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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Playa del Carmen – Yoga District Studio Review

Yoga District is located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It’s in the central location of Calle 26, between Avienda 10 and 15. It’s on the 3rd floor, above the Bio Organicos health food shop.

Website: www.yogadistrict.mx

Address: Calle 26 Nte, #128/5 Av y 10 Av, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The Yoga District Studio

Yoga District is an airy and bright Yoga studio in central Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

There is plenty of room for shoes outside and pigeonholes for your personal belongings inside.

There isn’t air-conditioning at the Yoga studio but there are ceiling fans. The room temperature was comfortable but you’ll start to sweat once you get into the flow of the Vinyasa Yoga class.

There is one wall of floor–to–ceiling mirrors. I’m not the greatest fan of mirrors while practicing Yoga but can understand that some Yoga students want to be bale to check their alignment. As the mirrors are only on one wall you can choose to use the mirror or not.

Yoga Props

I’d recommend bringing our own Yoga mat and use one of Yoga District’s mats under yours for extra cushioning. There are also blocks and straps for use if required.

Yoga District also has complimentary “sweat towels” – you’ll need one.

Yoga Asana Style: Vinyasa

Vinyasa is a flow style of Yoga Asana. A great benefit of Vinyasa Yoga classes is getting a good detox through sweating it all out! I say embrace the sweat!

I attended a 10am Thursday class with the Yoga Teacher Sara. I was the only native English speaker in the class of four students. Sara was great at queuing in both English and Spanish.

There was a lot of Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), Virabhadrasana (Warror II) and Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose), plus variations in the sequence.

The class was great for building upper body strength with all those Chaturanga Dandasana’s (Four Limbed Staff Pose) – really great for the ladies who typically aren’t strong in the arms. And all the standing poses and lunges are great for stability and strength in the legs.

There was also a few more challenging arm balances.

Sara built the class to a nice peak and then ended with the classic sequence of:

  • Savangasana (shoulder stand) 
  • Halasana (Plough Pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)  

I’d also recommend that you have experience with the final Asanas: Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), Halasana (Plough), Matsyasana (Fish Pose) to open the abdomen, chest and throat and is the counter pose to Sarvangasana (Should Stand) and Halasana (Plough Pose).

The class ended with a well deserved 5 minute Savasana.

Recommendation

Yoga District has a nice, relaxed energy and the Yoga Teacher Sara was very approachable and warm. I’d recommend attending a class if you’re in Playa del Carmen.

I’d also recommend that this class be for intermediate Yoga Asana students. Like any Vinyasa Yoga class, as you flow through the Asanas (poses), there isn’t much time for correcting your alignment. This is fine if you know how to “do” the Asana (pose) but concerning if you’re new to Yoga. I’d recommend a Hatha Asana style Yoga class for beginner Yoga students.

After the Yoga class I took my shaky (overly–Warrior-ed) legs downstairs and treated myself to a coconut water from the health food shop.

I felt very invigorated after the Yoga class. It certainly lifted my mood for the rest of the day.

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Yoga Mat Review – Gaiam Suddha

 

It is not always easy to find a good yoga class while travelling. So for my yoga self practice while travelling I invested in a new lightweight travel yoga mat. 

After researching a few different options, I found the Gaiam Sol Suddha 4mm Eco Yoga Mat.

Gaiam Sol Suddha 4mm Eco Yoga Mat overview:

  • Constructed with eco-friendly (thermoplastic elastomer) TPE which is 100% recyclable and biodegradable
  • Unique closed-cell structure blocks moisture, germs and odours from absorbing into the mat
  •  Slip-resistant 

Size & weight

For a travel yoga mat, my biggest consideration was weight. I’m a light traveller, I rarely take more than a carry-on bag, so my travel yoga mat had to as light as possible without being flimsy or too thin. 

The Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat 4mm Eco Yoga Mat meets all my size and weight requirements:

  •  61 x 172 cm, not overly long and the width is pretty standard
  • 4mm thick, cannot feel the floor under me, elbows, hips and knees aren’t getting sore
  • Weighs less than 1 kg. Yes, it’s crazy lightweight!

Design

My Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat yoga mat is double sided with rounded corners – black on one side and grey on the other. The grey side has a pattern and the black side is textured.

I’ve been using the mat grey side up as I’m trying to keep it clean. It does get a little slippery if I’ve been sweating but has good grip for a normal hatha yoga practice. 

It does have some scuff marks on the grey side, nothing too serious. 

Smell

Many yoga mats have a toxic smell when new, especially the cheaper mats. It usually goes away.

The Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat had a mild smell when first purchased. I aired it for a few days and the smell went away. It didn’t not smell as toxic as the cheaper yoga mats.

Sustainability

You really can’t mention the toxic smell of yoga mats without considering their environmental impact.

The Gaiam markets the Suddha as an Eco Mat. This means that it’s made with thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). Gaiam market the Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat as eco-friendly – 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

After Googling TPE, I still have no real idea what this means. 

But I do know that the mat is better quality than the cheaper yoga mats – it smelt less initially and it should last you longer. 

In my opinion this makes the Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat more sustainable than a cheaper yoga mat as you should not have to replace it as quickly and it does not smell as toxic.

Durability

So far, so good. 

I’ve been practicing Hatha style yoga mostly. I’ve started to practice my Vinyasa’s in the Ashtanga style and the mat seems to be holding up and not losing bits of mat.

Cost

The Gaiam Sol Suddha Eco Mat retails at $50 AUD. 

Gaiam’s official website: www.gaiam.com.

You may like to purchase it through my Amazon Store

Overall

At $50, it’s a bit of an investment. But I love my Gaiam Yoga mat – perfect for travel.