Sometimes just keeping up with our daily routine is enough to turn the most level-headed of us into total train wrecks.
A great way to introduce some bliss into the daily buzz is to practise yoga on a regular basis. But it takes repetition to make a new habit, and without it you’ll likely wind up skipping the studio.
How do you create a new routine and keep your train on its tracks? A 30-Day Yoga Challenge.
Why 30 days?
The goal is to make yoga a part of your lifestyle rather than something that needs to be squeezed in. And if repetition is the key to making new habits then you’ve got to hit the mat daily. “Thirty days provides a manageable timeframe to challenge ourselves without it being too daunting,” says Mindy Johnstone, owner of Rocky Mountain Yoga (RMY) in Banff, AB.
In other words: it’s totally doable.
Why Sign Up at a Studio?
The self-motivated gurus out there might not need someone checking to see if they’re playing hooky. But most of us need the support of a like-minded community. Mindy uses a sticker chart for the 30-day challengers. There’s nothing quite like a gold-star after Savasana to keep you coming back.
5 Tips for Taking on the Challenge
Mindy shared these tips to make the most out of your challenge:
1. Branch Out. If you’re going to yoga every day, you don’t always have a choice of which class you’ll attend. Try something new. You may discover you love the repetition of Ashtanga or the relaxing qualities of Yin.
2. Schedule It. “This isn’t a yoga challenge, it’s a child-care challenge!” said one of RMY’s challengers. Fitting 30 days of yoga into an already hectic schedule is half the battle, so schedule your classes in advance so you aren’t scrambling to get there.
3. Expect Ups and Downs. You’ll quickly learn that every day is different. You might be kicking up into Handstand one day and curled up in Child’s Pose the next. Know your limits and take a rest if you’re turning into a puddle when you hit the mat.
4. Your Mat Reveals All. How we’re feeling on the mat reveals a lot about what’s going on in our lives off the mat. A wobbly Big Toe Posture may suggest too many late nights and frozen pizzas popped in the oven. Simply take note of these things without judging them.
5. Let Go of Yoga Guilt. You might miss a day here or there and that’s OK! The important thing is that you have fun with your challenge, get back on your mat as soon as you can and do your best.
We guarantee that after 30 days of yoga you’ll be flipping your Downward Dog instead of flipping out.
Can’t find a challenge in your local area? Talk to a local studio (use our city guides) about incorporating this into their annual calendar. Or, get a few friends together, make a chart (don’t forget the stickers!) and hold each other accountable.