Day 30 – Crossing the Finish Line


It is not a matter of taking that last step across the finish line. It is not a matter of pushing yourself.

Every step is the last step. Every push is the last push. Every smile you take is the last one.

And the first.

What makes the largest difference is making yourself aware of the now. The present, and being in it.

And in times of stillness, reflecting on the mistakes, the strains, the sweaty parts (a lot of that) the realizations and new discoveries in exercising not only the body, but the places where the body holds onto stress. Reflection of this, is exercise for the spirit.

Opening of the body to new directions. Allowing myself to become so still that only my breath is being concentrated on. Committing myself to stay in position and flexing, pulling myself into new places while making my mind calm and still. Facing only myself in the reflection of the studio mirror, and facing my reflections of who I am. Finding out tolerances and limitations, places in body and spirit that need more attention.

Finding some way to manage all that laundry, cook up meals ahead of time, maintain a home business, full time job, writing articles, writing blog posts, writing fiction, sleeping and still commit to doing 1 class of hot yoga per day.

It’s been amazing.

30 Day challenge of Hot Yoga complete.

All thanks to this place.

For All Your Saskatoon Hot Yoga Needs

I’d like to thank Dallas, Steph and all the great instructors as well as the regular yogis who go to Hot Yoga on 20th. It’s a great community that has been built up in Saskatoon. If you are even travelling through and would like to get in on a class, don’t hesitate to check their schedule, give them a call, bring a friend. Try it out.

It’s just one step. And it might be the best one you ever take.

Om still here,
Pearce

P.S. You may have noticed there is a gap in the posts. Another post is coming up later on, which maybe more important than the last ‘recorded’ step for this challenge.

Day 6 – Convenience


In order to master something and become graceful, one needs to do it for 10’000 hours.

In order to master to anything, you need passion, and stick with it. Through bad and good, every step forward is success, BUT!

BUT!

Success is not necessarily Easy.

It is however, doing one thing at a time.

In an age of convenience, marketing has merely seconds to catch your attention. Every moment they want your dollars, split second decisions can make or break corporations. The modern advertising campaign has to convince you in seconds to go along with their plans. When our heads are full with intentions to keep up with the masses, we cannot think for ourselves. (This might not fit for this blog, but I may do another ramble on it later, someone remind me. Okay? Thanks!)

So. Do you still have your New Years Resolutions? Or are you done with them? Look up the statistics on failure rates. It is astounding how much people give up… when they are trying to do the impossible.  “I’m going to lose seven hundred pounds this year.” “I’m going to give up that dirty habit and never return to it. Next week.” “Tomorrow I’m going to stop procrastinating.” 

Let your own plan convince you. Make it reasonable. Make it a small change. Don’t try and eat the elephant in one shot, take one bite at a time. My quit smoking mantra at one point was, “I don’t have to get through the week without a cigarette. I don’t have to get through the day without a cigarette. I just have to get through the next five minutes without a cigarette.”

Of a 30 day yoga challenge, the first week is the worst apparently. But what I am taking out of this?

I am doing yoga today, so I can do it tomorrow.

That’s it. Just do yoga today. Every day that I go in, and do yoga, I fall out of position, I sweat and strain, I am dealing with emotions that are being provoked from tension being released. Is it easy? No. Is it hard? It’s harder to start up once you haven’t done it in a while.

But is yoga hard? I’d say it is one of the most demanding activities you can put yourself through. Once you get past the physical barriers, which could take years, there are still mental barriers to get through.

And that is one of the hardest things you can ever do in your lifetime. Getting past yourself to get towards your goals. But I’m doing it. With one small change per day.

And with each little change, with each little step I take, I make impossible things convenient and easy for myself.

There. Now if that isn’t a plan for myself, I don’t know what is.

I’m still here,

Pearce

P.S. My advertising budget for these thoughts didn’t have room for the Playboy bunnies or the Magnum P.I. Ferrari, so I stuck with this blog. And this really nice cup of green tea. Cheers!

Day 1 of Yoga Challenge


Thirty yoga classes in thirty days.

If I skip one day, I have to make up for it on a weekend, catch two classes. But a lot like other monthly challenges, this is one that will challenge me mentally and physically. I am reminded of the NaNoWriMo challenge, but there is a huge difference. I can’t do extra yoga sessions at 3AM to get ahead. Well I could get multiple classes done in one day, but pacing is the main part to this Om-arathon. Not over doing it, not pushing too hard to injure, just find that stretch. Finding that spot where it’s just a little too uncomfortable, then seeing why it is, backing up a little, then pushing just a teeny bit more.

Yesterday was my first Sivananda class. A lot of the principles in this type do cross over to the other types of classes I have taken. Having a sinus inflammation lately, made the breathing exercises a little fun. For a moment there, I couldn’t breathe out of my left side. Must do more Neti pot in the next few days… possibly thirty. It’s been a while since I’ve done the flow through the Sun Salutations. Felt a little clumsy, but definitely got the place where I could feel the stretch on my upper thigh and hip, as well as my throat. Part of me wanted to stay in some positions a little longer; cobra felt good in the lower back, and downward dog to get the backs of my calves loosened up. Didn’t quite match up the breaths with the positions, but will get that in time. Incorrect practicing at home?

And then the headstand.

I didn’t fall. I did find the position interesting when I got my arms into triangle, then put the crown of my head on the mat, then the inverted V shape, where I could feel the tension in hamstrings, and calves. And then when I leaned forward, and brought my legs up. Well, let’s just say, my shoulders told me that I was not anywhere near being ready to do one. I do hold a lot of tension there. The muscle feels like bone. Many massage therapists basically can dig deep to break up the knots. Headstand will come in time.

Think it’s called crow, where you squat, put your hands forward on the ground, then rest your inner thighs on the backs of your elbows. I got off the ground, and balanced for a minuscule three seconds. Then the contents of my sinuses shifted and I almost fell on my face. I chuckled and got back into it, this time, with only my big toes barely tickling the mat. Back twisting was good, think I freaked out some of my neighbouring yogis when my back popped and I grunted with the release.

And shavasana. Yay, that was a deep one with the last relaxation, and for some reason a memory came back to me.

Living on the farm, the last year. It was summer, and I knew that there was the Move into town. Just me and mom. We spent a lot of that summer watching tv and movies, and reading. Not really dealing with the divorce or the painful parts of life. And the one month where I kept falling asleep during the Chuck Norris movie, had a Doberman or a Rottweiler in the beginning of it. Fifteen minutes in, BAM! I’m out like a light. There was a big huge chunk of foam, more squarish single bed size. I’d make my bed in the living room, flicker of the tv, sound of the pages as Mom read, windows open brought the occasional summer breeze through the long house, dogs out barking at the edge of the home section. I was warm and comfortable there. And not a care in the world that I would like to acknowledge. It was one of the strongest memories of love that I’ve ever had. It felt like home. There have been other smaller places that have felt that way for me, but not as strong or as deep.

I have no idea what that memory means for it to come up, but I do know this, it’s challenging my emotional state as well. Breaking physical tightness will help release emotional tightness. Maybe subconsciously I’ve ‘Made this Place Home-Like so it is Comfortable during times of Discomfort’.

I’m thankful that I started the thirty day challenge with this one class. No hot yoga to start this one off, that is tomorrow. And this challenged me as well.

I’m still here,

Pearce

P.S. Check in with your local yoga studios for 30 day challenges throughout the year.

P.S.S. More reflective thoughts on yoga to come in the next 30 days. You have been warned.

P.S.S.S. May include a paypal link, buy a guy a coconut water?