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Greatist Challenge: A Month of Yoga, Week 1

Kate Morin looks back on the first week of the Yoga Challenge!
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Three days later and just a tad stretchier, I've come to the end of my first (very short) week of this month's Greatist Challenge: A Month of Yoga. Yay! And if you've decided to join me in this challenge, yay for you, too! But let’s rewind.

Wednesday I started off with an early-morning practice using Tara Stiles's "AM Yoga in Bed" on YouTube and this 25-minute audio guide from Yoga Download— and boy, did I learn a few things. Let’s just say I’m going to need some extra-special motivation if I ever want to get out of bed to do yoga before 7am again… but I'm working on it. Also, I'm very inflexible at that time of the morning. Inspired by my ridiculous lack of early-morning enthusiasm, I've decided another one of my goals this month is to make it to a 7am class. We'll see how that one goes.

Thursday I went to what is currently my favorite workout of the week, Warm Vinyasa with Steven Cheng at New York Health and Racquet Club 23rd St. This 75-minute heated session (the room reaches between 82 and 85 degrees) is possibly my perfect class. It's challenging but doable. It flows, but also pushes you to hold specific poses for a few longer breaths. And it accommodates everyone from beginners to super-advanced students. But what I love most is that I've actually noticed my progress in the few months I've been regularly attending!

Today (Friday) I went to Alignment Yoga with Ash Aviles at New York Health and Racquet Club 21st St (Listed as Hernan Aviles on the schedule for any NYHRC members reading along). This class is focused on relearning and refocusing on the correct alignment for each and every posture, making sure the body is moving efficiently, effectively, and (most importantly) in a way that won't get you hurt! Typically, the classes I go to are faster paced, so it was nice to get back in touch with the correct ways to do each pose, engaging muscles I often forget about (or even forget I had!). Suffice it to say my thighs are going to hurt tomorrow.

This week was an enjoyable start to the challenge, and I'm excited for the weeks ahead! While motivation was a problem at first (6:45 is not a happy-making time for Kate), it’s getting easier. The last two days, I've woken up excited and looking forward to going to class. But the greatest boost was a comment on my first post this week, saying my challenge had inspired one reader to create a list of yoga goals, too. (Thanks, Yogidance!)

While I haven't really been able to cross much off my list yet, I did decide to add some things! Here's the updated must-do list:

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Styles:

Iyengar
ISHTA
Bikram
Antigravity
Restorative
Ashtanga
Kirpalu
Caponyasa
Katonah
Yoga w/ Ropes (Hopefully at Yoga Union!)

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Poses:

Crow
Tripod headstand
Full boat
Wheel
Full Lotus

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Here's a look at my upcoming yoga week, too. I'll fill it in further over the next few days and will tweet from Greatist’s and my personal account with updates on where I'm going to class each day!

Saturday, February 4: Home Practice (TBD which video I'll use— stay tuned to Twitter for an update!)

Sunday, February 5: 11am STRONG class with Mike at Tara Stiles' Strala Yoga (Broadway btwn. Houston and Bleeker, 6th Floor)

Monday, February 6: 5:30pm RELAX class with Tara Stiles at Strala Yoga

Tuesday, February 7: 11am Yin/Yang class at Pure Yoga West

Wednesday, February 8: TBD

Thursday, February 9: Warm Vinyasa with Steven Cheng at NYHRC 23rd St.

Friday, February 10: TBD

Happy Yoga-ing!

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