Building New Habits and Letting Go of Perfection Though Yoga

What I learned during a month of yoga

#yogaeverydamnday did not happen every damn day. Womp, womp… BUT I still think this has been a successful challenge.

Goal: Dive deeper into an interest or hobby
Challenge: Do #yogaeverydamnday
Success: Did yoga 27 days this month

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What I learned

1. The AM is better than PM

A morning yoga session works much better for me than an evening one.

  • It's done and crossed of the list early, leaving the rest of the day more flexible to go with whatever flows my way.
  • It's also when my mind is more clear and calm. I can focus on my breath and intention, versus later in the day when my mind is spinning.
  • It sets the right tone and puts me in a good place for a more successful day.

2. Core strength helped in other workouts

Physically, this is what I noticed most. I clearly built up more core strength than I realized and it was most noticeable in my weight lifting class. The instructor often tells us to keep our core strong whilst lifting weights, but it wasn't until I was actually able to do it this month, that I realized I hadn't been previously.

3. Some days I had the wrong intention

There were days I rolled out my mat with the sole intention of getting through 20 minutes, crossing it off the calendar, and then getting on with what I needed to do. There were definitely times when I wasn't there mentally.

I wonder if this is OK though. If the point of doing yoga every day is to just get on your mat, no matter what, then maybe just being aware of the times that you aren't in the right mindset is learning in itself. On the other hand I don't feel as though forcing myself to just do it isn't the point of yoga.

4. Online yoga is my jam

If you have the time in your schedule, and the budget in your bank account to go to a 60 minute studio class every day for 31 days, GO FOR IT. I do not have that luxury. Due to where I live and the lack of yoga classes here, along with the busyness of life and a tight budget, online yoga classes were key. Here's two good resources I used often throughout my challenge.

Where to find yoga classes online:

oneoeight - Yoga Girl’s online yoga, meditation & wellness platform. It's $14 per month, but I utilized the 10 day free trial. I have to say I don’t think I’d pay for it. Although all the yoga was very good, it’s just not in my budget at the minute when I can find good yoga for free. You might find more value in it if you’re also using the recipes, meditation and other features on the site.

Yoga with Adrienne (YWA) - Free yoga on YouTube by yoga instructor Adrienne. Her account is massive and she seems to have been doing it for a number of years now. There is a large range of yoga styles to choose from: from gentle to intense, a variety of different areas of focus, and range from from 10 minutes to 1 hour. Whatever you’re looking for, you can probably find one on here.

5. Let go of perfection and focus on the habit

I didn't achieve perfection in this challenge of doing #yogaeverydamn day, but I still consider it a success. Which maybe a few months ago, I wouldn't have.

I wouldn’t self identify as a perfectionist, but I've been thinking about it in relation to my challenges, and realize I am totally a perfectionist. I don’t want to do anything unless I can do it all out. If I know the best way to do something, I have to do it that way or I won't want to do it at all (how I used to feel about this blog).

I’ve learned that even though it’s a #yogaeverydamnday challenge or an alcohol-free challenge, you can miss a day (or four) and still be successful.

I did yoga 27 days this month. WOW! Awesome. This is actually really positive and an accomplishment to be proud of. I'm slowly learning to drop the attachment to perfection, and know that if I truly want to do yoga every damn day of my life, it’s not going to go from 0-100 immediately. It’s going to take time to build up and get to that point. And that is part of the process, and that is OK.

Let go of your attachment to perfection. Know that if you’re heading in the right direction, that is success in itself.

My next challenge

April is officially here (spring is not though! 🙈), and it’s time to set a new challenge and intention for this month.

My cousin recommended that I check out Gary Vaynerchuck because she thought I’d like his messages. I watched three Instagram videos, and I’ve already been inspired to change what I previously had in mind for my April challenge.

Here's the video:

How does Gary determine winners from losers in life? Losers complain within the first hour of him meeting them.

This immediately struck a cord. I complain a lot at work (sorry coworkers)! And so, a month of no complaining starts today. I’ll dive more into how I’m doing this specifically later on, but now, begins the positivity.

I can guarantee that I will complain during the month! I won’t get this perfect, but the goal is not perfection, the goal is building new habits.