#yogaeverydamnday Taking on the 30 day yoga challenge

Woman doing yoga

Yoga studio - 30 day yoga challenge

Since joining a yoga studio earlier this year I knew I wanted to join their next studio-wide 30 day challenge. I’d scanned back through their Instagram feed and found the posts about the challenge inspiring and I couldn’t wait to join that community and push myself to do #yogaeverydamnday.

I’d previously completed two 7 day challenges on my own as well a 15 in 30 challenge and I found them so motivating to keep going, even when I’d rather be sitting on my couch for an evening of netflix and takeout. I knew the 30 day challenge would be hard, and I had a busy month ahead so it was going to take some serious scheduling, time management and dedication. What I didn’t expect (or maybe just ignored) was how tired my muscles would be from back-to-back classes. I quickly learned it’s important to keep your body nourished as well as active!

How to survive a 30 day challenge

1. Eat healthy and take supplements where necessary

Being healthy isn’t just about physical activity. You can’t eat pizza and pasta and expect your body to get the nutrients it needs. Maintaining proper nutrition will help your body recover and help you get back on the mat faster. This wasn’t an area I excelled at during my challenge and I ended up getting sick 4 days before my challenge ended! I know I don’t get enough protein and amino acids in my semi-vegetarian diet so I’ll definitely be looking into supplements that will help my muscles recover. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!

2. Do your laundry… or go shopping 😉

Going to yoga every day means dressing for yoga every day. Having a few pairs of leggings, tops and bras to rotate through is essential — no one wants to wear the same pants to flow that they wore to hot the day before! Clothes that work well and fit correctly also really improve the experience. Since I was going every day I really started to notice which items I wanted to replace.

3. Make it as easy as possible

I quickly realized it would be a lot easier to fit yoga into my days if I didn’t have to worry about whether I had my mat with me so I gave myself the option of renting. I much prefer my own Manduka mat so I used it as much as possible but I knew it would take the stress off if I didn’t always have to pack my mat. If you’re planning your own challenge I’d definitely consider getting a lightweight, packable travel mat.

Why join a challenge

Sometimes you need to push yourself to do something you might not think you can do. After 30 days of yoga you’ll feel stronger, more confident and amazed that yes, you can find time. It’s also a great opportunity to try new classes and more advanced poses. And hey, it’s also a great excuse to buy new pants 😉

Yoga 30 day challenge

What I learned from my yoga challenge

What I learned from this challenge is that I can do #yogaeverydamnday, even if it’s just a little bit at home in the morning or evening. I also learned that sometimes, you need to give yourself a break. We all have busy lives and conflicting commitments and it’s okay to say, hey I can’t work out today, but I will get this and this done and that will make me feel good. Overall the challenge made me feel really good about myself. I felt stronger and even found classes easier when I used to struggle through them. I know my poses (and their names!) better and even know what to expect in the classes I usually go to. The 30 day challenge definitely made me feel less like a beginner and it made me excited to maintain a yoga routine!

*This post was shared by new yogi, Julie*

5 Life Lessons To Learn From Your Yoga Practice

life lessons from yoga practice

Your yoga practice, those 45 minutes or more that you spend on the yoga mat, give you much more than balance, health and Instagram clicks. They give you some valuable life lessons that mold you silently into a becoming a better yogi and a great person, too! Have you been taking notes? Well, we’ve taken them for you.

5 Life lessons your yoga practice teaches you

1. Every day is not the same

Some days your yoga moves flow seamlessly. One asana after the other, you do a fab job at acing the class in your yoga studio. You return home feeling content, your muscles stretched and worked out just enough.But other days, you seem to be all over the place. Your yoga teacher has to come to the rescue and get you into and out of that complex yoga pose. Just like that, every day in life is not the same. Some days are good, some days are bad. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take each day like you take your yoga class. Give it your best and enjoy it.

2. Take baby steps

Learn to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. We’ve all heard that, right? But we are impatient to get to the finish line. In relationships, at work, while learning a new language or teaching someone, we get restless and want the icing on the cake first. Yoga practice teaches you to start slow and steady. If you don’t take those initial baby steps, you will never be able to get to the complicated moves ahead.

3. This too shall pass

Remember how difficult it gets when you are in that uncomfortable hip opening pose, but you stay in that and embrace it with all your energy. And then it’s over, you are back to your standing pose again. It’s just a few moments of discomfort but they make you appreciate ordinary stance like standing straight or lying down. If you’re going through a bad phase, your yoga practice teaches you to hang in there, it’s just a phase, focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. 

4. Be glamorous and sweaty, be you

You don’t wake up every morning looking like Kim Kardashian or like all those pretty Vancouver yoga girls and Toronto yoga teachers you follow on Instagram. When you do yoga you get sweaty, the foundation won’t stay and you lose the cool new hairstyle you just made while watching a youtube tutorial. But after your yoga class, especially your hot yoga class, you are going to probably go for a shower and step out with a healthy glow. And she’s back, the glamorous diva! Just love yourself for whatever you are, sweaty or pretty. Take this lesson from your yoga practice and embrace yourself the way you are. You’ll get the time to look great and flawless, don’t pressurize yourself and push too hard. You are pretty, always. Yoga is your you time, and sometimes

5. There is never a destination

Is there an end to your yoga practice really? Where do you see yourself a few years from now? Maybe in a different yoga studio, or maybe teaching a yoga class. Wanderlusting? There is no real destination. It’s the journey that matters. Yoga is a beautiful journey, that never stops. And so is life. Stop to smell the flowers. Inhale and exhale. Don’t worry about where you are headed to. Just enjoy the trip.

From the yoga studio to your every day life, your asanas are teaching you something new every day. Stay in touch with your inner self, when you hear your soul, your body won’t need to scream. Share these lessons with your yoga friends and spread the knowledge. Namaste!