Day 71: Yoga every damn day!

Being grateful, mindful and kind as I embark on 30 days of yoga:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE yoga.

This is my third post about one of my most treasured rituals, and why not, it deserves it: yoga is an integral part of my life, my wellbeing and my healing journey.

I find stretching my body with a yoga session wonderfully delicious, and even more so with all the bed rest I currently have to take. I also find it soothing and peaceful for my mind and soul, and it’s another opportunity to practice mindfulness.

Not being able to practice as much as I used to has been one of the frustrating things about having CFS. Due to the nature of the condition, my practice is quite sporadic as I sometimes simply don’t have the energy, or my neck is feeling too painful from when I sustained a severe whiplash injury a couple of years ago.

Over the last few months, I’ve been able to get back on the mat which has lifted my spirits no end. And recently, I’ve even managed to go to a couple of classes and would love to build up slowly to attending regularly. But all in good time.

In a good week, I’m managing to enjoy two very gentle sessions at home, alternating between my two favourite short practices on DVD. But lately I’ve been feeling a little bored with my practice as I know them off by heart.

I think it’s time to shake things up a little.

And I’m feeling optimistic that my body can handle a teeny bit more 😊.

And I’m loving the gorgeously inspiring Rachel Brathen’s mantra: “Yoga Every Damned Day”.

yoga every damn day

(And yes, I want the tee-shirt!)

Sooooo, I’ve decided to try and make November ’30 Days of Yoga’.

After some googling, I’ve found a lovely online teacher called Erin Motz who offers a free 30 day yoga challenge. It’s “30 days of yoga in 10-20 minute long online video sessions which we send you directly to your email inbox one day at a time.” Which sounds perfect for my limited energy levels.

I like that there’s a different focus for each day’s session; day 2 is for chest and shoulders, day 3 is for posture, day 4 is for abs, and so on.

I’ve signed up, I’ve pimped up my yoga mat, and I’m ready to go.

mu pimped up yoga mat

I am giving myself permission to skip a day or two if I need to – if my CFS symptoms are too intense, or if my neck is too sore. But I’m really hoping I can try and attempt each day’s session.

And if not, I will see if I can manage a sun salutation or even one little downward dog! And if not, I will at least be able to meditate.

No pressure, no worries, all is well.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for my yoga practice, being mindful as I roll out my mat every damn day this month, and being kind to my body by doing lots of yummy stretching.

Day 12: Back on the mat

Being grateful for my first yoga class in two years:

I am so excited. I’ve just attended my first yoga class in two years. Yay!

And it felt sooooooo good.

Sadly, I haven’t felt well enough since chronic fatigue set in. My beloved practice has been one of the biggest activities I’ve missed. I used to practice yoga most days either at home or at the fantastic yoga studio I was a member of in Sydney. It had the most incredible teachers and I used to go to three 90 minute yoga classes a week.

Over the last few months I’ve been slowly easing myself back into yoga by following a couple of gentle 20 minute DVD sessions at home.

While I enjoy home practice, I do like combining it with classes.  It’s not a surprise that I find that teachers challenge me more than I’m prepared to challenge myself at home. I also appreciate the variety of asanas – poses – even those I’m not particularly fond of and tend to avoid at home. Teachers have told me it’s the ones we resist are the ones we need to focus on!! Hmmmm…

Recently I’ve been feeling ready to step up my practice by trying out a yoga class. After some searching, I’m grateful to have found one one really close to home. Like 5 mins away close. The only downside is that it’s in the evening, when my energy is usually waning, but I was keen to give it a try.

As the time for me to leave grew nearer, my trepidation increased: Would I find the venue ok? Would I manage the whole class? What if it was all too much? What if I felt unwell? What would teacher Hannah be like? What would the other yogini’s be like?

Ok, Helen, breathe deeply with me now….

Finally it was time to go.

Of course, I found the venue ok, the other yogini’s were lovely, and teacher Hannah was friendly and kind.

Happily I rolled out my mat and I felt I’d come home.

Starting in savasana  – corpse pose – Hannah gently led us into mindful breathing and introduced this week’s theme, Satya, the commitment to Truthfulness.

Gently guiding us through an hour long class, she threw in a couple of the more challenging poses for good measure and to a few giggles. Just as I felt myself starting to flag and was preparing to rest in balasana – child’s pose – the class began to wind down and we were back in savasana. Sigh.

I left feeling stretched, calm, and happy in my mind, body and soul.

I am really also proud of myself for going as it was a big step in my recovery journey.

Roll on next Tuesday.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being grateful for my first yoga class in two years.