After reading this post by Che from Indieberries I was super inspired to try out a yoga challenge and stretch my poor hamstrings which feel like loaded springs every morning. I have no idea why my hamstrings are always so tight, but they are and boy does that make my life difficult whenever I try any form of exercise. I read a rather funny description by someone somewhere that hamstring are like naughty children. Without the proper time, care and love every day, they revert to their bad behaviour every morning, and mine are as stubborn as stubborn gets. The days I stretch the most are the days they feel the tightest, naughty things. Anyway, let me get back on track here. I look nothing like Che (who looks like an elastic band than can stretch in any and all ways) but thats why I felt so inspired. We all have to start somewhere.
You do the pose (along with as many other poses you want to do) snap a picture (Che recommends some good self timer apps here) and then upload it to Instagram and tag them in the picture as well as use the hashtag #summersplits2014 which was the hashtag for the June challenge. I can't say I can actually do the splits now, but I am so much more flexible than I was a month ago. And it took such a small part of my day, but left me energized and ready to take on anything. I haven't noticed that much toning or change in my body, as I have been working out before the yoga sessions so I haven't noticed any drastic changes that haven't come from the exercise I was doing before, but my body feels different. My mind feels different, and it's a wonderful feeling.
I did 25 out of the 30 poses, as I was just unable to do the head/hand stand poses without doing serious damage. The reason behind posting images on Instagram of yourself looking silly is so you can track your progress and connect with a wonderful and supportive community. You don't have to post the pictures, but I do encourage you to take photographs so you can look back and see how much you have improved. And you will improve. Everyday. By uploading my photographs I was put under pressure to keep doing so. And this pressure motivated me to do my poses every morning. Even 10 seconds spent in a pose does wonders for your flexibility, circulation and general health. So don't think that you need to spend 2 hours on the mat to start seeing results. If you are diligent, and at least do the one pose outlined everyday, you will notice all sorts of changes in your body. I now look forward to my time on the mat, and use it as a time to relax and mentally prepare for the day ahead.
Do you enjoy yoga? Have you ever tried a yoga challenge before? I'd love to hear from you!