Yoga Free Trial Challenge, Flow #2: L Train Lessons

My Yoga Green Book record has been a little spotty in the past few days. I contemplated deleting the previous posts in the yoga series and acting like nothing happened—a tried-and-true tactic in my 22 years of being EXTRA. However, I found some inspiration to keep on trucking during my daily commute.

I took the L train twice on Monday without a single hitch. There were no breaks in service. No timeouts in tunnels. No “being held momentarily by the train’s dispatcher. I got home in a flash. The delightful and seemingly rare experience prompted me to forget any beef I’ve ever had with the MTA.

It also made me realize that when it’s easy to hate something in our lives, we do. We give weight to the handful of negative encounters in a sea of positive ones—often with good reason. I still shudder when I think of this bug incident from the summer of 2016—and I wasn’t even there.

However, there’s never a good reason to evaluate yourself based solely on your worst traits or days. So here’s a recap of days 5-10 of my free trial challenge. Though the past week was light in yoga, I feel that I’m learning a lot from life in between lessons.

Day 5: Fire it Up! Yoga for a Strong Core with Starbird

This was a great session for a particularly cold November morning. At the beginning, we set an intention for building fire in your gut and applying that passion to something in your life. I thought of this blog, and of social media presence in general. Writing blog posts is simple—especially now, since it’s part of what I do at my internship—but sharing them is where I lose my confidence. This session reminded me to trust my gut and move forward with the things I’m passionate about. It was a really great feeling to take into the office on a Wednesday morning.

Much like day 2, this video asked me to do a backbend—also known as a wheel pose in yoga. I thought of the Wheel of Fortune as I lifted myself from the ground, first to my head and then to my shoulders. Getting back to the ground felt like a game of chance. Luckily, my twenty-something years of life have given me a lot of experience in being generally clumsy. I knew to tuck my head into my chest so I wouldn’t collapse onto my neck. The release wasn’t as slow or graceful as Starbird’s, but it happened!

Day 6: Mindful Meditation with Adrina Nelson

A direct quote from my typed notes will say it best:

I cameback from a work event drunk and watched this 6 minute video. No movement involved. I don’t even care. Not in a bad way. But in a way that’s like—i forgovie myself for my shortcomings. It’s bedtime.

Day 7: Bodyweight Resistance Training with Erica Rascon

Okay so…Friday mornings are for catching up on TGIThursdays.

I woke up with this sole objective in mind, so for the morning’s lesson I chose a 20-minute video from Deeply Rooted Wellness + Yoga. Many of the exercises were new to me but easy to pick up, while challenging different muscle groups than my average day at the gym.

In the afternoon, I took a bus to Philadelphia to spend the weekend with my mom, aunt, and cousins. Family > fitness.

Day 8: N/A

Even better when family = fitness! On Saturday night I went to a club in Philadelphia with my cousin and we danced the night away. The venue had three floors, each playing a different genre: R&B, hip-hop, and reggae. Spending a lively night with family felt like an echo of my Miami Carnival vacation—a much-needed reminder and recharge as winter sets in.

The best type of exercise is the kind that sneaks up on you. It’s fun and feels effortless because you’d do it regardless of your health. Finding that type of self-loving, balanced relationship with fitness is one of the objectives of this yoga challenge, so yes—going to the club on a Saturday night totally counts!

Day 9: Nah

Do you have to make me say it? We stayed out until 4.

My family and I then spent most of Sunday at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. If dodging children speeding recklessly at kneecap level counts as yoga, then I’m a certifiable master.

Day 10: Energizing Morning Flow with Tiana Hill

Call it an unexamined truth: Monday mornings are prime time for fatalistic thinking. I was feeling pretty glum after skipping yoga for two days. The aforementioned idea to delete this post series settled in before my alarm even sounded. All I could think about was how much there was to do and how unfit I was to do it.

I completed half of this lesson before cleaning my room with the video running in the background. I hope to give it another chance later in the month and write a more thorough review. Nevertheless, I did benefit from the time spent away from the yoga mat.

I hate cleaning. I only do it when feeling depressed—or so I thought. A more accurate (and less lazy) assessment, however, is that my room only gets messy when I’m depressed. As I put things in order on Monday morning, it felt like I was putting myself back together.

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