Guest Post from Kelly: 30 Day Challenge

This post comes from one of my oldest friends (Kelly, not sure if you knew that!) She is a yogini goddess, and is starting a 30 day yoga challenge today. Go, Kelly go! She also has a blog, which, if you're as into reading as you are into yoga, I would subscribe to. I have no idea how these Novel Ladies read so much. If you want to take a cue from Kelly, get inspired, and commit to your own 30 day practice... whatever it is!

The 30 Day Challenge

A few weeks ago my studio announced that for the month of November they were going to be having a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. The premise is simple: go to one yoga class every day for thirty days. If you need to skip a day, that's okay! You just have to double up another day. A tracking calendar is provided for you and there is no extra fee to participate. At first the sign made me pause and think if I wanted to do it. Within a minute I thought, "Nahhhhh... too hard. How will I go out with my friends after work on Fridays? Forget it!" About a week later I was taking a hot yoga class with the studio owner and during a short rest she encouraged us to sign up. "Your yoga practice will be changed forever," she said. "And there are some prizes."

This intrigued me. My practice will be changed forever? There are prizes?!?! Hmmm... For the rest of the class I was distracted by the thought of how I could accomplish this. How could I make it a priority and work it into my daily schedule for an entire month? I realized quickly that it was feasible if I really wanted to do it. It would involve me pushing myself to take some classes I usually do not, like Power Vinyasa and Hot Fusion, however ultimately that would be a good thing. The catch is that I happen to be a habitual quitter. I start things with enthusiasm and then for whatever reason abandon my activities or tasks. Generally I blame this on my Gemini fickleness but I find it to be a character flaw of mine that needs improvement. I spoke with the owner afterward and of course she was very excited about my participation. She had me sign up for the Thanksgiving Flow Before the Feast charity class and asked if I would be willing to a write a testimonial about the holiday practice. "Oh no," I thought. "I'm committed!"

With some encouragement from my husband and mother I started to believe in myself a little more. Then I thought about who else could keep me accountable. How about my 103 6th graders? I introduced the idea of joining me and starting their own personal 30 Day Challenge. I told them my story, handed out tracking calendars and said that the students who finished the Challenge would be recognized publicly at our December assembly with a certificate. I'd even make a wall of recognition for them! Being such a great group of kids, the response was outstanding and almost all of them decided they would try it out. "I really have to do this now," I said to the English teacher on my team. She laughed and replied, "Yes, you do!"

What am I so afraid of? A yoga class for thirty days straight isn't exactly a solo trip around the world in a tiny sailboat. Or is it? Yoga is a discipline and a commitment. It's going to take me out of my comfort zone. I'm scared that I will get sick of my classes and possibly yoga altogether. It frightens me to think that I might fail because of my track record with quitting things. But the possible benefits outweigh those other outcomes. Because maybe, just maybe, I will demonstrate determination and success with the added sweetness of bettering not only my practice but also strengthening my inner peace.

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