The 21-day yoga challenge ended last week, but I’m still going at it. I have seriously fallen in love with yoga. I enjoyed it when I was practicing regularly several years ago, but this is very different.
Back then I was all about the workout. It had to be intense and I would only do it twice a week because I didn’t feel like it burned enough calories to make it worthwhile. I would only do Bikram because I felt like that was the only variety that would actually get my heart pumping. I often classified all other forms of yoga as being ‘boring’.
I don’t know if it’s a maturity-thing…I’m definitely older and maybe a smidge wiser. Or maybe I’m just in a better place body-image-wise. Whatever the reason, I’m no longer consumed with the calorie burn rate while practicing. I’ve been working on casting aside my competitive-spirit every time I step on my mat. Basically, I’m letting everything go and allowing myself to really enjoy this time that I’m setting aside for myself every day.
Yesterday I was rewarded with my first obvious sign of improvement during practice. My shoulders are (and always have been) extremely tight. For years I’ve done a lot of working-out with weights. Bench-press, pec-fly, delt-rows, etc. I suppose all of that must have caught up with me because back in August while doing a very simple/routine exercise I completely destroyed my left shoulder. It literally felt as if it crumpled like a piece of paper.
I went a while with limited mobility. Eventually it got to the point where I could move it freely again, but it’s never really been the same. I try to be mindful of it during practice, but not leave it out entirely. I’ve already discovered that to not do anything at all makes it far worse! I do what I can and I stretch to the point where it’s challenging, but not painfully so. It’s been long enough now that I know it’s limitations.
Then yesterday as I was in a wide-legged forward bend, I laced my fingers and lifted my arms above my back.
I went as far as I usually do without discomfort, but then all of the sudden…whoa.
It’s hard to explain, but it’s almost as though someone gave me the gentlest of nudges…my shoulders widened slightly and my arms gently dropped much further than they normally do. I felt an openess and flexibility in that shoulder that hasn’t been there in quite some time! It was fantastic!!!
Apparently, Meditations from the Mat is the yogi equivalent to the runner’s Born to Run! Hopefully, it ends up being just as good!