Challenged By My Own Challenge

Here's the beauty of a challenge, especially one that you are posting videos of yourself participating in - some days I don't feel like getting on my mat; some days I just want to curl up in a comfy chair and read a book, but I made a commitment to you guys. It doesn't really matter if you are following along with me or not, I made a commitment to get on my mat and salute the sun and then prove it to you by posting a video of myself. I didn't have a choice. I had to do it.

This has been the hardest and best challenge I've ever done. Not because it was physically challenging, it was actually easier than I thought it was going to be (isn't that the way? you can accomplish a lot more than you give yourself credit for), but because I experienced the satisfaction that comes from stepping up to the plate and doing what I set out to do. I might not have been excited about the first dozen salutes today, but by the time I got to the end I had forgotten all about my excuses, all the reasons that I didn't want to put my body through the motions, and I had found a rhythm to my breath that felt good in my soul. 

Something else that has been interesting about this challenge is that I learned things about myself and my practice. Watching myself on film I noticed tendencies, movement patterns, that I didn't even know I was making! That allowed me to pay more attention to what I was doing. Just because I've forward folded a million times before doesn't mean that I can't find something new in the movement today. It reminded me that I always have the choice to really be in the present moment, to notice everything, or I can move by rote and let my breath be my focus. It's not a question of right and wrong, but of this or that.

I also realized that I get bored easily. I thought the challenge was going to be doing 30 Sun Salutations, but the real challenge was not getting bored with the practice by day 6! I'll freely admit (and there's video evidence of this) that I let myself be a bit creative day to day. I added in lunges, Warrior 3's, Standing Splits, etc. There is benefit in the discipline of doing things a certain way, in a certain order, day in and day out, but there's also benefit in looking into your heart and asking yourself what you want. Some days there were child's poses thrown in as well!

With that, here's Day 27 of the Sun Salute Challenge: