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A Realist Does Yoga: Month Two

Hello!  Welcome back to my monthly segment where I discuss how doing yoga every day (for a minimum of 10 minutes) changes or does not change my life.  Yoga is a healthy habit that I love, but like a lot of natural cures it can boast curing ailments and mental outlooks to the point of extreme and skeptibility.  This is a no holds barred report on what daily yoga really does to oneself through the eyes of a realist and critical thinker!  If you missed the first month, CLICK HERE to read!  (To sum up: month one was enjoyable, nearly cured my almost daily headaches, and I was encouraged by other small changes.)

First Half of Month Two
General Thoughts: When I think about the past two weeks, my main takeaway is I'm still enjoying the discipline and commitment of doing yoga, though towards my final days of this cluster I became more spacey and nearly forgot to practice yoga and had to scramble towards the end of the day to accomplish my daily practice.  I liken this to just being used to doing yoga now and probably mentally taking it for granted.  

Headache Report? I did get a really gnarly headache in the earlier section of this time block, and I couldn't figure out why that happened.  Usually I can pinpoint where my headaches are coming from (allergies, not drinking enough water, etc) but this day baffled me.  It occurred halfway through my day and I couldn't remedy it.  It was kind of mystery, but it was maybe my 4th headache in 40 days, which is generally 30 less than I normally get (especially this time of year) so I'm not complaining.  Not every day can be aces.

Stress Level? There were days I did not handle stress super well (especially on days I did not get enough sleep) and there were days that I was able to compartmentalize unnecessary stewing and get more done.  I do credit yoga for the good days, and I credit sleep deprivation for the bad.  No real mystery there!

General Outlook: I'm a lot more optimistic and have a sense of calm of reaching short term and long term goals.  This was one of my bigger goals in starting a yoga practice, as I was feeling "all the feels" about accomplishing a lot and yet having so far to go.  I finally feel balanced, strong, and open towards the future and am getting more capable at the day to day obstacles. There's a big decision I need to make towards the end of summer that's been looming over me.  If I make it one way I will share that with you as it will be life changing, where if I decide against it life will be business as usual.  I was starting to stress about it but I devised a way to keep a neutral log of how I feel each day about this potential decision and be able to look back in a few months at the tally.  Now I feel less anxious about the whole thing.  

Weird Fact: I had my first good dream.  This sounds weird, but I'm convinced I have a very dark subconscious.  It plays into my comedy sometimes, but otherwise you probably don't see it coming from me.  My earliest dreams I remember are straight up terrifying.  I didn't really grow out of it because as a very young adult a bunch of people died on me and cemented some darkness within me.  Long story short, while I haven't had a straight up "nightmare" in some time I still only get stress dreams or very weird dreams that are a little anxiety inducing.  Any "good" dreams I've ever had are more of a teasing variety (like stuff SO far out of my grasp) that waking up was such a disappointment that it's hard to categorize them as "good" dreams.  Even those are VERY rare.  I'll spare you the details because other people's dreams are SO boring (you're welcome), but I had a really good dream that was only a tad out of my reality but completely feasible for the near future.  I was getting to do stuff that I already do but on a cooler level. There were other weird elements, but they were all happy and weird.  There was no darkness or any stress factors.  I woke up a little sad to find it wasn't my true reality, but I quickly was grateful I even had a good dream and felt ready to conquer my day.  It sounds benign, but if dreaming has never been your friend, having a positive start to your day like this is a huge deal!  I don't know if practicing yoga daily or not made this happen, but the timing is interesting.

Acquiring other healthy habits? I'm back to being (a little) more mindful towards healthy eating.  Also, anytime I feel any discomfort in poses I can breathe through it more easily.
Doing yoga after being on your feet in 6 inch Jeffrey Campbell Barbie Head wedges is...interesting

Pro-Tip: Do yoga BEFORE you spend 7 hours in 6 inch platform heels dancing to an Andrew WK DJ set while you will full on spaz dance to any and all metal songs.  I got to see Andrew WK DJ on June 23rd and that whole day I was slammed, so I technically did yoga close to 3AM the following day when I was home.  (If you're a drinker, do yoga before you go out.  I'm not much of one--the glass in my hand in the above photo is water-- so I knew I'd come home sober and not crashing the second I got home. )  While I did complete a 25 minute yoga session like a boss, my feet were burning!  I usually do yoga barefoot but this night I had to slip on my ballet shoes to put a buffer between the skin of my feet and my yoga mat because the mat was literally rubbing my feet the wrong way.

