Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I — Carly Christine Lanning — the girl who until six months ago couldn’t fathom the idea of ever being able to hold crow pose, has completed her first yoga challenge. That’s 25 days of yoga — plus the purchase of two pairs of fancy yoga pants — solely in the month of May. This is how I’ve since been celebrating:
Just kidding, it’s been much more like this:
In my last challenge class on Sunday, I was simultaneously so excited to cross the finish line and wanting more time to get each pose just right. In a month, I’ve witnessed the power of stubbornness, determination, and focus; of declaring a goal and seeing it through till the end, of practicing one pose over and over again until I get it, of falling in front of an entire class, and lastly, of not letting excuses get in the way of exercise. Through sickness and in health, yoga and I were bound at the hip this month, proving if I can do this much yoga in May, I can do it in every other month as well. It takes patience to pursue any physical activity because it’s always an uphill battle. And it should be!
Yoga has trained me to focus on improving every move, in every class, for the entire 90 minutes. I feel safe and content whenever I unroll my red mat (I named him Alfred because he always has my back) and take a seat, breathing in the mixture of sweat and lavender and enjoying the sight of ivy consuming the windows. But most importantly, yoga has become my stress manager. I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s better than a bowl of popcorn.
In a month, poses such as bridge, half moon, crow, one-legged push ups, jumping back into plank, high lung twists, and side plank have not only stopped filling me with dread, but become things I look forward to conquering each class! Mind you, my balance is still pretty shaky but who knows, maybe in a few more months, I’ll look less like a baby giraffe learning to walk.
In 25 days, this challenge became a routine and though time consuming, made me realize it’s possible to have a steady yoga practice along with a balanced social and working life. Plus I now own yoga pants with lightening bolts on them so I’m feeling pretty good about myself.
From here, lots of more yoga. All the yoga! And while I’m still unsure I’m good enough for this, I’m considering enrolling in teacher training come January. Because if a girl with toothpick arms can learn to do a side crow, anything is absolutely possible.
PS. Best video ever.