If you’re a runner, remember when you trained for your first race? The first time you ran 3 miles without stopping? You may have read a training book and every blogger’s race report you could find, googled “what if I have to go to the bathroom during the race?” or maybe even watched “The Spirit of the Marathon.” You absorbed yourself fully in the journey of getting to the finish line of your goal race. Everything was new, everything was exciting and everything was a challenge.
As we become more experienced runners, we sometimes forget what it was like to be a novice. We lose sight of the fact that things that now seem like common sense are a foreign language to a non or new runner. We continue to learn and grow as runners but we can never go back to that newbie feeling.
Last year when I was making my 2016 fitness goals, I had spent a lot of the past year practicing yoga. It made sense to put “do a yoga challenge” on my goal list. As I checked the other things off my goal list throughout the year and focused on running and 21 Day Fix, the yoga challenge remained untouched and mostly forgotten. Well, if you’ve been reading a while you know that I don’t like to leave goals unconquered, so I’ve started doing a yoga challenge if found on Instagram called “Twisty Christmas.”
Here are a few things I’ve learned so far from this yoga challenge:
- It’s fun to be a novice again. I didn’t realize when I chose this yoga challenge that the moves would be so challenging for me. Although I wouldn’t say I’m advanced by any means, I feel that I’ve done enough yoga to recognize most moves. However, this challenge was different – I’d never done most of the poses, so I had to teach myself and practice. I also happened to chose a yoga challenge that really focused on my weakness – twists. This has always been an area that needed improvement for me and this turned out to be a great way to get better.
- Perfection is hopeless. I already knew this of course, but it reinforced the fact that none of us are perfect. Even one of those host admitted it took her a really long time to get into the pose and take the photo because it was so challenging for her. Searching through the hashtag for the challenge (#twistychristmas), I see many variations of the same pose. None of us are perfect -we’re all just a work in progress.
- Most yoga poses are deceptively harder than they look. I’d look at some of the yoga moves and think “no problem!” and then I’d attempt to get into them and they would be way harder than I realized. I can’t believe how twisty some of these people are!
- Getting a really cool Instagram photo is hard work. Most of my Twisty Christmas photos are pretty bad. I procrastinate and wait until the end of the day. I don’t put on an especially cute outfit for them, I don’t have a beautiful house to feature in the photos, and I don’t make sure the lighting is just right. I just take the photo and post it. This really made me realize how much work it is to be an Instagram star! Those beautiful photos don’t just happen! A lot of work goes into the perfect shot.
- Doing yoga every day is a habit I want to continue. We all need more stretching in our lives. I always mean to get in some stretching throughout the day and I rarely do. This challenge has made it more of a habit. Doing yoga before bed is proven to improve sleep quality and decrees the time to fall asleep and I could use improvement in both those areas. Come to think of it, I think it’s working already!
I still have five more days of Twisty Christmas but I’ve learned a lot already. I’m guessing you’ll be seeing some sort of yoga related goal on my 2017 list as well!
When was the last time you were a novice at something? Do you have any interest in a yoga challenge?