1. Was it hard to find 10-15 minutes each day to relax? How did you get yourself in the relaxation habit? Describe your commitment level.
Not really hard to find time. I have an ongoing yoga and meditation practice. Difficult to calm the monkey mind.
Some days I would forget until I had reached a point of fatigue - and then remember. I felt I got the most out of it when I would purposely plan when to relax regardless of my energy.
Not hard to find time but difficult to remember to take the time. Scheduled "breaks" helped me stay committed.
Yes, very hard for me. I had to approach it like a task or a chore. I still feel like I should be "doing something" or accomplishing something.
I found it fairly easy to relax. I generally found it nice to relax in the evening before bed. I was not good at relaxing every day - but most.
I took small moments in the morning before getting out of bed to "cuddle" myself and not jump up into the day.
2. Did you notice any changes in your health, mindset/attitude or sleep pattern? What were they?
A bit more ease in challenging situations.
I slept better and more thoroughly. I felt more rested.
I am more focused after relaxing.
My biggest problem has been staying asleep and/or returning to sleep after waking in the night. With the breathing and muscle relaxation techniques I have been able to fall back asleep. Thank you!
I noticed the Deep Relaxation to be restorative in a time of great stress in my life. I started to pay attention to my body more instead of disconnect.
Yes! I liked myself more in that I felt more centered or balanced emotionally.
More present, more grateful, more at ease, more aware, desire to journal, spent extra time in quiet.
Attitude - easier to catch myself in negative patterns. Sleeping - more deep rest, more vivid and lucid dreams.
3. Did your energy change? How?
Yes. My energy decreased but I attribute this to fall and the increasing dark and cold.
Slightly improved. Able to make it through the day and maintain better over all.
Not that I noticed.
I don't seem to be as "on edge" so I think I had more calm energy.
Yes. I found I was more focus and not so scattered.
I think I have more energy in the morning. I reach for coffee less often.
4. What significant learning will you take away from the challenge?
Keep making space.
I really enjoy meditation!
Practice, practice, practice.
Stop and slow down. Even when you are anxious and agitated.
Need more gratitude, more self-acceptance, and to create more sacred time to do some long relaxing poses.
Breathing and posture techniques.
I really enjoyed setting a sankalpa and focusing on that through the practice.
More definite and deliberate use of breathing practices to quiet the mind and body. Use of sankalpa.
5. Did you have any negative experiences with the challenge?
I became more aware of some of my negative habits - but this is actually a positive thing.
At first it was almost agitating to keep on trying to focus on my breath.
Not really - just nagging doubts pushing me to do better.
Guilt for forgetting to take time to relax.
Sometimes I was willful.
I found myself coming to class each week in various mindsets but I always left relaxed and fulfilled.
6. Will you continue any of the practices from the challenge? If so, which ones? If not, why?
Yes, breathing, awareness, making space, and the postures too.
Gratitude meditation, journal - as that is part of my sankalpa, breath work and meditation. I found that to be calming with a cumulative benefit.
Breathing, muscle relaxation, relaxation poses, and sankalpa.
Short 5 minute breaks at work and bedtime relaxation.
Restorative poses - they serve me well. Breath work is a lifelong tool I will always use.
Longer, quiet poses.
Yes, all. I'm planning to make myself a schedule of techniques & poses for my practice.
Breathing techniques, gratitude meditation, setting aside daily "me" time.
Breathing practice, restorative poses, sankalpa.
7. Would you recommend this challenge to a friend?
Yes, and I would do it again myself.
Yes, and to my enemy.
Yes....duh! (smile face here).
8. Do you have a suggestion on how to improve this challenge? Or do you have any other comments that you would like to share?
I would like to have this class extended over the whole session, not just for 30 days. It was so nice to look forward to this every week.
I would like more clearly defined homework.
I missed 2 classes and I wish I didn't. I was so at peace here. I want more. Thank you.
Loved this class!
I will miss the class and Sara's instruction. I hope to attend more classes at Yoga North.
This is the least sweaty yoga class I have ever been to. Useful techniques that will be relevant for every day I have left.
Improvement - maybe add massage or energy work. I love all of your work, Sara. Thank you so much.
The slowing down was lovely. I'm learning the joy of just sitting and doing nothing/everything.
What about a journal focus or specific topic of reflection - but is that relaxation? I guess one focus thinking.
Loved the gonging and crystal bowl. I was hoping for more yoga nidra.
This challenge and my sankalpa have really helped me tune to my body and follow my own truth, especially in situations that were previously stressful.
Thank you all for your comments and for attending class. I really enjoyed teaching this class. Watch for a two hour, deep relaxation workshop coming up in April 2011.