Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10 Things I Learned from Doing a 60-Day Yoga Challenge

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At the end of June, my exercise routine was all of a sudden interrupted, and I decided to make the best of the unexpected situation by starting my own 60-day yoga challenge. I didn't have any complicated rules - the only rule was that I was going to practice yoga every day for the next 60 days. There was no time requirement, but in the end, I practiced for at least 30 minutes on most days, but there were maybe three or so days when I only practiced for about 10 minutes.

The reason I'm proud that I finished the yoga challenge is because I was very busy and also I traveled a lot during the 60 days. I truly made my daily yoga practice a priority and didn't give in to excuses. I also completed the entire yoga challenge outside of a studio with online classes that I bought for $15 (for a year), so money wasn't an excuse either.

Yoga Collective Online Classes via Groupon

I had bought a Groupon for Yoga Collective sometime last year and decided to finally use it. I can honestly say that that Groupon was the best $15 I've ever spent! There is a wide variety of classes on Yoga Collective, including several beginner yoga series. Andy hasn't taken as many yoga classes as I have, and he always felt a bit intimidated in a studio. After completing one of the beginner series, he now feels much more comfortable in a studio. He also finally upgraded to a Manduka yoga mat, and he says it has made a significant difference, especially for his knees.

One of the classes I love is an easy 30-minute morning flow. It's the perfect way to start your day, get centered and do just the right amount of movement. There are also more wonderful and challenging classes as well as relaxing evening flows. Many classes don't require any props (besides a yoga mat), but a few require a yoga block, a strap or a bolster (I usually use a thick pillow when a bolster is required). I accessed the classes at home, while traveling in the US as well as when I spent time with my parents in Germany.

Here is what I learned from doing the 60-day challenge.

  1. If you make it a priority, you will find time every day to practice yoga. 
  2. Oftentimes it's really all about getting started - many days I planned on only doing a short 10- or 15-minute yoga practice, but once I got going I practiced for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  3. Flexibility truly does increase if you work on it every day. 
  4. I completed this yoga challenge during a very challenging time, and starting every day on my mat truly helped me stay calm and centered (most of the time). 
  5. At first, I had to remind myself to practice, but very soon (after a week or so), something was missing if I didn't practice yoga first thing in the morning, and my body walked to my mat almost on autopilot. 
  6. I documented my daily practice via my IG stories, and that accountability really helped.
  7. I loved inspiring others to be more active in general and to practice yoga because of my daily yoga challenge posts. 
  8. Prior to the challenge, I had done almost daily barre classes at a studio, and I'm happy that because of the yoga challenge, I was able to maintain that level of fitness. 
  9. After the challenge ended, I mixed up my exercise routine a bit more by adding gym workouts and barre classes at a studio back into my routine. However, when life threw me a serious curve ball, I went right back to my mat, and it really helped. 
  10. Doing a yoga challenge is addicting. I'm already planning my next yoga challenge. Why don't you join me? 

Questions: Have you ever done an exercise challenge? If so, what was it? How did you like it? If you have done a yoga challenge before, what was your experience like? 

Be well,