Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yoga Mama 30 Day Challenge

I turned 50 in December. As my nine year old daughter informed me, that officially made me the oldest mother at her school. I've gotten used to little kids assuming I was my kids' grandma, but to hear my own talk about how old I am in comparison to her friends' mothers, got me thinking I needed to start a serious stay young and on the planet program. So when my DH's siblings began asking me what I wanted for the big occassion, I passed on the maid (too much pressure), the massage and the other suggestions. I had heard about a new Bikram Yoga studio that had opened in Longmont that offered a $59 introductory unlimited month and a little voice inside my head said, "DO IT."

I didn't think I'd like the hot form of yoga and quite honestly, my only recent exposure to yoga had been while pregnant with my oldest and that was nine years ago. I'd always steered clear of hot yoga because it drummed up unpleasant olfactory memories of waiting for subways in 120 degree stations in NYC and that wasn't my idea of relaxation.

But you only turn 50 once, so I figured what did I have to lose? As it turns out, nothing and more than I imagined to gain. It's been two months and while I know it's pat to say this and I can see the eyes rolling as I write it, but yoga is changing my life. Besides my body returning to some sense of flexibility and strength that it hasn't known in more than a decade, the more I sweat, the more I learn about myself.

March 1st, I signed up for a 30 day challenge, not for any other reason than to see if I could do it. I can buy goodies at the studio at a discount if I complete the challenge, but I'm doing it for different reasons. I'm now 7 days into the challenge, 23 to go (and yes I'm counting) and I'll be posting my insights, frustrations and otherwise as a way to share this challenge.

Day 1: Took a deep breath and said, yes, I can.
Day 2: Took another deep breath and said yes I can again.
Day 3: Mistakenly decided I had passed into another realm, where the classes were getting 'easy.' Why did I decide this? Because somewhere between Day 2 and Day 3, my breathing went from out and out gasping to calm and I got really full of myself. I boasted to my family that I was entering a new place where the work would be internal, that the physical had been figured out.
Day 4: Kicked the shit out of me. All of it. Wibble wobbled and I then fell down.
Day 5: Kicked whatever shit day 4 didn't kick out of me out of me. Realized I don't have enough yoga clothes to make it through the week, let alone a 30 day challenge.
Day 6: Learned to laugh in Eagle pose when Zach said our next posture would be 'kickyourasana.'
Day 7: Battled with the entire cobra series and wondered if my lack of flexibility on the back side of my body had a deeper meaning.

Today is day eight and I'm six hours away from my class. Not sure what will be in store for me, except I know I'll feel better having done it. A great birthday gift.


Rosemary Carstens said...

Lisa: Don't leave us hanging! What happened next? did you make it? If you did that's great, but with yoga we all know it's not the destination, it's the journey. At least that's what I tell myself because I could NEVER do this challenge! Of course, I am a lot older than you. BTW, don't worry about turning 50, the fifties are fab--you are more yourself than ever before, they will be wonderful years with your children, rich and layered. I have two children 12 years apart. I was first the YOUNGEST mother of the kids class, then I went to being the OLDEST mother of the kids' class. They'll all find SOME fatal flaw to point out no matter where you fit in--give us an update!

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Lisa Trank-Greene said...

Thanks, Rosemary, a late response. The challenge was transformative and the practice continues to be so. Wish I had all day to write about it, will be including some of my experiences here...