The following conclusion should not come as a surprise to anyone who has taken fitness, well-being and the mind-body connection seriously: since stepping up the frequency of taking yoga classes and going to the gym after Christmas, I’ve noted a sharp improvement in my mood, attitude, energy and stamina. Vinyasa classes still tax my reserves of strength and breath, but I can now manage to get through them without falling to my knees (I will occasionally come out of a challenging pose early).
Since the start of the 40 days of yoga at Thrive Yoga on Friday, I’ve made it to four classes in a row. My muscles are still sore afterwards, but I recover quickly enough that I am not talking myself out of going to class the next day (I may not take in the 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise at the gym as I’ve promised myself). There are about 14 participants of all levels taking part in the 40-day program, but we don’t necessarily all go to the same classes. Tonight, I was the only 40-dayer in the vinyasa flow class.
I look at the whole 40-day challenge as a way of bringing closure to all the misfortunes and milestones of the past year, since my parents’ deaths, purging the toxins, healing myself and acquiring new physical and emotional vigor. Throughout this period, I’ve never “given up my yoga practice,” just cut back to a kind of maintenance plan, emphasizing restorative yoga, pranayama and meditation, but there came a point when I was running on fumes. Once I re-dedicated myself and stepped up my practice in frequency and intensity, a different set of benefits seemed to click on.