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When I started my challenge this spring, I was unsure of how it would feel.  I was afraid to start something I wouldn’t be able to finish, and I was worried that my horrible, consuming sadness from my last challenge would come back.  It didn’t.  My goal for the challenge was to release the negativity from my practice, and open myself up to joy.  

It was about finally letting go of something sad and hard and difficult, and letting myself continue on with a practice that could encompass happiness again. 

Having been done with my 30-day challenge for a few days now, I can honestly confirm that it was the easiest challenge I’ve ever done.  Throughout the month I felt more energized and alive than I’ve felt in a long time, and during many classes I felt like I was powered by pure exalted joy.  I was able to be so present in my happiness, and it was wonderful.  Truly wonderful and magical.

The first few weeks were mostly a breeze.  I had the usual foot dragging that I think everyone experiences when it’s time to get up on monday at 5:00 a.m., but once I was there, most of my classes were so marvelous.  I felt my body totally opening up to new depths of flexibility whereas I usually make more noteworthy gains in strength.  

I have always kind of thought that it takes a lot of courage to take your flexibility to new depths.  You have to be willing to push through the pain of your lengthening muscles and ligaments and tendons.  You have to trust yourself enough to know what bad pain is and what good pain is.  You have to literally open yourself up to completely new sensations; and you have to, at some point, just go for it.  There has to be an element of “fuck it” in there somewhere – otherwise you’ll never push yourself hard enough!  This is so appropriate for where I was mentally and emotionally in my challenge.  My gains in flexibility definitely reflect what my goals were, and that I got there.   

I love practicing close to the mirror now, because I can see the anchor on my arm, pushing me to be better, go deeper, stretch further, work harder, and be healthier.  It reminds me that the bad events in our lives never go away, but at some point they become a part of who you are, and they endure through the happiness too.  Just as part of who you are.  Simple truths, right?

Glowingly yours,

C

P.S.: For those of you who keep track: nope, I’m not doing the 60-day challenge because *someone* is taking me to Coachella.  I know – poor me, right? 

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I feel like this week I have finally hit my stride with this whole vegan thing. As of Sunday, I am exactly halfway through this challenge, and it has definitely taken me until now for my body to really acclimate. I had been having trouble feeling satiated before, and while I felt relatively physically well, I was a bit low energy. I’m excited to report that as of yesterday evening’s yoga class, I am really feeling wonderful.

During the past two weeks, I have really felt the detoxifying effects of Bikram’s more than I have before in my practice. It’s like I could sense my body trying to get rid of all the stuff it didn’t need, and now I feel like a weight has been lifted. It reminds me of the times when I’ve gotten off an airplane with plugged up ears, and everything sounded kind of fuzzy and far away, then suddenly my ears cleared and everything was fresh and open and clear sounding. It’s such a good feeling.

There are definitely things I won’t be able to eat again. Milk, for one. I don’t think I’ll be able to drink cows milk anymore. I think I’ll reincorporate some animal products back into my diet after my challenge, but much more in moderation. I’d like the things I eat and cook with to add to my meal, not act as default ingredients.

Things I miss? Really sharp cheddar, and (even though this is kind of like milk- which I don’t miss) cream in my coffee. Those are things I look forward to incorporating (with moderation) into my diet.

Healthfully yours,
-C

This blog started because I was feeling bad, and I wanted to feel good. I noticed I felt better after doing Bikram, and I wanted to eke out every little morsel of happiness and balance that I could. That’s what I did, and I was happy. Then I let myself fall back in to old habits. I fell and I fell, and after tumbling for sometime, I realized I was almost back where I started, and I needed a jump-start.

Enter the 8K challenge I am currently immersed in.

This new challenge, however, has changed me more than I thought it would. It has forced exercise in to my life in more traditional ways, and I have discovered something wonderful. I have discovered that I love to exercise. I have discovered that I love to take care of my body, and make myself feel good, and give myself time.

I never understood before this year, how people could ever want to go to the gym. I never understood how running or stationary biking or crunches could be appealing, but now I get it. I’m not just talking the talk anymore, kids.

I feel like I have unlocked some secret door into healthiness. This isn’t to say I’ve turned into some kind of gym rat. I still have my off days, but I will say that moving my body makes me happy. This is a new fact of life for me.

Healthfully yours,

-C