My 30 Day Yoga Journey

In May I will turn the big 4-0. With that number looming over my head like a black cloud, I realized I wanted to make some changes in my life. I was determined to enter this milestone birthday looking and feeling my best. Having a few regrets on things that I started and never finished, I came up with a list of goals that I finally wanted to check off my 40th bucket list: improve my flexibility and balance, lean out my abs, lengthen my upper body and achieve better handstands. Over and over again I heard from my yogi friends that I needed yoga in my life. They swore that since yoga is the fountain of youth, incorporating a daily practice would significantly change my body while also perfecting my flexibility and handstands.  I’ve done yoga before BUT never partook in a consistent practice. With nothing to lose, I created my very own 30 Day Yoga Challenge – take as many yoga classes as I could for 30 consecutive days to prove if doing #yogaeverydamnday would give me the gains I sought.

Yoga Noho came highly recommended as the premier yoga studio in North Hollywood. This community-based yoga and wellness center is known for its welcoming and nonjudgmental environment, and diverse teaching staff. Owners Michelle and Karen “serve the community with ambition, heart and soul and strive to empower you as you live, love and inspire others.”  Offering over 55 classes a week varying from hatha, kundalini, gentle, vinyasa, power, restorative, yin, and three types of hot classes , Yoga Noho “goes beyond the classes and provides personal assistance to you as you continue to enhance your mind, body and spirit.”

Every Monday and Wednesday I started my day with the 6:45 am morning flow. This all level class moved through a series of postures suitable for both newbies and experienced yogis. Each class built strength and balance and allowed me to practice two of my favorites, headstands and handstands. Tuesdays and Thursdays I sweat in the 7am hot flow class. Unlike many other studios, Yoga Noho uses far infrared technology. Far infrared heat penetrates the fat cells, releases 25% more toxins, and aids with stimulating your metabolism. Friday evenings were for Yin. Yin yoga is a deep stretch class that focuses on passive stretching. Postures are held for anywhere from 3-5 minutes penetrating  deep into connective tissue known as fascia. Get comfortable being uncomfortable as your body opens up and your flexibility increases. Saturdays I focused on my breath work in Kundalini. This class is designed to awaken the Kundalini energy at the base of your spine through movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation and chanting. All I can say is wow. Kundalini is like no other yoga class I have ever experienced. I closed out each week with a Sunday evening restorative class. With the help of props, you use gentle stretching and breathing to allow your mind and body to refresh itself. As you can imagine, I slept like a baby every Sunday night.

Although each teacher has their own unique style, every class begins with you setting an intention or a reminder of something that you want to harvest  throughout your practice. When your mind starts to wonder, come back to your intention and breath. I found myself choosing gratitude as I was so thankful for my teachers, fellow yogis and most importantly, myself for committing to and following through with this 30 day challenge. With each class, the postures became easier to get into and hold, and I saw a significant improvement in my flexibility. I wasn’t the only one who noticed my strides as numerous times my teachers and fellow classmates would acknowledge and congratulate me on my gains. My self-esteem rose through the roof.

Throughout the 30 days, I pushed my body to extremes BUT, I endured some of the best sleep I’ve had all my life, had GREAT focus, increased my flexibility, saw an improvement in my other fitness activities, gained more self-esteem, oh and  I was  told my skin was glowing.  By the end of the month, I had officially drank the Kool-Aid and was telling anyone who was willing to listen how much I love yoga and that #yogaeverydamnday is LIFE! Yoga Noho has gained a new client and I have gained a consistent yoga practice. I set out on a journey to prove to myself that I could achieve certain goals, but ended up learning so much more. “The yoga pose is not the goal.  Becoming flexible is not the goal. Standing on your hands is not the goal.  The goal is to create a space where you were once stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, well… You.” – Rachel Brathen.

Thanks to my 30 Day Yoga Challenge, I truly have grown to love myself.  I’ve expanded my heart and have transformed into a more loving and open version of me. Namaste.

$10+ ($35 two weeks unlimited for new students); Daily; Monday-Friday 6:45 am-8:30 pm, Saturdays 8:45 am-7:15 pm, Sundays 7:30 am-7:15 pm; reserve: here ; 5257 Vineland Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601; 818.761.1705

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