Two-Hundred Days of Namaste
Updated: Jan 6
Today I celebrate two hundred days since I started my 365-day yoga challenge. After completing several thirty-day challenges thanks to Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, I decided to challenge myself to one whole year of yoga. So far, I have completed two hundred days which means I am not too far from accomplishing my goal. I intended on making a post on my 100th day however, I didn’t get around to it. As a result, I am making this post a double feature because I share a few more lessons about what yoga has taught me thus far. Please read on to see some of the tips and tricks that have helped me stay committed and motivated. I hope that this post is enough motivation for you to challenge yourself to a better you, to push yourself to see what happens if you don't give up, may that be in fitness or any other goal you aspire to achieve.
100 days of yoga taught me that…
1. Fifteen minutes sessions are better than no sessions at all. Usually, I trick my brain into believing that fifteen minutes on the mat is a piece of cake and that it'll fly by. Turns out, the trick works. Therefore, I’ve committed to a minimum of fifteen minutes a day, which helps to keep me consistent.
2. After several weeks of daily practice, the body starts asking for stretches, and the next thing you know, I’m stretching without even realizing it (sometimes this happens at random times of the day and my family just gives me weird stares.)
3. As much as I love yoga studios, and being in community with other yogis, an at-home practice is just as important. For years, I was against working out at home. I didn't like it and didn't feel inspired enough to give it a chance but, I couldn't afford a monthly studio membership either, so I had to get over my resistance and just do it. I started off with the Gaia app (which is like the Netflix of spirituality) because I could afford the low monthly membership. The variety in content kept me motivated and engaged.
4. Resistance to hop on the mat made me waste a lot of time thinking about how I didn't want to practice. Then I figured I could expend precious energy resisting or I could just hop on the mat and get it over with. That usually worked as well. So, my mantra is, “If you’re thinking about hopping on the mat, just hop on the mat.”
5. Yoga before work or any stress-inducing activity helps significantly because for a while you forget about all the other issues and just focus on your breath or postures. Then once you're done you feel calmer, and your mind is a lot clearer.
6. Conditions do not need to be ideal; I own several yoga mats that I scatter around the house or in homes I frequent often like my bestie's or my mother’s house. That way, I don’t have an excuse not to practice. Switching it up occasionally helps with staying interested and engaged.
7. Yoga has tightened and toned my arms, legs, butt, and gut. Every time I see myself in the mirror or when hubby compliments my tighter physique, my endorphins rise a little bit, and it encourages me to continue showing up daily.
8. After yoga, I feel this surge of energy, which sometimes feels euphoric. There’s no greater feeling than the one which feels like you’re high off life.
9. My time on the mat is sacred, therefore, I've learned to set boundaries in my home so that my practice is not disrupted by my husband or children. Occasionally, I get interrupted, but those instances are less frequent because everyone is aware of how significant my me-time is, especially for the well-being of my mental health. They have all been on the receiving end of the emotional roller coaster rides associated with my anxiety and depression.
10. Show up exactly as you are. Sometimes if I allow myself too much time to think, I overdo it and discourage myself from getting things done. Sometimes, I hop on the mat in PJs and no bra because if I waste time changing outfits, I may lose the desire instantly.
11. Track and record your practice. Seeing the results in a calendar or notebook makes all the difference. I use a pink diamond emoji on my phone's calendar and "slap" one of them babies on the calendar right after I complete a session. Seeing the pink diamonds fill up a whole month is a beauty to admire. I also write morning pages (as a writing practice) and ensure to jot down which day of yoga I'm on cause sometimes I forget.
12. Outdoor yoga is magical. The breeze, the sounds of birds, the smell of nature, and the warmth of the sun...it all just feels like a great big hug from the universe. As a result, in the summers I practice in my backyard or favorite park.
BONUS: 200 days of yoga have taught me that…
1. Consistency works if you are intentional about showing up every day.
2. Commitment works if you stay committed to yourself and your goals
3. If you set your mind, body, and spirit on auto(matic)- you start seeing the practice as something that nurtures you, makes you stronger, and helps you see your own growth and potential. You’re then more inclined to continue pushing yourself.
4. All I ever want to answer (in yoga, in writing, and in life) is: Let me see what happens if I don't give up because I’ve quit so many things, many times.
5. Discipline is the secret sauce because you learn to hop on the mat even when you don't want to. Even when you're exhausted. Even if you trick your brain into believing you’ll just be stretching for a bit. As a result of it, your body pays you back in calm, joy, energy, invigoration, and so on and so forth.
6. Challenge yourself. It is about doing it for you. No one else should care but you. It's you, your mind, body, and spirit. It's a meeting for all. It's where the alignment happens.
7. Your body starts looking snatched and then you get addicted, therefore, feeling compelled to continue challenging yourself even more.
8. Your significant other notices that the practice is bringing about changes that also benefit them (wink emoji).
9. You just feel good: mind, body, and spirit
10. You are more motivated and energized, therefore, more productive, more present, and more proactive in the alignment of your manifestations.
11. Having a support system or an accountability buddy is imperative because if you have someone to report to, you’re more likely to keep going. Also, they could help keep you motivated and in turn, you might do the same for them.