Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hi, So from March 10, 2012 to April 8, 2012 I participated in the Moksha Yoga London (and London West) 30 day Yoga Challenge. I have been going to this Hot Yoga Studio for a few years off and on and have always enjoyed myself and found it beneficial. I attended 31 days of Yoga in a row (I went to the night before the challenge started so I actually did 31 days). There were days that it was tough...I mean on Thursdays it was my 4th workout of the day! But I did love every minute of it... Here is a little letter I did on my experience... Although I run and am currently training for a full marathon and a half-ironman I often neglect other parts of my training that are crucial to optimal performance. While attending a Friday night class at Moksha Yoga London West I was speaking with D. and amazing instructor. We had a short but powerful conversation about the benefits of daily yoga and bringing that practice into our every day lives. She encouraged me to sign up for the 30 day challenge. I laughed a little, as I the runner, who loves to come to 1 yoga class a week and struggles in that class I thought there is "no way I could ever do that!". I looked at D. again and I realized she was serious. I thought about all the reasons why I continue to come back to Moksha; I feel safe, comfortable, challenged and encouraged. I knew that like Marathon Training this 30 day challenge would be about the process and not the end result. I took that leap and signed up on the spot. I never thought that doing this challenge would have such an impact on my life. I find I do not react as quickly. I take that minute to pause, reflect and appreciate the silence. I am way more efficient in my training as a result of focusing on my breathing. This has helped with tough workouts while swimming, running and cycling. My body has completely changed. In those 30 days I lost 9.2lbs. I ran a very challenging 30km race and last year when I completed it I thought I was in the best shape of my life. It took me 3h12min, this year I went in with no expectations but to trust my training focus on my breathing and enjoy the run. I completed in 2h56mins. I often struggle with knee injuries including the week before the challenge started. I have not had a single issue. For those 30 days "I trusted my Gut" and listened to my body and not what my training scheduled said. I challenged or eased off when my body needed. In the past I would follow that piece of paper and listen to it to tell me how I had to perform. This lead to burnout and injury. Yoga has really taught me to listen to my body. I feel like I am so much more self aware these days. Hot Yoga is not for everyone. I tried many different classes but due to the training schedule I usually did a 60min standard class. Moksha Yoga is a green, clean, hot yoga series that stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind. While all classes are rooted in the Moksha Yoga series, teachers are encouraged to bring their own unique knowledge and experience every time they enter the room to teach. From their Website: For your bod Moksha Yoga builds upper and lower body strength, balance and flexibility, and cardiovascular health. The series also focuses on treating and preventing commonly cranky areas of the body like the lower back, knees and bellybutton lint. The cool part is that every body is welcome and everybody will benefit. For your brain A regular Moksha practice gives us the rare opportunity to slow it all down. The stress reduction associated with yoga helps to calm and balance the nervous system, increase blood flow to the brain, and help you remember where you left your keys. For your breath The average person takes 900 breaths an hour. Moksha Yoga encourages you to make each and every one of them count, on and off the mat. For your being The word Moksha means Freedom. A regular Moksha practice gives us the chance to explore what this means for each of us; whether it's finding freedom from chronic pain, freedom from self judgement, or freedom from playing Angry Bird marathons I am continuing to attend at least one weekly class. I am trying for 2 one 60min Moksha Class and then one 75 or 90min Yin class after my Sunday Long Runs. Check out the Moksha Website for locations near you and more info on the classes! ~Namaste :)

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