The first anniversary of learning yoga is approaching this month; incidentally it is happening soon after the completion of my first year of living in India.
So, my yoga trainer decided (unilaterally!) that before the first year was up that I and my yoga buddy needed to have at least one session where we each did one hundred Surya Namaskars – aiming for a major milestone to celebrate the occasion. But we were not the only ones who were going for the gold. We roped him in to join us on the ‘marathon’ [I know I exaggerate, but that’s what it felt like] session.
Today being a Sunday allowed for the extra time needed for this feat. So, it was D-day and what a session this was! With very little warm-up, we started counting down.
Can you imagine how it felt after completing that first Surya Namaskar? Yep, “99 to go”. Whew. 😦
The trick was to pace ourselves and divide the larger goal of one hundred Surya Namaskars into sets of ten each. That made it easier to digest – physically and mentally. We averaged about 7 or 8 minutes per set and gave ourselves “generous” breaks between the sets of about 3 minutes each. Enough for a few sips of water and to wipe the dripping sweat off our red faces.
As you may know, each Surya Namaskar is a set in itself – of 12 asanas or postures.
So that means we did 1200 asanas today!
Can you guess how we all felt after completing the 100th one? Unbelievably exhilarated!
I must say it was tough going though. I had done up to 75 in one go (once) – and that was months ago. Since then, my regular class routine has included only 20 or 30 of them, so this felt (really felt!) like a major mountain to climb.
According to our teacher, in addition to getting all the benefits of Surya Namaskar, we could also assume our body had received the benefits of having done something like:
- 40 crunches,
- 50 squats and
- 150 push-ups.
Here’s my personal lesson learned after one year of yoga:
Never, ever underestimate what your body is capable of – no matter how stiff, unused to exercise, dormant or tired it may be…
And the Yoga (if that’s your cuppa tea) bonus:
It works great on energizing your mind too.
Back to the countdown, here’s some of what I told myself during the grueling session:
1. Just do this one…don’t worry about what’s coming next (and next and next…). You can do it.
2. It’s all in your mind…of course, you can do it.
3. Plus my favorite – If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. You can do it.
4. Go ahead and visualize…the 80th one, the 90th, the 95th, the 99th, the 100th, and then…then, the bragging rights!
Thank you. You may applaud now. I think we deserve it, don’t you?. 😉
P.S. We have one more Sunday before that “first yoga anniversary” and there’s some talk about a repeat feat. But, don’t worry, I will resist hard about writing another post so you won’t have to hear me bragging all over again… 🙂