The 40 day program commenced with a group meeting where the wonderful team at my local Yoga studio, Yoga Loft Newcastle, introduced Baron Baptiste’s program and themselves. We are lucky to have such a friendly, experienced, and professional team at the studio! They are generous with their time, wisdom and smiles! When looking for a Yoga studio I highly recommend you focus on the instructors, nothing else.
Looking around the room at the 40 day group I saw a wide variety of people, of all different ages, backgrounds and levels of experience including a number of newcomers which was awesome because the 40 day program offers a great way for those interested in Yoga to begin their journey.
We were asked individually why we were doing the 40 day program and everyone said something different. People were looking to have fun, get fitter, stronger, increase flexibility, complete the challenge, do more Yoga, look better on the beach and join the beautiful community that was developing at the studio.
My personal response when asked was “to refine my practice…”
“Why so serious?”
L’esprit de l’escalier however delivered the truth a short time later. I was really there to focus on taking myself lightly, to have more fun, to laugh more, connect more and continue the transition from a complete Type A to partial type B personality! :)-
For me personally after 15 years of being caught up in the rat race, running businesses, working in corporate for soulless corporations, and being focused on delivering million dollar sales targets it’s been a pleasure to discover the retreat and spiritual practice of hot power Vinyasa Yoga.
And it’s got to be hot… if the room’s not heated it just isn’t the same!
Yoga seems to be wearing down my ego, the seriousness, the desire to do more in less time, acquire more, perform at a higher level, and be the best all the time. It’s allowing me to connect with who I really am and what I really want which is to create, connect, contribute, live authentically and leave a valuable legacy.
In the state of Rinsed Bliss I come back to these things, and it’s beautiful, raw and real. The more I practice, the more I move away from the damaging ego related drivers and the more the good things manifest in my life.
“Wherever you are. Be there.”
The focus of week 1 of the 40 day program has been on “Presence”. This means being aware and ensuring that you’re living in the moment – not caught up in the past or the future. Often we spend so much of our time in one of these two states that we miss the beauty of the now. Through daily meditation practice this becomes easier and this week I have managed to meditate twice each day noticing the clarity and presence this brings. Make the time for meditation it’s worth it!
“Rise above the battlefield of your mind.”
I have completed 6 Hot Yoga classes this week. Earlier on in the week I approached my Yoga practice with much enthusiasm and vigour. Towards the end of the week my body was fatigued and I found the classes more difficult.
I noticed that when I was tired or the classes were more challenging that I had to work harder to overcome the resistance presented by my body and mind – to push through. To stay.
In one particular class I took rest, dropping to the Asana of child’s pose because my thigh muscles were burning and I was fatigued. I hadn’t slept well the night before. I’d had a tough day. I was frustrated, and feeling very doubtful about my ability to not just complete the Asana but the rest of that class!
Once I started to let these doubts in they came at me. All of a sudden I was shaken and doubting my ability.
In the Asana of child’s pose I came back to my breath, back to the present, and in that moment I realised that I had let my mind win. I had surrendered when faced with resistance and as a result I was back in the safe, pleasant, comfortable Asana of child’s pose. I wasn’t growing here. I knew I could complete the Asana so I picked myself up and re commenced my practice. It was tough. I was tired, but I managed to get through and in that moment I felt victorious!
I’m not suggesting that you push yourself past your limits, ignore your body or avoid the Asana of child’s pose when you’re new to Yoga but next time you’re about to run or retreat from an Asana do what you think you can’t and push through – Remember your mind will give up a long time before your body does!
“Stay when you want to run.”
There’s been a lot of talk this week in the Yoga classes about commitment and what this actually means. When we commit we give up the right to choose something better. So often in life we shift our focus, give up, or change direction because a better option comes along. Maybe it’s better right now, better because it’s easier, better because were moving away from pain and towards pleasure.
By staying you win. The more you stay, the better you get, the better you feel, the more disciplined your mind becomes and you incrementally start to build what I call “Yoga esteem” it’s like self-esteem but related to your Yoga practice!
At the conclusion of week 1 the group came together to discuss their 40 day journey so far, and to share what had come up for them during the week. It was interesting listening to other people’s experiences because I found that there was something relevant to my own in some way within what was being shared by each person.
There were a lot of laughs, smiles, and very healthy looking people! Week 2’s theme of “Vitality” was introduced by the instructors and we were all urged to do something amazing this week. To step outside of our comfort zone, to commit to growth. I love this, in fact above my bed I have a poster that says:
“Learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more fears you face, the more you will grow.”
The first week has challenged me. As a result of Rinsed Bliss the revelations and insights have been flowing. Benefits from the 40 day program are beginning to manifest in my life and I’m hearing from other yogi’s that they are experiencing increased focus, energy and reduced stress levels amongst other things!
Much love to my awesome instructors from Yoga Loft Newcastle, and fellow yogi’s who have committed to the 40 day program with me. Thanks for smiling, sharing, and showing up – by showing up you’re winning!
I look forward to sharing my experience at the conclusion of week 2.
See you on the mat!