Intentional Movement: A Fresh Start

As many of you know, I have embarked on a personal challenge to complete 108 rounds of Sun Salutations every day for 108 days. Last week I came to a difficult crossroads with the campaign and almost quit.

One of the major reasons why I started this challenge was because I knew that I needed to strengthen my yoga practice. I hadn’t practiced yoga on a regular basis since I had been sick and was undergoing cancer treatments in Australia. During that time, I met Jenni Mears who began as my Reiki practitioner and later became my therapist on so many different levels. In short, she gets me.

This winter, I had some pretty scary emotions start to surface that were wrapped around fear and cancer. I reached out to Jenni and she and I have been meeting regularly via Skype for the past few months. We met last Thursday and it was obvious to her how depleted I was. I am not getting near enough sleep and doing these sun salutations every spare minute throughout my day has left me with very little time to do the necessary things that replenish me and allow for absorption of the practice and ultimately aid in my healing. She suggested I quit the practice and the campaign and place my focus on something that DOES fill me up and nourish me and therefore lead me closer to my intention of going to India.

I woke up the next morning very confident that I would change my focus completely to allow more space for the universe to lead me versus scheduling every single hour of every single day, leaving no room for space, growth and expansion. That morning I did my Shadow Yoga practice of the Balakrama and it felt amazing. I was able to stay focused on my movements and my breath. I felt grounded and strong and it nourished me. It felt like home. I became even more confident that I needed to be doing something different in my practice and I didn’t end up doing my 108 sun salutations on Friday. I did try later in the day, but when I entered into my yoga room, I emotionally could not get off the floor so I didn’t.

After talking to Matt, who is my constant rock, I realized that quitting this campaign is not something that I should do lightly. I am almost to the end and I’ve come this far. I obviously have things that I need to alter, aspects of the campaign that are not serving me or could serve me better, so I’ve taken this last week and a half to evaluate the campaign and I’ve taken time to do the things I was falling behind on.

Birthday Girl xo Soul Sister
Birthday Girl xo Soul Sister

One of the major bonuses and also a major problem with doing 108 sun salutations everysingle day is the amount of energy you start to build. I’m like the energizer bunny. I go go go. Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend and in a matter of 24 hours, I had two birthday celebrations, a Spring Kickoff party and camping at the track – and I still maintained my 108 sun salutations. By Sunday, I should have been exhausted, but instead I cleaned my entire house from top to bottom. This isn’t a good thing. My body needed to rest. I need to find that balance.

In order to find that balance in my practice, I have allowed myself to take a few days off from doing all 108 sun salutations. Since last Thursday, I have taken three days off. In those three days, I still did my yoga – it just looked a lot different from pumping out 108 vinyasa flows. I am incorporating my Shadow Yoga practice into my daily routine and I am doing more Yin and I am playing around with intentional free flowing movement. Sun salutations are very fluid but rigid. There is some room for creativity but this practice has a steady methodical movement. I find that by combining the dogmatic practice of Surya Namaskar with a softer more gentle practice, is allowing for a more dynamic practice overall and by taking a few days in between my 108 sun salutations, allows for more absorption in the practice.

LisaDiederichPhotography_StephanieShrock-15
Another beautiful capture by the ever talented Lisa Diederich, in one of my favorite Shadow Yoga asanas.

So, long story short – I’m making some changes!

For one, I am extending the campaign by one week and I’m giving myself four more days to step down from the sun salutations completely and do another practice that will nourish me. I am going to try hard not to focus on the end result, which has always been about going to India and I am going to focus on a deeper intention of healing and growth. I am slowly learning how to harness all this energy from the sun salutations and turn it inward as a tool for healing.

I am finding a lot of pleasure in teaching yoga and I intend to place more energy on sharing my practice and what I discover along the way.

My blogging will look different. While I feel this almost compulsive need to share my journey, I realize that most of my reflexion needs to happen within and completely uncensored. There are so many invaluable tools that I have learned along the way and that I am continuing to learn and I’d love to pass those on to you. I am learning more and more with every single sun salutation, that true transformation doesn’t occur on the mat but in our daily lives.

I’ll be starting a series of blog posts where I begin to answer the question of, “Why is yoga good for me?” Yoga is is such an individual and personal journey and it can range from being a purely physical practice to becoming a spiritual awakening. It can consist only of breath work or playing outdoors with our loved ones. I can teach yoga to a hundred different people and they can extract a hundred different benefits from the practice, depending on what part of the practice serves their needs. In this first series, I will hit on various benefits from each yoga pose within the Surya Namaskar series and you can extract what qualities suits you best. The cool thing is, you will benefit from all the qualities even if you only place your intention on one aspect of it. That’s the sneaky and really cool thing about yoga!

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More on this later. For now, know that I am deeply appreciative of all your love and support throughout this campaign. I was able to connect with so many of you over the past couple weeks and your constant encouragement has meant everything to me. Thank you, from all corners of my ever expanding heart! You guys are great!!

For more information on Jenni Mears and her incredibly powerful and supportive guidance, check out her page or contact her at heartradiantwomen@gmail.com

Thanks guys and Namaste xo

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