Karen Kinnard - I am moved by you all. . . .
The yoga challenge was a really good experience for me. I feel like I've gotten a lot stronger during the challenge, and my mind is less scattered (more able to calm down & focus) overall. Going to the studio 3 days a week was difficult at times with children and scheduling conflicts, but it was a good chance for me to figure out how to prioritize my health goals that can so often be pushed aside when I get really busy or feel others need something from me at the time.
I'm looking forward to doing the Weight Loss/Wellness Boot Camp starting in January too. I love yoga practice and want to combine that with my efforts to lose weight. I did lose several pounds during this challenge and would like to continue on that journey and become healthier in the new year. I hope some of you join me in that challenge as well!
Enjoy the holidays and congratulations on taking on this yoga challenge!
The challenge has been great for me. And a true challenge. The "why" is what I continue to still work on. I love yoga--it restores me--it makes me feel more connected to everything and everyone around me--so why do I let it so easily go by the wayside? What this challenge did do for me is at least put it in my mind every day, weather or not I practiced, I thought about it. And often my practice wasn't asana at all, but trying to focus on a principal of the yamas and niyamas, which really is the point of it all anyway.
Practicing asana more often gave me more opportunity for insight into the poses so that I could be in them more deeply, find my balance, my center. Explore those poses that are restrictive for me with curiosity instead of resistance. Practicing in studio several days a week reminded me how much I love doing yoga with others, and how much I benefit from letting the teacher guide me because I almost always will go deeper into a pose when someone else is guiding me.
I certainly wasn't perfect and did not achieve daily practice. I tried to blog through most of it, but really only blogged daily for about the first 20 days. But what I found was that I didn't need it so much after that. The blogging was what helped me stay on track and focused on daily yoga, but once it took hold and become more a part of my daily consciousness, I didn't feel the need to articulate it out loud so much. As is always the case with deeper yoga practice, my mind finally turns off; my words lose their usefulness; and I simply move and breathe and am--and that's enough.
Thank you Karen for this opportunity, and everyone else for being part of the journey.
Gracious Greetings to all,
I reside in Missouri and went to high school with Karen. We recently reconnected via Facebook. I have heath issues, and was so inspired by reading Karen's blog posts about her recovery from her recent bike accident, that I decided to attempt yoga again after a not so good experience several years ago. Thus, I decided to take the 40-day yoga challenge virtually so to speak. I live in a rural area where there are no yoga studios. So, I dug my yoga mat and a couple of DVD's out of the closet and decided if I committed to the challenge online, then it would make me accountable for following through to the goal line.
When I began my practice it was physically painful due to my body's de-conditioned state. But each day it seemed to get easier and the pain decreased. Until I attempted a new pose the first week of December, when I experienced a new "opening" sensation in my lower back that I was uncertain about. Karen encouraged me via e-mail. I was feeling improvement, and my posture was improving. I was on track with the 6 days practice, 1 day rest from Nov. 14th thru Dec. 11th. and must say, I was feeling proud of my goal accomplishment.
And then...on Dec. 11th my husband was in a serious accident with a big tree while cutting firewood. That brought my yoga challenge to a screeching halt! I wasn't sure how I was going to get though caring for him as a result of my own health challenges. However, we experienced a Christmas Miracle! He is recovering very well! I have no doubt the time I had spent practicing yoga prior to his accident had strengthened me both physically and emotionally so that I was able to deal with the whole traumatic event and care for him and take care of everything for 2 weeks.
What I learned was I had not practiced yoga long enough to remember to breathe and calm myself while my body was in a full blown adrenaline rush. I instead reverted to my old habits and paced for hours on end like a caged animal. I was however able to remember to breathe and remain calm, thus keeping my husband calm until the ambulance arrived for him. So there was some benefit from my practice.
While I was very disappointed not to be able to complete the challenge. I am feeling good about my physical improvements that I can see in retrospect. It was indeed a powerful time! However, as a result of the positive improvements I've experienced during the challenge, yesterday, Dec. 27th, I chose to begin practicing gentle yoga as a 5 day a week habit.
I wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year! Namaste, Mona