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A Yoga with Adriene series

Yoga is perhaps one of the most popular forms of exercise across the globe because of its many benefits and ability to appeal to a wide range of people.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a bit of a yoga freak. I’ve written a more in-depth post as to why yoga is so great, but I love the positive impact it has on my mind, body and wellbeing. Since starting yoga, I’ve become stronger, more accepting of who I am, more open-minded, more positive, more flexible, more grateful… You get the picture.

I’ve followed Adriene Mishler’s Yoga with Adriene YouTube series for several years now. She offers a huge range of yoga tutorials from beginners to more advanced to yoga for back pain to yoga for anxiety to yoga for weight loss. There’s something for everyone on her channel.

Like many other people, I love Adriene because she’s warm, motivating, down to earth and accepting. I always come away from one of her yoga tutorials feeling proud of myself and like I’ve achieved something.

Perhaps my favourite part of Yoga with Adriene is the 30-day yoga practices, with the idea being that you build on your foundations to gain more strength, flexibility, balance, awareness and mindfulness over the 30 days.

In this post, I’m going to share my experiences – both good and bad – of Yoga with Adriene’s Dedicate 30 Day Yoga Journey.

I’ve been logging how I’ve felt on each day so I could share an in-depth post of my personal 30-day experience and to show you that no two days are the same. Plus, I hope this post serves as some encouragement to try yoga out if you haven’t already.

What is the Dedicate 30 Day Yoga Journey?

The Yoga with Adriene Dedicate 30 Day Yoga Journey is a free YouTube series with 30 different videos designed for people to follow over a 30-day period.

Disclaimer: I did NOT do this every day for 30 days and had a few months where I did no yoga whatsoever.

Each yoga practice can be easily done at home and every day offers something new to explore, mentally and physically. People of all experiences and abilities can join the Dedicate practice.

Adriene’s whole ethos and mantra are “find what feels good” and she honours that some days you’re going to feel better than others. She also says what’s important is your intention to show up on the mat.

My Dedicate Journey

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In this section, I’m going to outline how I felt each day after the practice according to my yoga journal. I want to do this not only so you guys can see how I got on, but also so I can reflect on my Dedicate Yoga Journey.

When I began this yoga series, my joints were stiffer due to my arthritis, which made my practices harder and lowered my mood. I had a break for a few months as I didn’t come to my yoga practices in the right frame of mind and when I started again, my joints were better anyway, so I progressed a lot quicker.

Day 1 – Discern

  • Couldn’t do the last 10 minutes as I felt weak and tired
  • Felt unfit and my joints were a bit stiff
  • Parts of my body were tight, especially my shoulders
  • Arms, legs and wrists kept going dead
  • Even though I hadn’t done yoga properly for ages, I’d still retained a lot of yoga knowledge

Day 2 – Foundation

  • Did the first 20 minutes of the practice and then finished the final 20 minutes along with the Day 3 practice
  • On the whole, I felt better in my body, more energetic and stronger
  • Most mobile I’ve ever felt since arthritis – left knee didn’t hurt or feel uncomfortable
  • Learned to widen my arms in downward dog

Day 3 – Observe

  • As I completed the remaining 20 minutes of Day 2 along with Day 3, it came up to a 1-hour practice, so I was happy
  • Felt really positive and strong
  • Wrists are weak and hurt when I’m on them for extended periods of time
  • Twisting to my right side is harder than my left side
  • Left leg (due to my arthritic knee) is considerably weaker than my right one

Day 4 – Feel

  • Felt pretty motivated and happy with this workout
  • Core strength has improved a bit
  • Knees hurt when on yoga mat – should use a blanket for support

Day 5 – Flow

  • Didn’t do the last 5 minutes of the practice
  • Was in a bad mood and wasn’t feeling it at all
  • In terms of yoga, I felt I did reasonably well

Day 6 – Core

  • Felt pretty pleased with my abs as they’re fairly strong
  • I enjoyed this yoga practice and was really craving it
  • Helped me feel relaxed and allowed me to put the day behind me

Day 7 – Surya

  • I was really craving this practice
  • At this point, I found it really hard to set an intention and found myself fidgeting a lot whilst doing yoga
  • Right hip always clicked and felt a bit off – probably a postural issue from when left knee was bad and I limped
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Day 8 – Meditate

  • This practice was a weird one for me. Sometimes I felt really still and let everything go but other times I felt fidgety and distracted. However, I think I’ve got better overall in my yoga practices at being still
  • Really felt I needed this practice for my mind and body
  • Left knee felt a bit stiff and painful at times

Day 9 – Divine

  • I felt pretty low on energy and wanted to give up in the last 10 minutes but I decided to push through and I’m proud of myself for it
  • Did Day 8 and Day 9 one after the other
  • I can definitely see all the ways yoga has benefitted my body, especially in flexibility and strength

Day 10 – Expand

  • This day was difficult but I also feel like I smashed it – joints felt good and I felt flexible, strong and confident

