What better way to move into spring than with health and a sense of accomplishment?
The tenth annual Yoga Union Yoga Challenge begins April 1st, 2017. We host the yoga challenge every April. We do it primarily for the three reasons:
- It reminds us of the joy that consistent yoga practice brings into our lives.
- It motivates us to emerge from winter hibernation into the glory of spring.
- It builds community through a common goals.
The Yoga Challenge is meant to be empowering. The last thing you want to do is set a goal you can’t attain and then beat yourself up for failing. I’ve been participating in the annual yoga challenge every year running. I haven’t always completed it, but I have received some valuable lessons along the way. I’m happy to share some of what I’ve learned. Below are my essential secrets to ‘success.’
If you follow these steps, you’ll increase your chances of completing the challenge.
1. Sign up
Like every yoga class, the most essential and most challenging part of the Challenge is simply showing up. Signing up doesn’t mean your have to finish the challenge at all costs, but it is an essential first step that will help you get to the finish. There are two highly motivational things about getting your name up on that challenger board.
- It’s a big step from intention to toward action.
- It tells the world you’re setting a goal and helps hold you accountable.
2. Schedule Your Classes
Ask almost anyone who’s done it, “what is the most challenging thing about the Yoga Challenge” and they’ll tell you – scheduling. Getting yourself to class is the biggest challenge of all. By scheduling your classes online you’ll accomplish two essential steps at once.
- You’ll complete the larger challenge that’s hidden inside the challenge – finding time out of your busy schedule to get to the twenty yoga classes.
- You’ll ensure that you don’t show up to a full class and miss out.
3. Ask for support
Whether it’s childcare, meals, house work, or just moral support, it’s likely you’re going need a little help from friends and family. Identify the people in your life who are invested in your health and wellbeing. Tell them what you’re doing and ask for what you need. Ask them if they’d be willing to support you in this. And remember: because this is America; be sure get it in writing so it’ll hold up in court 🙂
4. Mentally Prepare
First of all, a successful challenge doesn’t just mean getting twenty gold stars next to your name. It means learning something about yourself and seizing the opportunity to nurture your own wellbeing so that you can relate to the world with a nice full cup. What kind of attitude do you want to bring into this challenge? We recommend framing each class in two essential ways.
- As a self study
- As a self care practice
These approaches will act as a framework to support what you’re doing on the mat and keep you from overdoing it. When you’re on your 108th chaturanga of the month you might consider “What am I learning about myself right now and how well am I taking care of myself?” If the answers are “nothing” and “not very well,” please consider a different choice. You’re a responsible adult and you’re encouraged to do what you need to do to take care of yourself in each and every yoga class.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Soon, you’ll be outputting more than usual. If at all possible, use the rest of March to onramp by eating well, drinking plenty of water, and getting plenty of rest.
- Food – We recommend a whole food diet. Avoid processed food. Eat things that look, taste, feel, and smell like real food, close to it’s original form.
- Water – To ensure good hydration, drink half your body weight in ounces every day. (So if you’re 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water daily. Keep a water bottle with you. Note how many ounces it holds. Do the math, and keep track of your water consumption). Most of us don’t sleep enough.
- Sleep – Consider when you need to wake up and go to bed in time to get an appropriate amount of sleep. Explore getting more sleep than usual. You’re probably going to benefit from a little extra rest. Note: Netflix is not sleep 🙂
Try to maintain these habits throughout April and beyond if possible.
We wish you a happy, healthy challenge. Please feel free to reach out with your questions. Speak with instructors and other students about your struggles. Share your successes. And COME TO THE PARTy Saturday, May 6th. It’s a celebration in your honor.
See you on the mat!