Tuesday, 21 June 2022

46 Days of Yoga

 With my birthday came the closure of this year's birthday challenge - and probably my worst to date.

I hit a wobble early on with planning a World Orienteering Day event that had me spending a number of nights up until the wee hours to get it all done. These nights got a few sun salutations before I crawled into bed. It may have been Week 4 that went a similar way with urgent work projects that needed undisturbed hours of focus, which I get at night. This means that even a 30-minute class was not a reality.

Overall, I've done more yoga these past 46 days than I've done in the past five years, so that's a bonus. And I'm craving more.

I followed videos from Lesley Fightmaster on YouTube. I love her classes.

Biggest successes for me were in loosening up my lower back with Cobra and Upward Dog, improving my yoga push-up posture, deep glute stretches and hip opener with Pigeon Pose and working mobility into my right big toe with Downward Dog. 

After Michael commented here that he thought that Lesley had passed, I went online to find out and discovered this to be true. She sadly took her own life in November 2020. She had spoken about her struggle with depression, but you wouldn't know it from her online class videos. Another confirmation that the real world is not what we see online. 

Even though I wasn't a regular follower, I had done a bunch of her classes here and there and they were the only ones that I liked - after having tried a bunch of instructors. I just clicked with her tone and pace and how she put the classes together. There was no need for me to try any other instructors once I'd discovered her. Learning that she'd passed gave me a bit of a knock - another vibrant, caring, sharing, giving person gone.

This is a nice remembrance post about Lesley on the LA Yoga website.

This closing from the article resonates with me:

At the end of her introduction video on the Fightmaster Yoga YouTube channel, Lesley tells us that our yoga practice can create, “a loving, positive energy that will spread throughout (our) world” and that the greatest benefit of our practice is the community and friendships we form. She continues, “when you make positive changes, they affect everyone around you, making the world better because of you.”

Her videos are indeed a legacy and I'll continue to follow them. Her husband and son are now putting out videos on Lesley's channel - I haven't tried any of them.

There something else about her classes that I really appreciate. 

Each class she ends with us sitting upright on our mat, legs crossed. We put our hands together and then place them on our head, heart and mouth as Lesley says:

Hands to forehead, reminding us to have clear and loving thoughts;
Hands to heart, reminding us to have clear and loving intentions;
Hands to mouth, reminding us to have clear and loving communication.

Good to remember - thank you Lesley.

So, I wouldn't consider myself wildly successful with this year's birthday challenge but I'm taking it that most is better than none and I'm ok with this, especially as the challenge has given me a kick to keep up a regular practice. Not every day, but regular. That's a win.

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