Do you practice yoga as often as you’d like to? Or are you new to yoga and just want to try it out?
Practicing yoga every day can make huge improvements in your life — from your flexibility to your mind-body connection. After all, yoga is a type of meditation in itself.
So I challenge you to practice yoga for 31-days and see where your body and mind take you.
Yoga for Mental Flexibility
When I first started practicing yoga over 15-years ago, I was so tight, I could hardly move my body. I asked my yoga teacher what I could do to become more flexible, and her answer was “practice yoga every day”.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that yoga is not necessarily about becoming more flexible on your mat, however it is definitely about more mental flexibility. The more often I practice yoga, the better I feel — mind, body, and soul.
Yoga is also about becoming a better version of yourself, not about comparing yourself to others. I love the saying “keep your eyes on your own matt.” It’s like mind YOUR own business. Pay attention to YOUR breath, YOUR alignment, what feels right in YOUR body. Don’t worry about what anyone else looks like. Yoga is not a competition. Every body is different.
Fitting in a Daily Yoga Practice
Fitting in a daily yoga practice can be a challenge in itself. We recently attended the Chopra Center’s week-long yoga and meditation retreat Seduction of Spirit (I highly recommend this retreat!) And we loved our twice-daily yoga classes with the amazing Claire Diab. If you’re in New Jersey, be sure to check out her classes in person, or you can purchase her yoga videos online.
Since coming home from our retreat we’ve attempted to get to our yoga classes on a more regular basis. We take a great yoga class at our gym three times a week with Christina Ellis. And we took one fantabulous workshop with Tara Stiles when she visited Breath Body Soul (formerly StralaSeattle) recently. The energy and vibe at Breath Body Soul is my kinda yoga. With modern music playing in the background, the instructors encourage you to move into your body and feel each pose. A kind of dance-yoga that I absolutely love.
Playing on Your Yoga Mat
Sometimes, however, life just gets in the way of our making it to class. Lately for us it’s been kittens! Having new kittens is SO much fun that sometimes we just want to stay home and PLAY with them instead of playing on our yoga mats.
And yoga really is a form of PLAY. It should not be a chore, it should not be hard work. Yoga is meant to be FUN. If you’re not having FUN with your yoga class, try another class or a different instructor until you are having FUN. Like Breath Body Soul mentioned above.
Some forms of yoga are more strict and formal, so find one that works well for you.
Join Our 31-Day Yoga Challenge
Last night my husband Kirk and I were lamenting not getting to yoga as often as we’d like to. So we decided to challenge each other to 31-days of Yoga!
Starting tomorrow we are gong to attempt to make it to one yoga class per day for 31-days straight. If we can’t fit in a class one day, we’ll improvise and do our yoga at home. Finding room inside of our sailboat to do yoga is a bit of a challenge, (not to mention kittens running around our mats, lol), but we’ll make it work.
Will you accept our yoga challenge and try to practice 31-days of yoga?
Give Yourself the Gift of Yoga
Just think: after practicing yoga for 31-days straight, you’ll be ready to kick-start your next year with a whole new body and mindset.
A lot of yoga studios offer one-month unlimited passes, so this is a GREAT way to get the most bang for your buck and make each class cost $10 or less. If you are new to yoga, look for new student specials, which can cost even less.
Encourage a friend to join you in your yoga challenge. Having someone to hold you accountable can really help you get to class, and it’s also more fun to practice with a friend.
If you prefer to practice yoga on your own, at home, there are lots of great online courses available. Here are two options: Tara Stiles online course (paid), or try the free videos at Do Yoga With Me. If you’re new to yoga or have some injuries that have prevented you from trying yoga then Chair Yoga may be a great option for you. Check out this Chair Yoga video by my friend Amanda from the Chopra Center for all ages and abilities.
Please leave the comment to let us know how your 31-day yoga challenge went, or your favorite online yoga link?