involved in them (such as your family and friends) and with everyone. Since I want to participate in this requirement as well, here are some of mine:
In one year (or slightly more, really), I finish my novel by December 2013, I submit something for publication by December 2013, and I consistently practice yoga at least three times a week throughout the next year. Within five years, I own a house with my husband by no later than September 2017. In ten years, I teach English full-time and practice yoga on a daily basis—consistently! I have more goals than that, but I feel like that’s enough to share for now. Really, my goal list is almost complete save for one space (out of eighteen!). I feel like I really needed this workshop to remind myself of my plans in life, and although I recognize that I’ve accomplished a lot so far, I still have a long way to go and plenty to work towards! Because I’m such a productivity geek, I’m keeping the goal worksheet from class in the back of my Filofax to refer to and revise whenever I need it.
Finally, week 2 finished again with a yoga class with Amanda. Before that, we attended a meditation class at another studio called Nirvasana Yoga (over near the always awesome Record Archive). Go figure that last time when I did 40 Days I kept bringing up the fact that I couldn’t seem to find the will to meditate, and this time I actively sought out a meditation practice. The class itself wasn’t so bad. For $5 you can get a cup of tea, a quiet place to center yourself, and a little bit of philosophy to ponder once you’ve left. The only part I didn’t enjoy was that we would sit for fifteen minutes, and just when I was getting comfortable and really clearing my mind, we would get up and walk for five minutes. We repeated that process two more times, and although I found the class relaxing, I’m not sure I would go back. Other than being there causing me to force myself to focus on my meditation, I didn’t really learn any new techniques to help me quiet my mind. However, I do find that letting my mind wander and visualize tends to be a fairly relaxing experience anyway.
I didn’t get to go to yoga today for the start of week 3 because I’ve been home all afternoon reading students’ rough drafts after a busy morning and mid-day teaching! Tomorrow night, though, I go back and get to take the workshop on detoxing and cleanses—something I was interested in learning about last time but somehow managed to miss out on. I haven’t been following along in 40 Days to Personal Revolution this time, but who knows—maybe I’ll get to do that cleanse Baron talks about in there this time around.
Speaking of Baron Baptiste, his master class in September was amazing! I’m sorry I’ve been so late with writing about it, but I promise to talk about it soon. I can safely say that I enjoyed the three very intense hours with him far more than I did Seane Corn’s class (even those hers had its benefits).
Another thing I’ll talk about soon was the Hatha class Amanda and I went to in August at the Memorial Art Gallery. It was very different from what we’re used to, and it was, shall we say, memorable. I’ll have more details on that soon.
I may be updating my 40 Days coverage in two-week increments depending on how my schedule is in the coming weeks, but I promise there will definitely be more!