The Soul Hot Yoga 30 day Challenge spoke to me as soon as I saw the advertisement. I had just started coming back to the studio on a regular basis. Intuitively I knew this was something I just had to do.
I wanted to grow. Grow, not only as a student of yoga but also as a teacher. No better way to learn than with a group of 8 amazing teachers, and a beautiful studio atmosphere that makes one feel welcome and at home.
I never had a doubt that I could do 30 consecutive days of yoga. I am a yoga teacher and I do practice every day. But having my own practice that lasts longer than 10 or 15 minutes, and doing poses while teaching and committing yourself to a 60-75 minute practice every day, are two entirely different things. I wanted to dig deeper into my practice. The challenge wouldn’t be just “doing yoga”, the challenge would be doing MY yoga by taking classes that challenged me both physically and mentally while being present throughout my whole practice. Not to mention committing to a 57km commute a day to attend class.
I was ready and excited for the adventure. I scheduled myself for 6 different classes a week with the repeat class being Hot Flow and Hot Core, a couple of the more challenging classes for me. And why not schedule that 2 days in a row, this was supposed to be a challenge, right? Might as well give it my all!
The first 10 days went by quickly. I was enjoying the challenge and seeing good progress early on. Progress in my asanas (postures), progress in my physical body tension- no more back and hip pain, and A-HA moments in my mind, my body and my spirit. I was following and living my life while incorporating the teachings from the 8 limbs of yoga into my every day.
I took beginner classes, to come back to where it all started. I observed other students struggle and had to mentally detach myself from what they had going on their mat. (I did, however, pass my block to a fellow male student that just couldn’t get his revolved triangle…the teacher in me had to help!)
I found a big challenge in coming back to the beginner variation in postures, I hadn’t been using blocks in a forward fold for a very long time. But I wanted and needed to go back to that place. Many times I felt that the teacher was directly talking to me in a room with 30 others, when they would encourage patience with exploration in the posture rather than going right to the full expression of the pose.
During this time I started the Jenn D Yoga 30 day challenge with an amazing group of 18 studio participants, with others following along at home. I was feeling inspirational and motivational being able to relate to their journey. We started out strong and I loved introducing fresh, new material into each and every one of my classes.
Around day 18 of my challenge, I hit a mental road block. I felt like I was too busy, not having time to do housework or general errands, and feeling that I was unavailable more than I was available. I had transitioned from doing so much for others to actually taking care of me and I was feeling guilty. There was no way I was quitting, that never even crossed my mind. I needed to connect back to my why, and remember that I was doing this for me!
The last 10 days of the challenge were solid. I continued to reflect and process things that were coming up for me both emotionally and physically. I felt strong and capable.
But then I started to think about what happens when the challenge is over?…
• Will I still continue to come to classes regularly? Or will I start to find excuses?
• Will I go back to the pattern of putting everyone else before me and my needs?
• How can I continue to grow as a teacher?
• Where do I go from here?
And then, yet another A-HA. It’s my choice. I am in control of the outcome. I can make it happen. My health and wellness are important. Listen to your gut and that voice inside, if it feels right, do it. I can only be the best version of me, by continuing to learn and grow as a person, and as a teacher. I need to continue to put myself first. My health, my happiness and my well-being is first priority. Follow my heart and my purpose and everything else will fall into place.
The challenge ended and there was no finish line to run through, no huge celebration or honorable mentions. No metals, awards or trophies. No Instagram photos or Facebook posts.
It was just me lying in my Savasana that last class and knowing that there has been a positive impact in my life, feeling changes throughout my entire being, and a powerful desire to keep on going.
If this inspires just one person. I’ve succeeded in doing what I’m here to do on my journey.
I’m here for YOU and ME!