ॐ Mission Accomplished: June 30-Day Yoga Challenge ॐ

On Saturday, I completed my June 30-Day Yoga Challenge at a studio close to my heart, Flow! At 9:45 am, Leah’s class ended and the yoga challenge was done.
In addition to Flow, the last 8 days of the month took me back to Unity Woods for my regular class with Liz and a makeup the day before with Lori, Tranquil Space, and Yoga District’s I Street studio. On Wednesday, I used the “I taught” save. I just wasn’t up for a vigorous led Ashtanga practice that afternoon. 
Click on image if you don’t have bionic eyes.

Friday was awesome and definitely the highlight of the week. It may have even been the best thing to emerge from the entire month, actually.

I wanted to take a particular class at Tranquil Space on Friday, but then I noticed that there would be a sub. I had already taken a class by the sub this month, and one of the goals of the 30-Day Yoga Challenge was to experience the teaching styles of a variety of teachers. So I took advantage of Flow’s “Pay What You Can Final Friday” and registered for Shawn’s Prana Flow® class.
Here’s the thing. I don’t usually go out of my way to take Prana Flow® classes. My first experiences with the style years ago involved few alignment points and lots of hip opening poses, neither of which mesh well with an alignment junkie with tight hips. The most recent Prana Flow® class I took was in the winter. The energy was a little off, or maybe I was distracted. I took Friday’s class on a whim.
I’m so glad I made that choice.
Somewhere in the middle of a mandala (circular movement around the mat) during class, I had an epiphany. I’m actually enjoying this. Whoa. Who am I??
Then it was time for partner work where it was critical to grab a similarly-sized partner. My partner turned out to be a recent quasi-transplanted full-time yoga teacher from New York City looking for leads on yoga teaching and studios in the area. We caught up after class, and then I noticed that another yoga teacher acquaintance – more senior than me – was in the class, and I hooked the NYC teacher up with the DC teacher. Sure, networking in DC is nothing new to me. Networking in DC about yoga teaching though? And actually being able to assist? Completely new.
While I connected the two teachers with each other, Shawn emerged from the studio. Then I learned that she had just taught her last regularly scheduled class in the DC area before moving west. I was anything but a regular in her classes, but it saddens me that DC — and Flow — and is losing such a wonderful spirit and teacher. I can’t believe my incredible fortune to have been able to share one last practice with her and to have the practice coincide with my epiphany.
When I started the 30-Day Yoga Challenge, I was “simply” hoping to re-inspire my yoga teaching and, indirectly, my running. The cliché from doing these types of challenge tends to be something like getting more out of it than you expected, or learning something new about yourself from the experience. Here’s what I learned: Friday showed me that I am way more connected to the DC yoga community than I previously thought.
Finally, attending a group yoga class — even if three of them were ones that I taught — every day for a month forced me to be very vigilant about how my body was feeling. Other than my regular Monday night Iyengar class and a couple of other classes, I dialed down the physical intensity of my practice, particularly in the second half of the month.

And, in case you were wondering, the yoga streak actually ended on Monday, with a yoga 3 class at Tranquil Space.

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