Thursday, September 11, 2014

Yoga Girl Challenge Week 1

In an attempt to continue my journey to better myself, I have begun the Yoga Girl Challenge.

It was started by popular instagrammer Rachel Brathen (yoga_girl) several weeks back. She ultimately chose one challenge participant for a free spot in one of her yoga getaways in Thailand.
The contest aspect of the challenge ended the day I began the challenge, but with such a wonderful daily challenges and quests for self-improvement it seemed a great thing to pursue with or without a "prize" at the end. To me, the journey to better myself and be healthier both mentally and physically is prize enough.

Here were my posts during the first week (request to follow estout18 on Instagram if you'd like to follow along each day).

Day 1: Yoga Every Damn Day. 

I was in a great daily yoga routine 3 years ago - then I separated my shoulder and had to cease and fell way out of practice. I think it's time to fall back into daily practice. It calms me and helps me to focus on the moment at hand. Additionally it is a great way to build balance and body awareness which helps in all of my pursuits.

Day 2 of the yoga girl challenge: Meditation. 

Something I've fallen in and out of since graduating college. It always helps me to calm down and focus on the present. I hope I can do more of it and make it a steadier practice than I have of late. Photo is a headboard to a bed that I focused on while mediating today. The subtle play of light on the wood gave my eyes something to wander while I set my mind to rest.

Day 3 of the yoga girl challenge: Rise and Shine.

Not a hard one for me! I start my work days between 6-6:30 most days. Today was a 6 am start; up at 5:25a and on the road for work by 6a to watch some hydropower and relate it to work stuff. Welcome to Gauley season 2014! 

Mary on Q

Day 4 of the yoga girl challenge: Random Act of Kindness. 

I didn't focus in on trying to do any *one* act today. When I think back on it I did several small random acts of kindness throughout the day. Nothing overly great worth mentioning, but things I didn't need to do that I went out of my way to do to try to make someone else's life a little better. Mandy made a good point when we were discussing it that the challenge is really more of a way to get you to think harder on kind things you can do for others more often - and I couldn't agree more! She also pointed out that random acts of kindness are something we should do more of overall - in these next few weeks of challenge and for life. Truer words... 

Day 5 of the yoga girl challenge: Get Rid of a Bad Habit. Excuses. 

I make them outwardly and I make them inwardly to myself. They're about minor and major things and everything in between. I have been bothered for some time now about the number I make - especially to myself. They need to stop. It won't be easy. But I need to start somewhere! Here's to being more forthcoming with myself and others about all things. No more (or at least significantly fewer) excuses. 

Day 6 of the yoga girl challenge: Start A New Routine. 

How about a new routine of being easier on myself? I'm constantly too hard on myself, my dog, my horses. Cheers to relaxing and letting things be and being proud of where I am and what I've done. 

Day 7 of the yoga girl challenge: Thank You. 

Today, and every day, I am grateful. For my friends and family and their unwavering love and support that truly is humbling and inspiring. For the beautiful place I call home that awes me daily with its demonstrations of beauty. For my menagerie of animals, who while expensive and vexing at times bring me more happiness than anything else. For my good fortune in so many things (brains in my head, food in my stomach, a roof to shelter me, a healthy body). This is a truly wonderful life. So much to be grateful for...and so important to remember it all daily - especially days like today when I'm struggling the most with stress and anxiety that has me at the verge of a mental break down. I'm especially grateful to Mandy for helping me through some exceptionally tough moments today when I know she was busy juggling some big life stresses of her own. <3 you lady. #grateful 

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