New Series: 7 Days of … Yoga
Total side note: every time I write a new post; I am so temped to write ‘hello world’ in C++. As a throwback to the first days of learning computer programming. Although it has been awhile since I’ve written any programs, that first lesson is ingrained in me!
Anyway! Back to the topic at hand. In the past, I had the thought to start a YouTube channel. A big reason behind it was to motivate me to try new things. And film the experience to share it. While I continue to warm up to the idea of sharing videos; I figured there is no reason why not to share my experiences in written form.
So, after some thinking, I made the decision to start a new series here on my blog. It will be my experiences of doing something for 7 days straight. Most likely these will be every month or so.
7 Days of Series
Why ‘only’ 7 days you ask? Welp, I realized that although 21 days is known to build a habit; it seemed daunting to me at this point along the journey. Outside of my blog, lots of things are underway in my day job. And in general with still managing to live through the pandemic. With so much uncertainty, I found myself not wanting to commit to things more than a week at a time.
In years past, I would start a 30 day yoga program with no problem. And, it would be a success! I would do every single day, or double up if I knew I was going to miss a day. Right now, committing to more than seven days didn’t feel feasible to me. Not to mention, I want to do 7 days of things that I enjoy. Activities which will bring fun, peace or calm to my life; not that cause stress or worry!
Although ‘they’ say seven days of something won’t build a habit. Seven days IS long enough to decide if you enjoy something and want to to continue it! It is also long enough to have some sort of benefit! Just think, if you choose to practice your favorite instrument for 7 days straight; surely you’d improve, even if a small amount!
I’ve decided to start this series off with something I’m familiar with: YOGA.
Yoga is the first topic of our 7 day series! Probably not a huge surprise to those of you who know me personally. Yoga has been a go-to activity for me over the course of many years. After I first moved to North Carolina, my gym had one of the BEST yoga instructors! The instructor would transform the aerobics room into a calming retreat. The room would be cool and dry. (This was before hot yoga was a thing). Candles were lit, gentle music playing and the lights were out.
When that location closed, yoga wasn’t something I would do regularly. Then, one fine day I found a lovely instructor on YouTube. I completed her 30 days of beginners yoga and it immediately improved my life. Leading up to finding the classes online, stress was an issue. After, it seemed to melt away much easier. My mindset was calmer and my body generally felt better. Over the years, I would restart the 30 days, or do random videos at least 4 times a week.
At the end of 2020, this instructor passed away unexpectedly. It was strange to experience grief over the loss of someone who never met me, but helped me so tremendously. For months, I would try to do yoga or stretching using any videos online and grief would wash over me.
Finally I told myself to find a different instructor and start again. Which leads us to today!
Seven days of YOGA
For this series, I completed the seven days leading up until Wednesday prior to this being posted. In the future, I may decide to post every single day. I figure that might hold me more accountable if the activity is difficult in nature to me. Either way, today’s post will cover the entire seven days, complete with links to the videos I used.
After a bit of searching I found a channel I’ve come to really enjoy: Sean Vigue Fitness. This instructor is great for me personally, with a mix of silly, serious and complete with a golden retriever. The beginner series I found was an older one and was 7 days. Each class is just about 15 minutes long, sometimes slightly longer (link here to the playlist)! He has since done updated versions which I’m excited to do too!
Day 1 Gentle Morning Yoga
After finding the 7 day series, I dove right in and started with day 1. Since months had passed since I last did yoga consistently, my body felt tight as I did the poses. This truly is a beginners yoga which I welcomed with open arms. After I did the practice, I thanked myself for doing something positive for my body. Link here.
Day 2 Hip & Hamstring Stretch
This one helped me to calm my mind, focus on my breathing and enjoy the short but extremely nice session. Hips and hamstrings are my favorite to stretch. Just by doing two days of yoga and knowing I had committed myself to seven days; I noticed a difference in my thoughts and headspace. Making this time for myself, even if 15 minutes only makes my day feel more complete. It also reinforces self-nurturing. Link here.
Day 3 Full Body Yoga
In this video, Sean mentions that within a week of yoga you can become ‘fluent’ in yoga. Not in terms of learning san srit, but in learning the breathing and basic poses. During this one, he is outside in the rain. This really helped me feel looser and included moves I’ve never done before. Link here.
Day 4 Standing Yoga
Although twisting is great, standing yoga offers so much. I especially loved the balance poses in this one. And in general it made me feel more steady on my feet. Which, as you may know can be a challenge for me haha). By this day, I noticed improvements in my digestion and overall posture. Link here.
Day 5 Best Yoga Flexibility Stretches
The actual video for this day I did not want to do. For yoga, I tend to stay away from pure ab type work, because I’d rather stretch than build my core. Therefore I selected a different video from Sean’s channel (focused on flexibility). It is important to note the importance of honoring your own particular preferences! This is one I will surely come back to for an everyday type routine! Link here.
Day 6 Yoga for the Back
By this day, I started to truly look forward to the sessions. Sean’s personality brightened my day each day! Prior to this class I hadn’t done tortoise before and enjoyed it! I also felt that the instructions on this one were so extra clear with hips and such. Link here.
Day 7 Full Body Stretch
On day 7 I did not have as much time as I would have liked. So didn’t do the 35 minute day seven, instead I swapped out for a shorter class on Sean’s channel. The one I selected is only about 10 minutes. At this point, I could tell a difference in my muscles, both in tone and in flexibility. It was the perfect day seven for me! Link here.
Extra Day 8 (because why not?!)
Since I ended my 7 days on Wednesday, I figured why not add today’s yoga! This is a morning yoga, more traditional with flows versus the beginners. Although this is about 15 minutes it felt like wonderful bliss and set the tone this morning! This is another one where Sean’s personality is just so joyful. Link here.
If you decide to do any of these, or re-start/start your yoga practice after reading this post: please let me know!