A busy job, just moved in together, decided to be my own boss...I had so much going on in my life. The thought of me going to the gym would literally make me sick. So on the 12th of January I decided to get it together and do something that was good for me, physically and mentally: Yoga!
My 30 days of yoga - the review
Fitness bores me beyond believe and running is a no go with that awful knee of mine. I did CrossFit a couple of years ago and I liked it in the beginning but later on I noticed it started to get too tough because it got me too fired up and my mind couldn't cope with it. So when I read that the lovely people at Balanzs Yoga Studio in Rotterdam were having a 30 day yoga challenge, I decided to step up my game and joined!
The reasons I wanted to join was to find something that suited me well, to get more flexible and most important, to try to get more balance between body and mind. So I got my yoga mat and plenty of yoga gear (shopping rules!) and signed in! The awesome thing is that the yoga studio is very close from #FITGIRLCODE HQ so I could go before or after work. And also, the showers are to die for! :)
The first week
I was super excited to start! It was quite heavy sometimes and the first three days I didn't feel so good. I had the feeling my body was full of toxins and I was going to get sick. My mind was racing faster than ever during class. When we were in savasana (resting pose) I was thinking of all the emails I still had to answer and why I didn't answer them sooner and of all the work I still had to do. I was beating myself up for it and I was super moody but I knew my body and mind were just responding to yoga so I was glad there was a noticeable change!
After the fourth day my body felt much better, I started to feel the blood pumping through my body, sounds strange but that's the closest way to describe it. I was still thinking about work sometimes during savasana BUT I wasn't beating myself up for it. I didn't feel so stressed and things seem to go just a little bit easier. And I guess the most important thing: I felt proud of myself for something good, other than just work!
Week 2 & 3
After finishing week 1, I was ready for the upcoming weeks. I thought it would get easier, but it actually got harder every week. I discussed this with the other girls and Lisa said it was getting heavier because I was using my muscles the correct way. Pretty awesome huh :). So I just kept doing my very best every time.
I also learned to take my rest during practices. When things get to heavy I always keep going because I don't want to fail, so stopping during yoga would feel like I failed, but during my third week I started to listen to my body and went into child's pose when my body needed it. I stopped looking at the people around me to see if I could catch up with everybody. At the end of week 3 I finally had the feeling I was there doing it for ME and not comparing myself to others. This way it felt way more relaxed to do yoga.
So please keep this in mind when you're going to try it for the first time. There will be people there that are more flexible than you, but you are there for YOU and no one else.
Finishing the challenge!
So I finally completed the 30 day Balanzs Yoga Challenge! During the month I missed two classes so at the end I caught up and did two lessons in one day...twice! I was so determined to finish the 30 days and every time I could place another stamp on that board it felt so good. I took all the classes at the yoga studio and took different kinds of lessons like Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Gentle Flow.
You should have seen me during Hot Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga...completely dripping all over with sweat and red like a tomato! Yeah...not a pretty picture :) but that feeling afterwards is P R I C E L E S S. So if you really like to work hard, you should definitely try Vinyasa Yoga and Hot Yoga. If you'd rather do a more relaxed practice, try Hatha Yoga or Gentle Flow.
So how do I feel now?
The best thing for me is that I noticed that as soon I open the door to the yoga studio and enter, all emails, work, calls I have to make, presentations I have to prepare, meetings I have to attend stay outside. All that matters are those 75 minutes where my mind meets my body and they become friends. That's what yoga did to me. One day I will do that crow pose and stay there without moving, but for now this is my most important change :)
All the women that teach yoga are super duper nice and so approachable. They really give good feedback and help you with your postures. One time the owner, Zsoka, gave me some awesome tips on how to really straighten my back during downward facing dog. So after that I tried to implement it every time and noticed a real difference in my back. Each teacher has her own kind of style in teaching and I really dig that. I love how every teacher makes you work really hard to get the best out of your practice.
Some of the teachers end the class with a beautiful poem or passage from a book. One time one teacher turned on beautiful music to focus on the breathing. Loved that!
One of the things I really loved and wanted to share with you was the Breathing Technique: Nadi Shodhan Pranayama. It's an awesome breathing technique that completely relaxed me and it felt like my lungs had expanded with all that extra air. It really is something I am going to try to do every day. Check out this video to see how it's done.
BE SURE TO DO BREATHING TECHNIQUES UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A QUALIFIED YOGA TEACHER.
So after a month of intense yoga I decided to continue with yoga and try doing it 3,4 times a week. Feel like giving yoga a try? Balanzs yoga offers a truly unique yoga practice that’s accessible for everybody. The awesome thing is that you can try it for free for one week so sign up for the 7 day free trial or visit the studio in Rotterdam or The Hague and maybe I'll see you there!