fitness

‘I’m an exhausted mum of 3 and I did yoga for 100 days straight. Here’s what happened.’

On the 15th of August 2021, I woke up to the news of the Taliban invading Kabul.

I was two months into the Greater Sydney lockdown, juggling a business from home, helping my eldest boy with remote learning and trying to keep the other two (aged three and five) from causing total chaos. I was in a funk. The world seemed broken, things were spiralling out of control.

On a whim, I decided to commit to 100 days of yoga. 

Watch: 5 Lifestyle hacks to help with anxiety. Post continues below.


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As I write this, I’ve just completed my 101st day of continuous daily yoga practice. Spoiler alert - I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

I’m not writing this to sound smug. And I’m not someone with a great track record of sticking to daily exercise habits. I’m just an exhausted mum who needed to carve some sense of sanity and self out of the daily grind.

Here’s how I did it, and what I learned along the way. 

Lower your expectations.

Let me be clear - when I say 100 days of yoga, I’m talking something every day, even if it was a seven-minute stretch at bedtime. 

With three young boys and a shift-working husband, I was never going to be able to commit to an hour-long daily session. But that’s partly why I did the challenge.

I needed to get out of my own way and realise that just showing up on the mat was enough. I’m very guilty of talking myself out of exercise in the past. Thinking if it wasn’t going to be a full 30 minutes, then why even bother? 

But 10 minutes of yoga is still better than 10 minutes of doom-scrolling while watching old episodes of Friends.

What even is a yoga body, anyway?

OK, I’ll be honest. There was a part of me that hoped at the end of 100 days of yoga I’d have the perfect ‘yoga body’. 

Lithe, toned, strong, sexy. Flaunting my booty on the beach like the ultimate yummy mummy. Ha. 

I guess 100 days of yoga paired with 100 days of not following a model-like diet or doing daily cardio workouts means at the end of my yoga journey I still look pretty much the same. 

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Image: Supplied.

Yes, there are bits of me that are slightly more toned, but about 25 days into my challenge, I realised it was how I felt on the inside that was the biggest transformation, not any kind of outside vanity metric. 

I felt stronger. My back felt good. Daily movement felt easier. I could throw my kids around with a new vitality and I’m absolutely 100 per cent convinced I’m taller. Or at least my posture has improved tenfold. 

I might not have a washboard stomach, but I feel goooood.

Accountability is key.

At the beginning of my challenge, I made a point of telling everyone who’d listen that I was doing it. 

I figured the more people who knew about it, the more accountable I’d be. 

Most importantly, I told my husband and kids what I was doing, and explained I’d love their help in making it happen. 

Because I was so open about it, I had their buy-in from the start. The kids got used to me explaining I needed to disappear for 20 minutes to do my ‘mummy yoga’ while they were watching TV, and sometimes they even joined in. 

Image: Supplied.

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After a while, it became so normal to see me doing my thing on the yoga mat, life carried on around me. 

While it would be lovely to have spent every yoga session in a quiet candle-lit room, accepting that it would sometimes be in the living room in my pyjamas while calling out breakfast instructions to my kids in between poses meant it actually happened. 

It feels good.

Maybe I’m stating the obvious here, but yoga feels good.

My go-to yoga classes during my 100-days were via the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene - and her mantra of ‘find what feels good’ really started to resonate with me. 

The more I did it, the more I realised how happy it made my body. To be present. To ‘take the deepest breath you’ve taken all day’. To stretch, and balance, and twist and bend. To feel good. Delicious. 

Image: Supplied.

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It’s not about standing on your head. 

I remember being in my 20s and attending yoga classes at a studio near Bondi beach. 

The room was full of beautiful young things, and I couldn’t help but feel challenged to push myself harder. To stretch beyond what felt comfortable, and to be able to contort myself into headstands, handstands and backbends. 

It was almost a competitive sport. 

Maybe it was all in my head, but no one wanted to take the ‘easy’ variations. 

I turned 40 a few weeks ago, and the beauty of yoga at home every day is that no one’s watching. Also, no one cares. 

Yes, some days I did yoga flows which left me sweaty and puffed, but other days I chose classes that were more about perfecting deep belly breathing. Or gentle twists to promote good gut health. Or the beauty of a perfectly-still mountain pose. 

Image: Supplied.

Like I said before, it’s about what feels good, not about running off to join Cirque du Soleil. 

So there you have it. I’m hooked. I don’t live a "pure" yogi life. But every day, I show up on my mat, and it’s just for me.

Tips for crafting a daily yoga practice (that you’ll actually stick with): 

  • Even a ten-minute session counts. Some days you’ll have time for longer, but a little bit of yoga movement every day is the best way to build an unbreakable habit.

  • Get a decent yoga mat and invest in a few yoga treats along the way to reward yourself. I gifted myself a beautiful yoga mat spray to make my mat smell gorgeous. 

  • Tell people you’re doing it - especially the people you live with - so that they’ll help keep you accountable and on track. 

  • Get your kids involved. Is there anything cuter than watching your five-year-old sitting like a little yogi and whispering ‘namaste’? 

  • You don’t have to know all the correct names for the postures or invest in super expensive classes. 

  • Do what feels right for you. Do it in activewear or pyjamas. Play background music or don’t. Do it at night, in the morning, or right before you leave for school pick-up in the afternoon. One time I even did a session on the grass next to the local skate park, much to my eight-year-old’s horror. You do you. 

Feature Image: Supplied.