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Hey friends! How has your week been? I stayed home with my little guy Monday (he is feeling much better now, thanks for all the well wishes). Going back to work yesterday felt like I had been off for a week, I had SO MUCH catching up to do. Hoping for a calmer day today.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrapped up my 40 Days to Personal Revolution program, so I thought it would be a good time to recap the experience and share some thoughts. You can find my intro to the program here and my halfway check-in here.
The program focuses on four key components: meditation, diet, yoga, and journaling. I will address each below.
Meditation: Throughout the whole program, you meditate twice daily. The first week started with 5-minute meditations. Each week 5 additional minutes were added, so you end with 30-minute meditations in the 6th week. I was pretty consistent with my meditation throughout the whole experience. I would usually meditate early in the morning, and then again during my lunch break or in the evening. I was pretty on top of my meditations, and meditating the recommended amount until about the 4th week. I just couldn’t always get in two 20 minute meditations, and I didn’t really get it together for the 25 and 30-minute meditations that followed in weeks 5 and 6. I still meditated twice a day, but usually, my meditation sessions were between 10-15 minutes. Despite not following the meditations as suggested (I keep wanting to say as prescribed). I still feel like I got a lot out of them and have been trying to maintain a once daily meditation practice since ending the challenge. I do feel that the meditation helps me to feel more focused, and just in general calmer as I move through my day-to-day life.
Diet: The program focuses on eating healthy, nourishing food and paying attention to when your body needs more cleansing foods (fruits, less dense foods, smaller portions) and when it needs more building foods (larger portions, proteins, spicy foods). There is also a three-day fruit fast built into the fourth week. This area of the program was honestly the one I focused on the least. I did participate in the fruit fast, though I ended it a little early. I also tried to think about what my body seemed to need and how the foods I selected made me feel but otherwise made no significant changes to my diet. I don’t personally feel that my diet needed much of an overhaul, but I do like the idea of focusing on how foods made me feel.
Yoga: The yoga was my favorite part of the program and what initially attracted me to it. We started with a daily 20-minute practice, and added time each week, ending with a 90-minute practice. It was encouraged to practice in the morning, and the recommended practice included a series of vinyasa flows and increasingly challenging poses. To be honest, I never quite made it to 90 minutes a day, I just could not find the time. I was able to get in one 20-60 minute practice each day, and also had a second, 20-30 minute practice at least a few times a week in the last few weeks. While I was not practicing as much as recommended, I still noticed myself getting stronger and more flexible as I moved through the program. I have been a bit less consistent with my yoga practice since the program ended, but am still practicing multiple times a week. Or group also workshopped several poses, which was a really valuable experience for me and I feel really helped my up-dog pose and some other foundational poses.
Journaling: Each week of the program included different journal prompts, which you were expected to sit down to respond to at some point during the week. I did do all my journaling and do see the value in processing thoughts and feelings on paper and taking that time to reflect. However, actually sitting down to do it always seemed like a chore, and I just don’t see myself journaling regularly anytime in the near future.
Takeaway: Overall I feel that this was a really valuable experience for me, that has helped me to become more mindful. My initial goal was to establish an at-home yoga and meditation practice. Even though it may not include as long of practices as I would like, I do feel I accomplished this goal and hope I can make it a lasting routine. I would really recommend this book and program if you are looking to deepen your practice or develop an at-home practice.
If you are brand new to yoga, I would suggest taking some in person or streaming classes before starting the program. The book does provide a great breakdown of poses, but if it is totally new to you, I think having more visual instruction would be helpful.
Question: Have you ever tried a yoga or meditation program? Do you journal?
Hope you have a great day!