21 Day Yoga Challenge

I always joke that to live in Colorado, there has to be one thing you’re really insufferable about, preferably an outdoor or fitness activity. For me, that one thing is yoga. The longer you stick around here, the more you’ll notice that when I’m on a yoga kick, I am on a Yoga Kick. It makes me feel happy, relaxed, and strong. I love the challenge and the acceptance you get from yoga, and it is something that will always be a part of my life.

As much as I love yoga, however, I get in ruts where I fall into bad habits of, “I’m too busy,” “I’m too out of shape,” “I’m tired and will go tomorrow,” etc. None of this is because I dislike yoga or don’t want to go, I just get apathetic about my fitness and let it fall to the wayside. Thanks to a slew of winter holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s), I had been out of the yoga studio for 6 weeks. The longer I stayed out, the harder it was to go back in.

Then, I read about the 21 Day Yoga Challenge on 6 Different Ways. It gives you 3 simple goals a day: do 1 yoga practice, eat 1 vegetarian meal, and meditate for 15 minutes. This is just what I needed to inspire myself to get back in the studio.

Today is Day 3 of the challenge, and the first day that I will have to do my yoga practice on my own. I’m feeling good about that though, because each day Yoga Journal, the sponsors of the 21 Day Yoga Challenge, provide a different 20-minute yoga video to follow. They have a video each day for beginners and a video each day for more advanced practitioners.

Though I’ve only done the Challenge for 2 days, I have already learned 3 things:

  1. Yoga IS something I need to make a priority in my life. It makes me feel good and that’s one major part of my 2012 mantra of “Do Good. Feel Good. Look Good.”
  2. Meditating 15 minutes a day is a really lovely way to decompress after a long workday. Yoga Journal provides a 15-minute meditation on the Yoga Challenge site as well, so you don’t have to just sit with your eyes closed for 15 minutes wondering what you’re going to have for dinner. The guided meditation allows you to clear your mind and relax.
  3. Though I tend to eat at least one vegetarian meal a day anyways, consciously thinking about what I’m eating makes a big difference in my eating habits. Have I been eating things I wouldn’t normally eat? No. But I am eating 3 meals a day, which I don’t always do, and I’m making conscious decisions about what to put in my body. This goal can easily be adapted going forward to “eat at least 1 meal with vegetables a day,” and that’s good to know.

For those of you who are looking for a belated New Year’s Resolution or just a way to jump start a more conscious way of living, definitely check out the 21 Day Yoga Challenge. It may only be an 18 Day Yoga Challenge for you, but it’s a good place to begin living more healthily.

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