From November 16 – December 15, 2012 I did my first ever 30 day challenge at Bikram Yoga Burnaby.
30 days. 30 practices.
It was a ride to say the least, with many barrier-shattering firsts.
• I wasn’t the kind of person who did a 6am practice – until I was.
• I couldn’t do a back-to-back practice like some people – until I did. (Pushed that one quickly, by doing 4 practices in 2 days.)
Funny how the biggest hurdles just fell away when I sprung up to make the leap. Two lessons worth sharing:
The 30 day challenge format is not for me.
I do not regret for a second that I did the challenge. It helped me learn what is and is not a fit for my practice, and helped me stretch and grow my boundaries. That said, it was an incredible daily time investment (commute, prep, practice, post, commute). I felt tapped dry and burnt out by the end of it – albeit in a happy, stronger, and energized way. The best indicator was that first day I didn’t have to practice — I didn’t. By the end of the 30 day stretch, the format of the challenge got in the way of my genuine love of the practice (and wore my body out a bit). I’d rather introduce a regular practice (3-4 times per week) into my life and keep that consistent. Long-term commitment for true gains.
Bikram Yoga is definitely a “push to start” recalibration.
Sleep. • Hydration. • Proper nutrition. • Time leadership. • Conscious decisions.
I had to be on my game all month long to make this work and to move through this with intention – since I found everything was magnified in the hot room. If I ate junky the day before, neglected to drink enough water, or tried to fool myself into thinking that 5 hours of sleep is acceptable, the next days’ trip into the studio quickly made the cost of those decisions obvious. (Nothing like negative reinforcement to push you away from unwanted habits!)
All said and done, I would recommend giving the 30 day challenge a try. No sense in slamming doors before even approaching the frame – you never know what you stand to gain.
Breathe, stretch, shake, let it go.