I recently completed a 25 day yoga challenge, where I took 25 classes in 25 days. Prior to the challenge, I’d been practicing roughly 2 - 3 times a week, and I naively thought it would be easy.
I found out by day 7 that #yogaeverydamnday is actually quite a feat to accomplish, especially if you’re practicing the physical form of yoga (asana), as opposed to one of the 7 other “limbs”. It took some doing to hang in there and make it to day 25, but now that it’s behind me, I want to share with you what I gained from the experience:
Yes, I gained 4 lbs in 25 days. Especially as women, I find we tend to become hyper-focused on the scale, rather than how we look, how we feel, and how much energy we have. At first I was discouraged to see the scale go up instead of down, but once I saw my own Before and After Photos, I realized how ridiculous that was. I had lost fat and gained muscle, and noticed just how much better I looked and felt! The scale is just one measurement of health, and one we really shouldn’t place that much weight on. (Pun intended. ;) )
A stronger, more flexible body
I always knew a lot could change in three and a half weeks, but I was surprised to see just how much I learned within that time frame. I can do poses I had never even tried before, and in my everyday life I feel stronger and more capable. It’s a great feeling, and it keeps me inspired to help others reach their health goals and feel their body’s physical potential, often for the very first time! I'm always amazed at how quickly the body adapts and responds when we move out of our comfort zones.
A deeper connection to my body
While I gained muscle and became physically stronger, I also learned how to tune in to my body’s subtle cues better. I found that doing physical yoga every single day is too much on my body right now, and so I plan to adjust accordingly moving forward. For me that means 3 - 4 classes a week, offset with walks in nature, dinners with friends, and bubble baths to keep me grounded and keep my stress hormones in check. I learned that there’s no point in exercising yourself into exhaustion and that balance is key!
This is by far my favourite one. By going to yoga every day, I’m starting to become part of a community, and have made some really great friends. It’s so nice to meet like-minded people, and to take those friendships off the mat and into coffee shops, nature, and museums. I’m incredibly grateful to have met so many interesting people, and am excited to see where these friendships lead!
Overall, the benefits I gleaned from the challenge were well worth it for me. I even got a free t-shirt, notebook, and $25 gift card from the studio for completing it! That being said, I won't be signing up for their 29 day challenge that starts tomorrow, as part of this process was learning to tune into my body's needs. And that means less physical activity this February, and more self-care, travel, and adventure.
How are you honouring yourself this coming month? If you'd like to learn how to find your balance and tune into your body's cues, get in touch with me for a free consultation!
Have you ever done a challenge like this one? What did you get out of it? I've love to heard about it in the comments below!