Week 6: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

It’s fair say that the last few weeks of my Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days challenge have been very difficult.

My long-term travelling has been a gift but does sometimes make daily Yoga tough. But I’m still determined to finish these weekly updates to try to understand the complexities that help form a Yoga habit and share them here at The Yoga Class. Here is Week 6…

I ended Week 5 of forming my daily yoga habit in New York City and spend half of Week 6 there too. The City has been epic! It was my second trip to New York City and I’m blown away by its energy, beauty and rawness.

 

Week 6: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 3 of 7 days

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 0 of 7 days

·      Number of days I didn’t practice either Yoga or Mediation: 4 of 7 days

Days 36 – 38 of 66 Days

New York City

After a few days in the Big Apple my daily Yoga and Meditation mojo was at an all time low. This meant no practice for three days! Feeling guilty much?!

Day 39 of 66 Days

New York City – Lima, Peru

Transit day to Peru from New York, via Florida = an 18 hour day. These are the days when travelling doesn’t seem so appealing! Alas to say that I didn’t get to roll out my Yoga mat today. Ah, transit days, unfortunately a necessary evil sometimes!

 Days 40 – 42 of 66 Days

Lima, Peru

Slowly getting some Yoga and Mediation back in South America! It’s my first time of the Continent and so far I like Peru and can’t wait to see and explore more!

I managed to practice both Yoga and a guided Mediation every morning, it helped that four nights in Lima were deemed New York recovery days.

Onto Week 7!

Namaste.

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Week 5: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

After a somewhat unsuccessful Week 4 I decided that I needed to change my perspective about my daily Yoga and Meditation practice.

I was using travelling and being in transit as excuses not to even try to meet my goal of daily Yoga and Meditation practice. After Week 4 where I pretty much gave myself permission to not meet my goal of practicing Yoga and Meditation everyday for 66 days.

I think the reality is that there will always be something – whether it be travelling or being too tired not thinking that there is enough time – to practice Yoga and Meditation daily. And ultimately are these just all excuses? Regardless of how convincing they seem at the time.

Week 5: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 4 of 7 days

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 1 of 7 days

·      Number of days I didn’t practice either Yoga or Mediation: 2 of 7 days

Day 29 of 66

Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica

On Day 29, we transited from Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica. I made sure to practice Yoga in the morning prior to making our way to catch the bus to San Jose.

No Meditation practice though, but baby steps to implementing what I know works for me – morning practice.

Day 30 of 66

San Jose, Costa Rica

Day 30 and I did manage to practice both Yoga and Meditation – but in the afternoon. I’m still having a hard time always implementing a morning practice *sigh*.

Day 31 of 66

San Jose, Costa Rica to New York City, U.S.A

Day 31 and another transit day – this time from San Jose, Costa Rica to New York City.  We’re ultimately trying to get to South America and it turns out that a good option is to go via the United States – it doesn’t make too much sense but….

It also meant a reasonably early start to the day in San Jose. So, I left my Yoga mat unrolled the night and got straight onto it the moment I woke up. No bathroom stop, no getting distracted – just Yoga and Meditation.

I started my Yoga sequence with some mat asanas (poses). Read: rolling around on my back for a bit and then I immediately practiced a Guided Meditation straight after my Yoga asana practice.

Day 32 of 66 Days

New York City to Philadelphia to New York City, U.S.A

Today was a rough day. We didn’t get to our hotel until after midnight and was up by 5.30am to get to Philadelphia for an impromptu family get-together and then back to New York.

I know, no excuses but there was zero time in the day to practice.

Day 33 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

Wow – how time flies by – Day 33 is half way through my 66 days of forming a daily Yoga and Meditation practice. I did manage to practice both Yoga and Mediation despite the epic day yesterday.

Day 34 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

No practice today. It’s fair to say that New York kicked my butt a bit. The City is fantastic and there is so much to do and see – plenty of days spent walking around seeing everything the City has to offer. While it’s been great it has also meant mild exhaustion – I’m getting soft after a month in the Nicaraguan jungle!

Day 35 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

Today I practiced both Yoga and Meditation in the morning in our tiny New York hotel room. And again, I just practiced as soon as I woke up. 

Lessons learned half way through forming a daily Yoga and Meditation habit:

1.     Mind set is a huge part of the process – it may seem obvious but it’s still a big obstacle to overcome. If I think I’m too tired or busy then my practice won’t happen.

2.     For me, morning Yoga and Meditation practice works best. Then my practice is done for the day. No wasting mental energy thinking about having to practice throughout the day. And, even bigger, not feeling guilty about not having practiced yet.

3.     Practice Yoga and Meditation together as one practice

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Week 4: Forming a Daily Yoga Practice in 66 Days

Week 4 of 10: Forming a Daily Yoga Practice in 6 Days has been the most challenging week so far. I spent 2 of the 7 days in transit. And although the days weren’t particularly grueling, those days still took their toll.

