You know the saying it never rains, it pours! Well that just about sums up this week of the challenge. Find out all about my second week practising yoga every damn day.
Life unravelled during this week. Typical when you’ve just come back from holiday! I’m not going to go into it now as that’s not what this post is about but it did have a serious effect on my wellbeing and sent my stress levels sky rocketing.
In my head I was like, this is going to be the week to get back on track but, alas instead it went south. So far south that I’m surprised I managed to keep the yoga going. But, I did manage to keep it going sticking to these poses I found on Pinterest and an awful lot of meditation.
When your head isn’t functioning it’s really hard to motivate yourself to do anything and I really struggled. Although there’s a smile for the camera in the picture of me above, that couldn’t have been further from how I was feeling at the time. Thankfully time is a great healer and I’ve come such a long way in a very short space of time.
My yoga practise really suffered during this week and no, I did not manage to get on my mat every day. I was heartbroken as I’d committed to the challenge, and then I remembered what I promised I’d remind myself from week one – be more kind to yourself. Instead of torturing myself I made peace with the week, what it was, what it had done to me and I became thankful for being able to do any amount of yoga.
Any practise is progress and if my body couldn’t even cope with yoga, then that’s ok too. When you’ve been through something truly horrible there’s no hard and fast rules to coping with it, just time to process it and allow yourself to heal. Which can be easier said than done!
Meditation really helped with tension headaches and stress I felt rising up through my chest and neck. It made me sit still and do nothing which I think probably helped bring my blood pressure and cortisol levels down and let my body and mind have some space and calm away from everything.
Initially I was so perplexed that I couldn’t even sit and meditate. I had to lie flat down on the floor and concentrate on my breathing. At first I couldn’t listen to anything or anyone and it required all my focus to start to bring my stress under control.
I re-downloaded Headspace, the guided meditation app. Previously this has been really helpful, I don’t think I used it enough this time though, or I was just so stressed I needed to really break meditation down even further than the app offers.
Since then having spoken to friends, I’ve discovered other apps which are useful in this field. Calm is really good but has a lot more in-app purchases compared to Headspace. I love the sleep stories section and the fact it structures your meditation around specific goals. I just haven’t bitten the bullet to spend £35 on unlocking all the features in the app yet. It does offer a seven day free trial but I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to use it and remember to cancel it if I don’t want it. How ironic!
Meditation was never going to stop the stress, due to the severe nature of what caused it, but it did help me manage the symptoms. It also helped me manage my emotions and cope (somewhat) with the inevitable strain this put on the rest of my life.
As you can see from the picture I also had some fun posing on a ton of gravel. It was a real challenge as the stones under my feet kept moving despite the whole bag being very stable. I did a lot of DIY and gardening that week so a bit of yoga in the mix was welcomed by my very achy muscles!
The end of week two marked the half way point and I realised this year’s challenge was going to be very different to my experience in 2017. I realised I was going to have to adapt my expectations for the challenge very quickly as I might not be able to sustain yoga every day. The only person putting the pressure on myself was me, and that’s no good – I had enough to deal with without giving myself grief. And hey, there’s always next year of course!
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 and meditation. Pop a comment below and let’s have a chat!