Why Do a Yoga Challenge? (Yoga Challenge: Day 1)

I sat down to write this post with a single word floating around in my head: why.

Today I jumped head-first into a 30 day yoga challenge. I'll be posting throughout the experience, so stay tuned. Photo by http://www.zizka.ca.

Why go through with a 30-Day Yoga Challenge? Why have I put myself up to this? Why, deep-down inside, do I feel the need to do this right now?

Today is Day 1 of my challenge, which I’m doing at the local studio here in Banff, Rocky Mountain Yoga. The challenge involves doing yoga 6 consecutive days and then resting on the 7th. The 7th day can involve forms of yoga other than the physical, such as a journal entry, seated meditation or prayer. Should I need to take two consecutive days off (to go ski touring, for example) I must double up on classes on the 5th day.

I’m not sure if this sounds easy or hard.

Some people test the waters before jumping in, but I’m the kind of person that often dives in, head-first, even when I don’t know how my body or mind will react.   So, a few days ago I paid for a one-month unlimited membership, which forced me to commit to my plan to do yoga for 30 days.

The reasons for joining the challenge are quite straightforward:

1. I needed something to kick start the year 2011. This is not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s simply an incentive to get into a good routine with physical activity, healthy eating (there’s homemade soup on the stove right now), good sleep, disciplined working hours, time for moi, and quality time spent with my life partner.

2. I am pretty convinced that I can reverse the rotten genetics of my family if I dedicate myself to a healthy, balanced lifestyle for the rest of my life.

3. I love the yoga community here in Banff. I am so thankful to be surrounded by such selfless, aware and loving people that have taught me so much over the past three years. I especially have my instructors to thank for their gentle guidance.

Lesson from Day 1

Today as we lay in Savasana, our instructor Mindy said she once heard that one of the best ways to awake from this posture is in the same way you would wake a lover or a small child: with gentleness and tenderness. So, I told myself, “wake up, Meghan, and go out there and be great.” It felt so nice to be so tender with myself. I am often quite the opposite – very hard on myself, setting expectations I’d have to use a trampoline to reach.

At the end of class, Mindy gives us a card with a word and phrase on it. Today mine was “Prosperity: An abundance of wealth has arrived.” This reminded me that my life is already full of wealth if only I can see it that way. Kind of like the legend of the farmer that complained about how poor he was without knowing an oil patch lay under his field.

Of course, if it’s time to be rewarded for all my hard work building my career the past few years, I’ll welcome it with open arms. In the meantime, I’m perfectly content where I’m at.

So, stay tuned for more as I hit the studio for the next month.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2011.


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