28 day Yoga Challenge

February is the only month I really have strong feelings about. It fucking sucks. It’s the shortest month but always feels like the longest and as much as I tell myself to stay strong and not let it affect me, it fucks with me every year.

But it’s over now.

And this year wasn’t as bad as anticipated, it actually kinda went by fast! Today is March 1st (yes, it took me a week to finish this lol) and it’s got me reflecting on the month & all the factors that helped it flow along. I want to share with you a few insights from the other side of my hibernation, I mean, it’s still cold as polar bear tits and I’m not entirely done hiding inside, but we’re through the darkest part.

The biggest change to my daily routine has been yoga - read about the start of my journey below in my last post. I did a 28 day challenge at the studio by my house and I crushed it! I ended up last minute going out of town for 8 days, but I did 20 classes in the 20 days I was around! One of the most basic but surprising things about the challenge was that I genuinely enjoyed it every day and not once did it feel like a chore. I expected to have to push myself to keep the routine going, but once I got started I was hooked! I’ve thought a lot about what has made me instantly dedicated to this practice and I think it’s actually a combination of a bunch of things.

Another unexpected part of my practice has been the fire it ignites in me when I’m pushing myself to hold a challenging pose. When I thought of yoga before, vibes that came to mind were zen, peaceful, & relaxing.. And while that is a big part of it, the opposite is also true. The best comparison I can think of is when I used to run. My knees and ankles are fucked so I gave it up over 10 years ago, and I didn’t realize until now how much I missed the internal exercise needed to get through challenge of physical exercise. Every time I would set out to run for an hour, the first ten minutes were HELL. Within a few minutes my knees and ankles would ache, my calves would burn, and I would obsessively watch the time pass - seemingly sooo slooowly - and think “there’s no way I can do an hour” After 5 minutes of agony another 55 minutes sounded like pure torture, but after a while I knew I was already half way through the worst part. Somehow like clockwork around 10 minutes in, I would get into it. The physical sensations in my legs were still there if I thought about them, but the pain would fade into the background and I would just go. Music cranked, mind clear, just running. And the hour would pass. There would be times I would want to quit or walk but my body never would, the fire was started and I couldn’t put it out! I would feel SO good after, physically and mentally! Ok, sometimes after I actually wanted to puke, but eventually I would feel good! Proving to myself that I can endure pain & actually achieve what seems impossible is motivating - not just in the moment, but in life! Yoga obviously isn’t as intense on the body, but that same inner fire gets ignited. Part of what I’m describing is called “Flow State” - I learned about it a bit in University and want to write a whole post about it. Send me a DM if this is something that interests you or if you have some good academic research about it!

Another aspect I enjoy is that as I am seeing myself get stronger and progress, I am getting more competitive with myself, which I think is healthy in moderation. I’m not a super competitive person, but it feels good to challenge myself every day and see how much better I can get compared to the day before. The best part is that you are surrounded by people who are also just there to challenge themselves and nobody is competing against each other. At no point is there a yoga-off with trophies, it’s just an ongoing practice. It’s nice.

Physically I have noticed a lot of changes, some I can see in the mirror, some I just feel. It sounds weird but I feel stronger but at the same time lighter. I feel more present in my body and more aware of the deep connection between my mental and physical health. It sounds so obvious, but reconnecting with my body has been another unexpected benefit.

The last thing I’ve been thinking about is how nice it is to do something decidedly NOT cannabis related. Don’t get me wrong, I love my weed life, but for the last 6+ years it’s pretty much been my life. It’s nice to have a quiet place to go where I’m not tweedledoob, I’m just another person trying to sweat out their demons.

I was going to write about ALL the things that made February fly by including working through an art therapy book, and connecting with some awesome people, but this is long enough and each topic deserves it’s own post.. Stay tuned! As always I love getting your feedback, send me an email or drop me a DM on instagram if you want to chat!