We left Playa Maderas, Nicaragua on Day 22, transited to San Juan del Sur for the night so we could catch an early taxi to the border. We transited across the border to Costa Rica on Day 23 – it was a long but smooth travel day.  

We arrived in Monterverde, Costa Rica in the late afternoon, it was already getting dark but we made it to our accommodation with no problems. Monteverde is so much cooler than Playa Maderas and it was a welcome change.

On Day 25 I didn’t practice either Yoga or Meditation – the first day since the beginning of the 66 day forming a daily Yoga practice challenge.

And I only practiced both Yoga and Meditation on 3 days of Week 4 – I’m disappointed in myself. I’m also feeling that my premonitions about having difficulty keeping up my daily practice when travelling quickly was a self fulfilling prophecy – meaning that I told myself that I would fail. And then I did.

Here’s my summary of my daily Yoga and Meditation practice struggles of Week 4.

Week 4: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 22 of 66

Today I practiced Yoga and a Guided Meditation in the morning before we made our way to San Juan del Sur for the night before heading to the border to get to Costa Rica.

Even though it was only a 45-minute ride between Playa Maderas and San Juan, I didn’t want to risk there being a reason not to practice if I put my practice off until later in the day.

But I still have difficulty practicing in the morning everyday, even though I know that morning practice is best for me and ensures that I don’t miss a day.

Day 23 of 66

I managed to get in my Yoga practice in before catching a 7.30am taxi to the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Unfortunately I did not practice Meditation.

Day 24 of 66

The second day in Monteverde, I had gotten over the tiredness from being in transit for 2 days.

Today I practiced Yoga and Guided Meditation in the morning before we headed to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. The Cloud Forrest is beautiful and serene and worth the effort to get there.

Day 25 of 66

No Yoga or Meditation practice today – the first day since starting the challenge that I completely missed a day of practice. I was exhausted from hours of walking the previous day. I’m always amazed at how easy it is for me to lose my cardio fitness levels.

Day 26 of 66

Yoga but no Meditation

Day 27 of 66

Yoga and a Guided Meditation

Day 28 of 66

Not at all inspired to practice today. I only manage a Yoga practice but no Meditation *sigh*.

My plan is to ensure that I practice early in the morning and practice Meditation straight after Yoga practice. I need to change my mindset and not let travelling be an excuse not to practice Yoga and Meditation daily.

Onto to Week 5 – more changes as we travel on from Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica and then up to New York City and Philadelphia –  and hopefully a change in my mindset too.

Namaste

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Week 3: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Finishing Week 3 of Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days also means the last week of our stay in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua. It’s been a very relaxing one-month stay here with lots of surfing, yoga and hammock-ing (with Mimca our almost pet cat for the month).

During Week 3 I started my daily Yoga and Meditation practice by doing my daily Yoga and Meditation in the mornings only. I feel less guilty practicing in the morning because I’ve already completed by practiced for the day and don’t waste mental energy unnecessarily thinking that I still have to practice throughout the day. It also means that on those days I feel calmer and more centered for the majority of the day.

But by Day 2 of Week 3 I started having a difficult time with my Meditation. I was getting distracted about thinking about future travel plans and I guess itchy feet to move onto our next destination – Costa Rica.

Week 3: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 15

It is just over 2 weeks into my 66 days of daily Yoga and Meditation. Today I practiced Yoga, a Guided Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation.

I was mindful to get my practice done early in the morning because today it’s the weekly run from Playa Maderas to San Juan del Sur for supplies. I know that after we arrive back in Playa Maderas I won’t have the energy to practice. It’s about a 45 minute drive each way and we have a few hours in town to buy groceries and anything else we fancy – making it a pretty long day (well compared to the relaxed lifestyle of Playa Maderas).

Day 16

Today was the start of becoming very distracted in my Meditation practice. I’m pretty good with my Yoga practice but today I only practiced the Guided Meditation.

I was way too distracted in my Mediation – peeking at how many minutes were left half way through. I think that I’ve been getting distracted because we’re getting to pointy end of our stay in Playa Maderas and need to decide where to go next and maybe mud-map the rest of our trip too.

Day 17

Today was a Yoga practice and only a Guided Meditation. Still feeling very off my Meditation on Day 17.

Day 18

Today was a Yoga only practice and has been the only day when I didn’t practice Meditation during Week 3.

I’m not happy with being really off my Mediation this week and disappointed with myself for missing today’s Meditation. But trying not too get too hung up about it, there’s always tomorrow.

Day 19

Today I practiced Yoga, a Guided Meditation and then a Savasana. I’m still not feeling great about my Meditation practice and my Mindfulness Meditation is still nonexistent. But a Guided Meditation is better than no Meditation at all.

Day 20

Today I practiced a mid day Yoga practice and Guided Meditation after breakfast. Not ideal to practice on a full stomach and a little habit I’ve started on my 66 day journey.

My Yoga practice was pretty slow and not focused and then I tried to do a Guided Meditation a little while afterwards but could not focus and didn’t complete the entire Guided Meditation track.

I’m really feeling like I’m entering more of a struggle with my Meditation.

