Harnessing (Week 1)

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Week 1 of my personal 21 day challenge is coming to a close. Not to sound too cliche, but time really does fly when your having fun. Furthermore when you are challenging yourself and expanding your horizons both physically and mentally time passing isn’t just fun, it feels well spent. This has a pretty sweet effect on the brain.  Each practice my sense of self is gaining strength like a flower that has survived apocalyptic frost becoming more vibrant than ever with the suns warmth.

Day 1 evening & into Day 2: I got my alarm set (so I thought), next days outfit laid out, breakfast planned, and my booty in bed early, tuckered out from a full day of classes sleep came easy. Awaking at 5:20am to realize I hadn’t gotten my old school alarm clock down yet (smart phone dependent in so many ways), I didn’t set it right and now had 10 minutes to get somewhere that it physically took 20 minutes to get.  Not thrilled with myself, putting my bra on inside out and leaving it, not brushing my teeth or eating breakfast I raced to class. 11 minutes late and the door was locked.  Temped to cry in frustration I rolled out my mat by the front door and did yoga in the freezing cold from 5:45-6:45am. After all- I made a commitment to myself and I am damn sure going to keep it best I can.  Yoga is big on setting personal intentions during the class.  For my mini self led jam that morning my intention was self forgiveness.

Through a series of events I was reconnected with an old friend, Amy Caldwell, just a week before my challenge.  And as the world has it, we happened to be in places in life where a reunion worked out for both our schedules.  She joined me for an overnight stay and mini yoga detox of her own in the afternoon of day two. Never having done yoga in her life or driven more than an hour from home alone she was jumping outside of her comfort zone to make it out to Modesto.  Considering I didn’t have a cell phone for her to contact me if she needed it was all that much more of a bold move, but we planned ahead and she made it!!  I had still been feeling frustrated with myself from missing my morning class (self forgiveness was never an easy one for me) but connecting with her that afternoon definitely helped me let go and move forward.  I mean, how old school of us.. We made plans 2 days in advance, knew we were meeting at a Starbucks at 3ish and just like magic it happened!  No cell phone needed!! Beautiful.

We all have a handful of friends that time between visits becomes irrelevant once you’re reunited.  I can’t be more impressed with the person Amy has evolved into since we last spoke.

Reunited and it feels SO GOOD
Reunited and it feels SO GOOD

She has passion about the Earth and a thirst for knowledge that I truly look up to.  I feel like during our short visit we both pulled each other up higher.  Naturally she fell in love with yoga.  At the end of the first class she looked over at me and smirked, to which I replied “Welcome to yoga.”  Fuck, it is beautiful bringing people into the yoga world who have never really dabbled before.  It literally makes my soul all warm and mushy feeling.

Day 3: A day of exploration, fruit stands, yoga, reading out loud in parks and limitless catching up between Amy and I.  She parted ways after the last class and I went to watch my friend Miguel play softball. Sitting on the bleachers alone I felt this wave of emotion welling up in my eyes. Emotion that I couldn’t pin point. Emotion that 4 days prior I would have smoked away. Using weed to clear my mind of whatever I couldn’t identify and carry on with my day, but this isn’t just a yoga challenge I am embarking upon. It is a full life challenge, and I don’t smoke weed now. Now I deal with my emotions like a big girl. In healthy ways, even if that just means crying into your friends arms later that evening and releasing all the feelings.

Days 4 & 5:  I am finding a rhythm.  So far I enjoy each instructor thoroughly.  There is so much to learn and so many different styles to teach it!!  My mat is quiet shredded so I will be investing in a new one before my challenge is up instead of rewarding myself with one at the end, but I don’t see this hindering my completion for my challenge. If anything having a real yoga mat will juice me up!

Day 6: There are no classes offered at The Yoga Loft saturday. I recently was told of Koru, a donation based yoga studio down the street from where I live in Oakdale.  They offer an 8:30am class on Saturdays that I decided to explore.  Turned out to be a 2 hour long heated inversion work shop!!! OY VEY.  I got my butt whopped.  I also learned so much. I am grateful to myself for going because not going and having a full day of rest seemed like a practical choice.  It is almost like everyday my whole yoga paradigm expands giving way to new poses, ideas, and possibilities.

Another shift I am testing out during this 21 days is eating paleo.  In essence this means I am to only consume meats, veggies, and fruits. The diet of our ancestors. “BUT- KARISSA WHAT ABOUT THE FOOD PYRAMID?” Lets not forget that at one point in human existence it was believed all around our very spherical globe that, in fact, our planet was FLAT.  So to these food pyramid enthusiasts I lovingly say…  You can continue to believe everything you’re told, but me? I am questioning things these days, thanks anyway for your concern.  Dairy and grains may be delicious, but with them come a heap of health issues. Duh, most of the big boys up top encourage us to consume from the agricultural based pyramid, but I have reason to believe that our ancestors that ate things that occurred naturally on this earth had happier, healthier insides, so I am giving it a shot.  I certainly crave the “bad stuff” but overall I am getting the swing of things.  Maybe I won’t be a paleo extremist once this 21 days are up, a girls gotta live a little, but I do see my cooking horizons expanding in healthy ways. And that is all I am really after.

Day 7:  Today marks one week and I feel great.  No smart phone is no problem.  I’m proud of myself for taking the step to release the need for constant connection.  I have noticed during my yoga practice I can be considerably affected by music choice.  It can either keep me in that present moment, stoked and flowing, or rip me right off my mat into my head.  I guess a true yogi would be able to maintain yogi-ness no matter what was playing, but as of now I recognize that I am not there yet.

Looking forward to week 2!! I almost am wishing this was just my whole life always. 2 weeks left seems like so not enough. But hey- Who knows whats around which corner, right? XOXO


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