Second Half of Month Two:

Headache Report:  Like the first half, there was a headache or two that was difficult for me to totally banish.  However, I could locate the origins pretty quickly.  As I mentioned last month, I'm anemic for maybe the 5th time in as many years.  I'm piling on the iron as much as possible and some days I feel normal.  Other days I'm totally run down.  It's on the days I feel drained I get headaches, so I'm assuming the headaches are related.  Semi obviously: yoga does NOT cure anemia!  Ha.

Time management and thoughts on continuing: I'm really scrambling trying to get my yoga practices in.  I haven't necessarily been busier than I was when I first started daily yoga, but I keep thinking I will remember to do yoga later and then space out.  I'm also thinking 10 minutes may not be enough anymore.  I want to do yoga every day for a year (at least) so I'll eventually have to implement the 10 minute rule again.  However, for both commitment and beneficial purposes, I may do 20 minute minimums for the third month to shake things up a bit.*  The benefits of doing yoga seemed to have plateaued with me all around.  I'm thinking a month of 20 minutes a day will both be more physically challenging and therefore more mentally benefitting, and I'll be forced to be more committed to when I do my yoga practices. 

*I wrote this as I was nearing the end of month two and some things have since changed.  Read the last paragraph of this post and check in next time for more details about what has been happening.

Random Observation: This month felt less "milestone-y".  Last month, reaching 20 days and then 30 days were huge accomplishments.  While I'm still enjoying the commitment/ritual, reaching 50 was kind of blasé.  It almost doesn't feel tangible and it feels like a larger number than it should be.  I'm just so used to doing yoga daily that it all blurs together.

Acquiring other healthy habits? I don't think doing yoga is "magical" but I think anytime you adopt a healthy habit it's easy to accrue more healthy habits.  Like attracts like.  Admittedly I thought I'd be eating healthier by now because that tends to happen when I'm working out, but that has NOT happened!  Ha.  It's almost like a pushback in my head or something because I've kept a LOT more junk food in the house than I normally do over the past few weeks.  However, I have started meditating again, practicing an attitude in gratitude, and am getting more disciplined with things I need to do for my career but are not on a deadline per se.  
 It's possibly adopting the healthy habit of daily yoga has inspired me to do that above.

How this month ended and going forward: I actually failed this month's daily yoga practice challenge and the third month will be a fail too.  I made it to day 58 of doing yoga, but failed to do yoga on days 59 and 60.  Day 59 was busy from start to finish and I didn't make it to bed until very late.  I spaced on yoga until I was half asleep and opted to not get up because I was nearly asleep and needed a good night's sleep.  Day 60 I was sick as a dog.

I'd like to say that I immediately picked back up or even did two practices in one day a few times to make up for my missed days.  My golly, I wish!  Honestly, I've had a terrible month three regarding my yoga practice.  I've hid it in smiling outfit photos for this blog and have managed to rally for some IRL events, but I've been ridiculously sick lately.  I'll go into more of this in the next installment of this series.  I will be lumping month three and month four together, as month three there won't be much progress to report.  My apologies, as I wanted this to be daily for way more than about two months.  However, having life and illness interrupt my process has been interesting and I do have a perspective on how that's changed some things.  Until next time, have a great day! 
Lauren-Blair Donovan


  1. I have really been enjoying following this series! It's great to hear how yoga is affecting you. I did yoga for years, but I always felt I needed to go to a class to make myself do it. It's encouraging to see you're getting positive results even just doing 10 minutes a day. I also love how honest you and level you are about the experience! I might have missed this, but are you jut doing yoga? Or are you still doing other exercising as well? (I remember you used to do Krav Maga, I think?)

    1. Thank-you! I'm glad you're enjoying it! Not really. I added doing some arm weights into my routine sporadically but I believe that was it (it's been an off month, hence I'm talking in past tense). Being a little down for the count health wise I couldn't be too ambitious but my goal is to eventually work back up to be a runner.

      Good memory! I WAS doing Krav Maga last spring! I had a Groupon and before my Groupon expired I sprained my wrist (roller blading--not during Krav Maga, because I'm me. Ha!) so I couldn't go the last few weeks. I'd love to do it again but it's so expensive under most circumstances and last spring I was in a sweet spot where I was the healthiest I'd ever been so I could handle Krav Maga, whereas my system could not now. Hopefully one day the planets will align!

      Thanks for the question-I'll def be more clear in the next post because I think it's important to say what I am or am not doing also! Good catch!


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