Sooooo….it´s May. YAY! This means a lot of things:
- another month to reach goals or to get one step closer to achieving them
- another occasion to get back on track if you need to or to go stronger and better!!
- I finished my second round of Blogilates Journey to Splits Challenge and I GOT INTO THE SPLITS!!! OMG, guys it´s so amazing what our body´s can achieve with dedication and practice! (If you want to get into the splits as well, the link to the challenge is here!)
- I´m starting another challenge, called Mayarmbalance. It´s all about arm balances, duh, since my goals regarding yoga this year are all about arm balances…and splits.
So getting to my story about the splits. Let´s start from the very beginning. When I was around four, five, six years old, something in that range, I had a friend who was a gymnast. One day we celebrated her birthday and she showed everyone how she could do the splits. I thought that was crazy and insane. It looked too unreal to me and I thought her body was just completely different to mine. Her´s could do it, mine wasn´t built for it. Later that day, at home, I told my Mom what my friend could do with her body and that it was kind of scary. My Mom told me that she practices gymnastics and with that also the splits six days a week for hours. I was shocked. That friend unfortunately didn´t last long, she hardly had any time, since she was practicing so much. Well, my life went on, after all I was only a child.
In fifth grade elementary I took a Teakwondo course (anyone wondering, it´s a Korean Martial Art) and our teacher made us stretch for fifteen minutes every session, which was one hour thirty minutes long, only once per week, but nevertheless. Let me tell you, I still remember hurting so much while stretching and hating it. My teacher kept saying to enjoy the stretch. I never could. I never got what she meant. I just held the stretch and wished for it to end.
Then two years later in seventh grade I had a PE teacher who made us stretch a lot as well. The forward bend was the classic. I kind of felt stupid for having two feet of space between my hands and the ground (not lying here, it was that much), while my classmates could easily touch it, not everybody, but some. I then asked her how I could get my hands down, if there was like a trick I could do to get there. Her answer was “Sure you can do it. Just stretch for ten minutes three times a week for about three months and then you´ll get there. I was pretty taken a back and sad that there was no trick to it. I also thought that three times a week were insanely much and I was never going to do that. Years passed again and I started getting into fitness and doing Pilates as I grew older.
After a few years of Pilates I picked up a book about Yoga at the library and started getting into it. That year I also got my discipline together and with the decision to get more flexible I started stretching. I don´t remember exactly how often, I just remember getting closer and closer to the ground the more I stretched and did Yoga. I wanted to be as good as my aunt in Yoga and she could get her heels to touch the ground in downward dog. So I continued practicing. When I finally got the forward bend, getting my hands fully placed on the ground, I was so happy and proud and continued stretching, not stopping there.
At that point I´d fallen in love with stretching.
It made me relax, release tension in my muscles and recover way quicker. Somewhere along the journey (thanks to some Youtube Yogis) I´d learned to breathe into the stretch and I can´t tell you how much that has helped me. I finally understood what my teacher in fifth grade meant “Enjoy the stretch”. Yes, I can enjoy it and it feels amazing!
The goal “Splits” had started being more present as I did more Yoga. Then for my resolutions this year I decided this was the time to go for it, so I did the 30 Day Split Challenge by Blogilates in January. I got a lot closer to the ground, I improved dramatically in those 30 days, but I didn´t get there. From Day 10 on there was like a Plateau for me, a lot happened between Day One and Day Ten. The difference was dramatic, I was so thrilled, but it stopped right there, I couldn´t see any more progress. I started wondering if I was doing something wrong or if the whole recovery part was missing. I paused for two days due to my crazy schedule and then did three days in one session, stretching for about twenty minutes. To be honest it got a little better, but I still didn´t get off that plateau. I´d commited to the challenge and I was going to finish it. So I did. I finished with mixed feelings. From there I continued on stretching moderately, four times a week instead of seven. Two months passed until I finally decided to redo the Challenge this April, promising myself to really get into the stretches deeply and feel every second. So I did. At Day 14 I got fully into the Splits! What a feeling! It was unbelievable! I was lying on the floor laughing out of pure happiness. Saturday was Day 30 and I was astonished by the ease with which I got into my split. It makes me so happy. The day I got into the splits the first time I was overwhelmed of happiness and excitement. It´s all worth it in the end. I keep telling myself that over and over, I can do the splits, I can do anything. I literally went from totally inflexible to the splits!
I enjoyed every day and every minute of stretching. There is a quote that pretty much sums up my feelings now towards stretching:
YES!!! All the time!
So this was it. How I got into the Splits from the very beginning of the story, starting in my childhood. If you want to get into the splits as well and decide to go for the Splits Challenge check out this post and don´t forget to tell me so I can cheer you on!
Changes do happen and if we believe we can achieve.
Happy MAY everybody!
Find me on Instagram: @littlesunshine01