Thursday, January 12, 2012

Daily Yoga FTW!

I made a promise to myself at the end of 2011 that I'd make sure I didn't let my yoga practice get pushed aside by life.  I vowed to practice yoga for at least 20 min per day, and I even set up a special space just for yoga in my basement!

I wasn't as good as I would have liked in the last couple of months of 2011, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  I was just getting my life back in order after the kitty debacle and the holidays were upon me.  But those are just excuses, of course.  I've accepted that I could have done better in November and December and prepared to really kick ass and stay on track beginning in January 2012.

I'm proud to report that I've done at least 20 min of yoga every day since the first of the year! You can see by the screenshot below that in the first 11 days of January I practiced yoga for 470 minutes!  If you average it out, it's closer to 45 min per day, but who's counting!  :)
Calendar Tracker Lite iPhone App
I downloaded this handy (free) iPhone application called Calendar Tracker Lite and it's worked perfectly.  Since I'm only tracking my yoga practice I only need one calendar.  However, if you need to track more than one thing and need more calendars you can buy the full version for $0.99.  I simply told it how many minutes of yoga I wanted to shoot for per week and it will show me how I'm progressing toward that goal.  You can track time, money, distance, etc.  It's quite handy!  And It will show you your history so I can see my entries with a note indicating where I practiced (home, gym, etc).  It's been great!

I have to say, setting up my yoga space in my basement and really sticking to my goal of practicing daily has made a huge difference!  It's dark, cozy, quiet...perfect!  I tried to capture a picture for you but it turned out kind of grainy.  I wanted to show how cozy it can be, but I failed. :) I just turn off the lights, use that colorful lamp on the table and light a candle and I'm set!  I have a little JBL iPhone speaker dock to listen to music or play podcasts without blasting them through my iPhone speakers.  I also have a space heater down there in case it happens to get chilly or I want to do a little hot yoga.  I absolutely love it!  I guess it's not totally perfect.  The carpet is thick and I'm using my old thick Jade Fusion mat, so balance can be a challenge if I'm overtired or just off my game.  But I figure it'll only improve my already pretty awesome balance over time, so I deal with it.

Mentally, doing yoga every day has been fabulous.  No matter how tired I am or how late I get home I always take time to at least get on the mat every day.  It's a nice way to wind down before bed or kick off my day.  Also, I feel less guilty when I'm not able to make it to my classes.  I know that I can always take some time at home to do yoga even if I miss that class at the gym.  Stress and guilt be gone!. :)   Daily yoga for the win (FTW)!
My basement yoga space.  Sorry it's grainy, I was trying to capture the dim lighting!

So, like I said, I've done yoga every day for 11 days.  When I started this I was sad that my yoga muscle tone had diminished during my brief fall off the wagon.  I'm happy to say that it's coming back quickly!  I can definitely see that my arms and legs are more toned and if you catch me at the right angle I have abs!  I just need to shed some of the extra padding around the muscles and I'll be good to go. :) I'm not terribly overweight, but I do have some to lose.  Thankfully I'm back to my yoga and my Thyroid meds seem to be making a difference as well.  Hopefully it's only a matter of time before I'm mentally and physically where I want to be.

If you're looking to form a yoga habit, I recommend getting in on Yoga Journal's 21 Day Yoga Challenge.  It started on January 9th, but you can join up whenever!  The point isn't to see how much you can do, but to form a habit of doing yoga every day.  It's great and has classes and meditations for every level.  Enjoy!

Hooray for yoga!

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