Day 21

Day 21 and the end of 3 weeks of daily Yoga and Meditation. 

Today, I’ve incorporated some more strength moves into my usual Vinyasa sequence by Yoga practice by adding a sequence of:

  • Push ups
  • Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero)

I’m working on increasing my upper body strength because it could be better and this will also help with my arm balances.

Three weeks into my forming a daily Yoga habit in 66 days journey and I’m continuing to practice daily Yoga without too much of a problem with motivation. My Meditation has been the issue, especially in Week 3. I’ve missed 4 our of 21 Meditation sessions over the last 3 weeks. It is definitely my weak spot and I really need to work through this.

So onto Week 4 to focus on improving my Mediation practice.

Namaste

 

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Week 2: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Week 2 of 10 of Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Week 2 of my 66 days of forming a daily Yoga habit and still practicing from the jungle paradise in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua.

I’m finding practicing Yoga daily to be not too much of a challenge, especially while remaining in the one location without too many distractions.

During Week 2 I’ve started to incorporate arm balances into my Yoga sequence. Working on my Bakasana (Crow Pose) and side Crow again after a few months of not practicing. During Week 2 my Bakasanas are very shaky and I’ve had a few crash landings – but that’s half the fun.

Although my daily Yoga is going well, it’s my Meditation practice that has been more difficult; I’ve missed 2 of the 7 Meditations for Week 2.

On the other 5 days when I’ve managed a daily Meditation I’ve had a few days variation from practicing both the Guided and Mindfulness Meditations and just practiced the Guided Meditation. These have mostly on the days when I’ve had a day out – like day tripping to San Juan del Sur on Day 8.

This has given me a little insight into how difficult keeping up a daily Yoga and Meditation practice can be while on the road. We’re off to Costa Rica in one week and I’m working on how I’ll be able to maintain my daily practice while in transit or exhausted from travelling.

By the end of Week 2 I’ve realised that a morning practice combing Yoga, Meditation and a Savasana is working for me best at the moment.

Week 2: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 8

Today was the weekly trip back to San Juan del Sur for supplies. I decided to split my Yoga and Meditation at beginning and the end of the day. Practicing Yoga in the morning and then only doing only a Guided Meditation before bedtime.

Day 9

Very slow start today, I didn’t practice Yoga until in the mid-afternoon. I decided to leave the Meditation until the evening and I ended up practicing a Guided Meditation at bedtime.

Day 10

Today I practiced Yoga but no Meditation. After splitting the practices on Day 8 and Day 9 my intention was to practice Meditation in the evening, unfortunately it somehow never happened.

Day 11

On day 11 I practiced Yoga but no Meditation again today. My intention was to do a before bedtime mediation again but as I was drifting off to sleep I remembered that it never happened.

I’ve recognised that splitting my Yoga and Meditation practice isn’t working for me. I’ve missed two days of Meditation trying before bedtime Meditation. Tomorrow I will try to do both the Yoga and Mediation practice together in the morning.

Day 12

Today I did my Yoga, Meditation practice and then a Savasana all in one sitting in the morning.

I’m thinking that this daily routine in the morning could work better for me. Splitting my Yoga and Meditation practice wasn’t working. I’d end up think about needing to do my Meditation throughout the day – all the energy thinking about Meditating could have been better used just doing the Meditation!

And I do like incorporating the Savasana at the end of my practice, it feels like more of a complete practice this way.

Day 13

Today I did my daily Yoga and Meditation practice in the morning again. Although I practiced after breakfast and I felt a little heavy and lethargic.

So I slowed down the Vinyasa sequence I’ve been working through into a Vinyasa/Yin practice. I held each asana for a few more minutes than usual and worked into my muscles and ligaments and focused more on my body alignment.

I also added the mindfulness Mediation to the Guided Mediation and ended with a Savasana (final relaxation).

It has been very noisy at our bungalow with maintenance work happening throughout the days. It has definitely tested my concentration during Mediation.

However, even with all the noise, I found practicing both the Yoga and the Meditation in one sitting easier than splitting the two.

I feel that I’m getting closer to a daily Yoga and Meditation practice that could suit me – at least when I’m not in transit while travelling.

I’m still thinking about how my daily practice will go when travelling down to Costa Rica and beyond.

Day 14

Wow – two weeks already!

Today I continued to practice in the morning and combine Yoga, Meditation (Guided and Mindful) and then a Savasana as one practice. This routine seems to be working for me for now.

It still continues to be very noisy with maintenance men working away throughout the day and throughout my practice. I’m learning to tune the noise out – it’s not always easy.

I still find that my mind wanders during Meditation but I’m at peace with that – I just follow it wherever it goes and acknowledge the thought (sometime wondering why the hell am I thinking about that!?) and then back to my breath.

I continue to work through my Vinyasa sequence, not a slow as yesterday but just at a leisurely pace. I added Bakasana (Crow Pose) today and it’s still pretty shaky, but I figure that I’ll get there with more practice.

Onto Week 3!

Namaste

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