I love a good challenge, always have. They have taken numerous forms over the years including poetry competitions, a game show, going vegan, dating a slew of drummers, and running races in zero degree temperatures. (I can be a wee bit competitive).
This past month I took part in a 30-day yoga challenge at Pure Yoga West in NYC and today was my last class! That means rain or shine, 6am or on the road, my arse had to be on the mat and ready to downward dog.
As these things go, the benefits gained from the challenge far exceeded my expectations. Here’s a brief rundown of the lessons I learned/relearned about life thanks to a daily yoga practice:
There will always be an excuse to not do something.
Plan ahead or you will run out of options.
At the end of the day there is no one to motivate you to do something besides you.
Self-discipline is hard.
Every class and teacher is different- and you won’t know what or who you like until you try them.
Very little in life is more physical than mental.
At least one person who loves you won’t be as supportive as you hoped they would be.
At least one person will surprise you with how supportive they will be.
You will reach some goals faster than you thought possible.
Some goals will evade your grasp but you know you tried your best so you’re ok with that.
When doing something everyday, you can view it as a marathon rather than a sprint, allowing yourself more forgiveness on days that are hard (because there will be some that are).
Clear deadlines are friends not enemies.
Clear goals clear clutter.
When in doubt, go for Flexibility, Strength, and Balance.
When still in doubt, focus on the breath. Without it nothing can happen anyway.
Being forced to be present for at least an hour a day is a blessing not a curse.
Some days you may like reaching goals with friends and peers. Other days you may rather go it alone. It’s all good.
Can’t is no more than fear saying don’t.
If you practice something you will get better at it.
When you get better at something you will stop dreading it.
A sense of accomplishment is no small thing.