First a quick health check in. I had a stomach flu last week. It only lasted one day with my husband, but mine appeared to last two days.

It wasn’t until my period suddenly showed up, a day early, that I realized that part of why I felt so lousy that second day of the flu was because that was my monthly “I feel awful” day.

Other than that, I continue to be healthy. I still have the fear that my health will disappear one day. I’m trying to use that as a healthy fear–making sure that I appreciate each and every day that I am healthy, to not take being healthy for granted. However, that fear also manifests in unhealthy ways, such as never taking a day off and working too hard until I fall over in exhaustion.

Work in progress, right?

And speaking of that, I thought I’d talk a bit about my monthly yoga pose challenge.

Every morning, I do between twenty to thirty minutes of stretching and yoga. It’s a good way to wake myself up, to get the blood flowing, to come more fully into myself.

Some mornings it’s a lot more stretching than yoga. Other mornings I am capable of challenging myself to do more.

For the past two months I’ve given myself a focus pose for the month. This means doing some prep poses beforehand and some different stretches afterward as well, which means changing up my routine every month.

The first month, I did half moon pose. Now, mind you, I started off the month without being able to do this pose at all. I couldn’t get my leg up. I couldn’t balance. My hips were so tight I couldn’t open them up and twist as the pose calls for.

I still tried. Every day. Until finally, by the end of the month, I was holding the pose for the slow count of 30. Mind you, my lower hand was still resting on a block, but that just gives me something else to strive for if I cycle back to this pose at some time.

The second month I chose crow pose. Again, couldn’t even hold myself up at the start of the month, was maintaining the pose for the slow count of 30 by the end of the month. Again, I was doing a modified version of the pose–my arms weren’t completely straight. Something to work on if I cycle back to this pose.

This month I’ve chosen full boat pose. I can mostly do a modified version, but for this month, I’m trying to do the full position. This means getting my legs up, knees bent, calves parallel to the floor before I straighten out my legs.

I cannot do the full pose at this time. I don’t have the core strength to get into the full V, let alone hold it. I can raise my legs for the count of thirty, but that’s about it. I can’t raise them as high as they should go for this pose.

Don’t know if I’ll be able to master this pose. Not the point. The point is to try a new pose, add different poses to my routine to prepare me for the focus pose and to stretch me out afterward.

A year ago, I was struggling to make sure that I stretched every day. There were far too many days when I woke up in too much pain for me to even do that.

Being healthy enough to challenge myself physically when I work out astonished me, each and every day.