Forty Days of Yoga

The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind & the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life. ~B.K.S. Iyengar

I try not to be impulsive. Experience has taught me that rushing in where fools fear to tread and crashing around like a bull in a china shop generally leads to some unedifying results. As I get older and wiser, I sleep on it before I act, publish or send. After all, if it is so awesome, then it can wait 12 hours, right?

Sometimes though, occasionally even, good things come from being spontaneous. Like 40 Days of Yoga.

Recently, I received a newsletter from The Yoga Lunchbox, a website I had recently subscribed to. Kara-Leah Grant, the woman who owns the site was writing a book on creating and sticking to a yoga home practice and wanted a couple of people to act as proof readers and to give feedback on the process. I did not stop to run this idea through my left brain; no logic, rationale or reason. I read it,  immediately emailed Kara and said that I would be happy to volunteer. Why? I have wanted a home practice for years and have never had the discipline to keep to it. Yep, that’s it.

The next day, I received an email saying that I was successful, along with three other people. I felt both silly and nervous, so as I do, I kept it to myself. Quietly, I did the tasks that were sent to me, and didn’t say anything to anybody. A week ago, I was sent the first draft of the book to read, edit and comment on. It was a fairly substantial body of work, and I had 10 days to proof read, line edit and make comments as I saw fit. So I rose early (5 am) and worked on it until the kids got hungry (about 7 am).

From the first page, I was hooked. It’s not about what you practice, it’s not about which poses you do or if you can touch you knee with your nose in a forward bend. None of that matters. What matters is that you turn up to the mat every day and do a mindful yoga practice of  some description. Yes, asanas (postures) are yoga. So are pranayama (mindful breathing), mudras, chanting, meditation…and doing the washing up. Doing the washing up (or cooking, cleaning, gardening or any other menial task) mindfully is called karma yoga. And that counts too. Yoga is a broad school – it is both the way and the destination.

To perform every action artfully is yoga.” ~ Swami Kripalu

I had some interesting realisations while I was reading and doing the exercises:

  1. Yoga and I have a 30 year history. I first started doing yoga with my mother when I was 6.
  2. I believed that I had not managed to maintain a regular home practice within that time because I lacked discipline and commitment. One of the tasks she had me do was to write a list of successes I had achieved in my life and the personal attributes I used to achieve them. Guess what? Discipline and commitment featured strongly in just about all of them. I just haven’t applied them to this area of my life. Yet.
  3. This process started about 6 months ago when this happened, and I wrote about it.
  4. I want to have a home practice; I can have it, and I will have it.
  5. I am going to commit to 40 days of yoga, and I am going to start in two days (Saturday 24th November).
  6. And, I’m not nervous, I’m not worried. I can do it – because I have commitment and discipline – in spades people, in spades!

Just for fun, to keep a journal and to share my experience, I am going to blog throughout the process. Kara-Leah suggested that I declare what I am doing publicly to give myself extra motivation on those days when I just don’t want to do it!

That’s right, 40 days of yoga. And the deal is – if I miss a day, I start again. Yoga in health and sickness, good moods and bad moods, yoga when I am exhausted, yoga when I am manic.

How exciting!

Also, Kara-Leah’s book 40 Days of Yoga – Breaking Down the Barriers to a Home Yoga Practice will likely be released in January 2013, keep an eye on The Yoga Lunchbox for more information: if you are interested in buying the book when it launches, as well as going into the draw to win one of three copies, click here.  If you want a home practice, but for reasons known and unknown you have not been able to do it, I suggest you invest in this book. Truly, it’s a life changer.

Kara-Leah Grant – writer of 40 Days of Yoga

If you want to follow my journey through 40 days of yoga, check it out here:

Day 1

Day2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

39 comments

  1. I love this. I returned to yoga earlier this year. I found an amazing teacher just minutes from my house. I have been wanting to build a home practice too but seem to stumble about, procrastinating, not sure where to start. I look forward to reading of your progress. I have this strange feeling that committing to my yoga will benefit my creative writing. It’s just a hunch really. So very pleased I popped over for a read!

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    • And I am so very pleased that you popped over too! I feel the same about my home practice…and I know my creativity benefits from a regular practice. All I have to do is sit in that space for 5 minutes and the ideas flow! Imagine…

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    • Please thank Rufina for me 🙂 Yes, I am nearly finished. I have known about the crystal skulls, and I have seen pictures of the one called max, but I haven’t paid attention at all. A friend lent me this book and commanded me to read it…and it’s really interesting and quite exciting! I wonder what is so special about them?

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  2. Hey Sara,

    Fabulous the book has motivated and inspired you to start your Forty Days, and great to see you using one of the techniques to stay on track too. May it be the beginning of many forty days of yoga!

    Blessings,
    KL

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    • I am using quite a few of the techniques actually Kara-Leah! I have a closed facebook group with my mum and best friend who are doing it with me, i am journalling every day (blogging), i have allies who check in with me to see how I am going, I plan at the beginning of every day when I will do yoga, I have announced it publicly…and most importantly I have made the commitment. Already i can feel a difference in my state of mind. Gratitude! xxx Sara

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  3. Oh, I will need to get this book when it comes out… it’s the discipline I lack, and yet— as you said, I have done many things in my life with great discipline and commitment. As a writer/editor I need to get back to the grounding of yoga. No doubt my back and shoulders miss it! Kudos to you and bravo for doing this!

    On a side note… I noticed in the photo of your Fairy Queen heading off to school that the background felt very familiar. When I went to the profile, I didn’t see where you live initially but it felt (again) so familiar. I would have guessed Queensland. I spent 3 months in Australia in ’82 and visited with my whole family in 2006. I’m fairly sure I traveled through Taylor’s Arm, or just around there, when hitchhiking from Sidney to Brisbane. Beautiful part of the world. 😉

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    • How wonderful! The world is truly small, isn’t it? We are on the mid-north coast of NSW, about half way between Sydney and Brisbane, in the hinterland. It is most definitely a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for your interest, and i hope this inspires you to get back on your mat!

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  4. […] Voila! A chance encounter with Kara-Leah Grant and her book 40 Days of Yoga led me into…40 Days of Yoga. Using writing, my new space and the 40 days practice, I created a daily yoga practice for myself – and went on a voyage of self discovery. I learnt things about myself that I didn’t know, and emerged a more authentic, disciplined version of myself. […]

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