Day 11 – Courage

  • I was aiming to do two sessions but I felt weak in my legs and my joints were hurting a bit
  • I’m coming, slowly, to a place of acceptance with my body. Is it the best? Certainly not. Should I lose some weight? Probably. But I’m more at peace with my body now than I ever have been, even though I’m at my biggest. I’m not fat. I’m always going to be curvy and that’s okay. I still have days where I don’t like my body and feel down but they’re becoming less and less frequent. I’m slowly learning to love myself. I’m in a job I enjoy and that I set out to get. I put in the time, hard work and necessary steps to get there. And that’s down to me. I’m surrounded by wonderful people in my life. My family are the best. I’ve got a man who loves me for me no matter what. My friends are amazing. I feel very lucky. I have my own blog. I’m managing to exercise, something I couldn’t have dreamed of when my joints were bad. I’ve grown a lot as a person over the last year. I’m in control of my own life and I’m happy with who I am and what I’ve achieved. Yoga is contributing to this too.

Day 12 – Curate

  • I feel good and went into this practice feeling great
  • I’ve undoubtedly got stronger and more flexible
  • This practice started off easy until the goddess pose and that was TOUGH – my legs were hurting and shaking

Day 13 – Space

  • Enjoyed this practice and I’ve got stronger

Day 14 – Grace

  • Felt calmer from doing this practice

Day 15 – Reveal

  • My first time doing yoga in months as I let work get in the way and it felt amazing. My body is thanking me and I’ve missed yoga so much. It was the first time since my joints got bad that I could kneel properly

Day 16 – Dulce

  • Body was aching from yesterday’s practice but was craving a session
  • Felt nice, stretched out and relaxed

Day 17 – Learn

  • Felt really good in my body and not so tight
  • I could’ve pushed myself a bit harder but I felt very relaxed so I was chilling

Day 18 – Love

  • Practice felt quite difficult as I’d been out of the game for a while
  • Felt good for doing the yoga, both physically and mentally
  • Nicely stretched out
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Day 19 – Listen

  • Practice was pretty hard but I felt strong

Day 20 – Lead

  • Felt I managed the session really well and felt strong and capable
  • My upper body strength has noticeably improved – yay! Just need to work on my wrist strength now

Day 21 – Light

  • Felt unfocused and was lacking energy
  • I’d had lots of sugar the previous few days which I think affected my practice
  • It was a pretty rubbish session
  • I can do better

Day 22 – Steady

  • First day of waking up at 6am (you can read my blog post on how to start your day off right for some more tips on productive morning routines) and embracing an early practice – trying to do this every day
  • This session was hard as I’m not used to morning workouts and I’m terrible at the side plank
  • I feel good – stretched, relaxed and ready for the day ahead

Day 23 – Joy

  • Shoulders were hurting from yesterday’s practice
  • Wanted something a little lower on energy so skipped the side plank section
  • Feel good for showing up on the mat and feel ready for the day ahead

Day 24 – Balance

  • Felt motivated and good about doing yoga
  • Body felt a little tired and I struggled with my balance more than usual
  • Couldn’t manage bow pose

Day 25 – Alive

  • I just wanted to stay in bed but I knew I needed my yoga session
  • Hamstrings were sore from my previous practice
  • Felt good for doing the practice once it had finished

Day 26 – Drop

  • Best I’ve felt during a morning practice and I wanted to continue but I didn’t want to ache for a long exhibition the next day
  • Felt alive and healthy in my body

Day 27 – Power

  • Great session
  • Couldn’t do standing splits on my left leg at all – still considerably weaker than my right leg

Day 28 – Dedicate

  • Loved this session as we did a hip opener – cobbler’s pose – which is one of the only yoga poses I’m truly good at
  • Enjoyed a lighter session
  • I felt ready to enter the day ahead
  • I love yoga

Day 29 – Celebrate

  • Felt I did well but doing lots of work on my legs was difficult
  • Hamstrings are definitely becoming more flexible (thank fuck)
  • When I’m tired, yoga helps me wake up

Day 30 – Liberate

  • Felt a bit weird doing a yoga practice without Adriene’s guidance as day 30 is about doing yoga on your own
  • I was a bit wobbly and clumsy
  • My breathing technique wasn’t quite as good as I was focusing on establishing a routine
  • I feel much stronger and more flexible
  • I’m proud of what I’ve achieved during this 30-day journey

Conclusions

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You can see that my practice varied a lot day by day: some days were great and some days were challenging. And that’s okay. However, as the days went on, I undoubtedly had better practices, felt stronger, became more flexible and found my own rhythm.

Also, my joints didn’t hurt at all in my later practices, which I’m beyond grateful for.

I’ve loved waking up every day to do yoga and the sessions have really helped me relieve stress and tension, and go forward into my day with a positive attitude.

All in all, I’m still a yoga freak and the 30 Day Dedicate Yoga Journey is amazing and inspired me. I’d 100% recommend it for the mental and physical journey, which will help you learn more about yourself as well as become more accepting of yourself.


Do you practice yoga? If so, do you follow any YouTube channels? Would love to hear about some new yoga channels

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