Hi Everyone! For those of you who followed my Instastory in October, you know that I spent the month doing a 30-day yoga challenge at my local studio, YYoga! I had been wanting to do a yoga challenge for a while, but it never seemed to work with my schedule. Finally though, this was the month and I was going to make it happen!
I’m not sure what I was expecting going into the challenge – a peaceful, 30-day yogic bliss? A brutal, intense struggle to the end? Haha a bit of both? None the less, I was excited to start and see where the journey would lead! I really like to mix up my workouts, so I love that YYoga has so many different kinds of classes. Between an afternoon core class, Sunday morning spin, lunchtime flow, or an evening power, the options are pretty much endless!
I definitely grew as a yogi over the 30 days. I learned things about myself, increased my strength, and felt more balanced and grounded at the end of the challenge! After 30 classes in 30 days, here are some of the lessons that I learned:
Week 1 – Practicing Kindness
I started the challenge off with a very gung-ho attitude, I was ready to rock it! So it was quite fitting that on day one, my teacher Erin reminded us all about a sustainable yoga practice. We’re embarking on a long journey, and it’s important to remember that. It’s not healthy to overwork ourselves or push our bodies to their breaking point.
One of my biggest personal struggles took place in week one, which was not completing a class one of the days. To be fair, it was Thanksgiving, and I was pretty burnt out from my first eight days of the challenge. I had also done two classes the day before. So I took the day to listen to my body and rest. I still did 30 classes in 30 days, but not one class a day for 30 days. That’s so hard for me. The perfectionist in me says that I failed, and didn’t “really” do the 30-day challenge that I set out to… Even though I know that’s not true!
I spent the next three weeks looking at that one empty square without a sticker (we would put stickers beside our name for each day/class) and reassuring myself that I had done two classes the day before, and that it was OK! I still achieved a huge milestone! This was a really good lesson in practicing kindness and not being so hard on myself.
Week 2 – “No Time” Excuse
By week two, I felt like I had a good groove going. I was used to scheduling my day around my yoga class, making sure I fit in a class where I could. Between the three studios nearby, and multiple classes at each studio – it was easy to make it work. Lesson number two – the excuse that I don’t have time is total BS! If going to a yoga class is important to me, I make time for it! I make it a priority. This was eye opening in shifting the way I think about my schedule each day, and making time for those important commitments.
Week 3 – Slowing Down
I love power and flow yoga classes – they keep me moving, are challenging, and my mind can’t wander as easily. But this can come back to bite me as I have a tendency to push myself too hard sometimes. Which was only magnified by my daily yoga classes during the challenge. So throughout the week, I practiced slowing down, and not pushing myself to the very edge every class. I didn’t need to explore the full variation of poses in every sequence, I could do the modifications and that was OK! I had a teacher, Rebekka, talk about how this is especially important in the fall, as we all have less energy this time of year. It’s about moving slower, and taking the time that our body needs in each pose and throughout the day to feel grounded.
Week 4 – Listening to my Body
After slowing things down in week three, I was feeling much better and ready for the final push of the challenge! Still, that meant not over-doing things and listening to my body during my practice. Coming to the space on my mat is “me-time”, so I want to feel rejuvenated and balanced after my yoga practice. I want to get what my body needs out of a yoga class, and for that to happen I need to be in tune with my body and what it’s craving that day!
I’m so proud of myself for completing my first 30-day yoga challenge! I’m excited to take the lessons that I learned and apply them as I continue to grow in my practice – making time for yoga classes, practicing kindness, slowing down, and listening to my body!
While doing a yoga class every single day isn’t realistic or sustainable for me, I am happy that I did the challenge! It’s encouraged me to do more classes overall, and incorporate smaller yoga flows and breathing into my daily routine! And I’ll definitely be participating in the next 30-day challenge!
I’d love to hear if you have an experience with a fitness challenge! How was it?! What did you learn? Have you taken those lessons with you into your daily life?
P.S. Here’s a good laugh – my dad and I on our last day of the challenge, all sweaty and red-faced after a hot yoga class! ????