Find out how I got on in my first week of the #yogagirlchallenge to do #yogaeverydamnday during September.

The first week of this challenge fell during our holiday to Cornwall. I thought this would make starting the challenge really easy as in theory I would have more time to do yoga! But it actually made it fairly difficult as we were out and about every day exploring, walking and spending time on the beach.

We’d planned so much in our trip that finding time proved tricky. In a normal week I’d have time at the gym, go to a class or be able to do some yoga at home. It also meant I didn’t have time to do the diary style recording that I wanted to so sorry this is going to be slightly different than my initial post for the challenge stated!

Immediately I felt pressure and an obligation to practice yoga as I had committed to the challenge. That’s when it hit me that I am the only person putting pressure on myself. I took a step back and I reminded myself that I was on holiday, it’s my journey and I could fit in the yoga whenever I wanted and do as much or as little as I want.

Thankfully the pressure I put on myself didn’t stop me from starting and I managed to fit in some brief sessions and some longer ones on the beach.

As I’d not been consistently doing yoga for a while it was hard getting back into the swing of things. This first week I spent practicing basic moves – hip openers, downward dog and child’s pose.

Oh my I was stiff and my flexibility was at an all time low! It was very disheartening to think of how much I had regressed but you’ve got to be doing these things regularly to retain a certain level. I hadn’t been doing yoga regularly so what did I expect?

It was time for another reminder – be kinder to yourself. The whole point in starting is to improve and feel better, and there I was putting barriers up before I’d even started. Why am I so hard on myself? It achieves nothing! In addition to basic poses to wake up my muscles I focused on the moves that would make up the Vinyasa sequence  (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog​)​. This includes variations on ChaturangaTadasana, Cobra pose and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana. I’ve added links to each pose because I can never remember the names and I think it’s better to visualise them! I found Natasha Rizopoulos’s Sequence to Build a Safe Vinyasa Practice online at Yoga Journal a useful guide for this.

I wasn’t ready to do a full sequence but started doing the poses to build some strength and work towards being able to do a full Vinyasa sequence.

I did several yoga practices on the beach – with funny looks from other beach-goers! But, my favourite yoga session was after an afternoon of bodyboarding and playing in the sea. Once I’d dried off and wrapped myself up in lots of layers I did a long yoga practice on the beach. Isn’t that the best feeling – being slightly chilly then getting a load of layers on and feeling cosy? I could tell my body was tired from spending a few hours being battered by the sea but I knew my muscles were benefitting from the stretch.

That was my first week of the yoga challenge, overcoming hurdles and reminding myself to be kinder to myself!

Oh and I was a little disappointed that Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen didn’t do the challenge this year. She’s the reason I started it last year and wanted to do it again. I kept an eye on her Instagram account but she didn’t post about it – she does have an awful lot going on in her life so I don’t blame her. It pushed me to find others doing the challenge which was no bad thing! I did miss her daily musings and suggestions though.

Did you do the challenge this year? I’d love to hear from you about what made you decide to do the challenge, your experience and what you love about yoga. Pop a comment below and let’s have a chat!

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