24 Jun Winter Warrior Yoga Challenge
An insight into the benefits, difficulties, tips and tricks to get you through
your 30-day yoga challenge!
By Alice I’Anson
Yoga challenges can seem overwhelming, daunting or even impossible but just think about this; they say it takes 21 days to break a habit, so why not take part in the challenge and turn those old bad habits into new positive ones! Here are some tips on how to survive the 30 days as well as the inevitable difficulties you will face and most importantly the benefits of taking part in the challenge.
Having a regular yoga practice may be unfamiliar to you and it is something your body will need to get used to. The tiredness and soreness is likely to lessen after the first week or so, once you establish more of a routine. Your body will start to create muscle memory, you will be stronger and the postures will seem more natural to you. You will actually start to see an energetic shift both mentally and physically.
Whether you’re in class or at home the mental banter that goes on in your mind can be tiring. During the beginning of a challenge your body and mind can be a bit like a roller coaster. Thoughts such as “I don’t have time to go today, it’s too cold to leave the house, my body is sore, etc…” are some of the common excuses your mind comes up with to talk you out of going to class. It happens to us all, you don’t need to punish yourself for this. The best way to overcome these mind games is just to say to yourself “you know what, I’m here, I’m on my mat, and I may as well enjoy it and do the best I can today”. You’ll ALWAYS feel better afterwards I can guarantee it.
One of the biggest challenges is creating the time for your daily practice. Committing to an activity 7 days a week on top of a job, family and a social life is a huge commitment. Often we find ourselves rushing from one thing to the next, and at certain points in the challenge this is likely to happen to you. However the reward of getting on your mat each day is far superior.
This is vital to gaining the most out of the challenge. Even though you are doing a lot of exercise avoid starchy, heavy foods and definitely avoid sugar and alcohol. They are more likely to leave you feeling bloated and lacking in energy. Try and base your meals on protein and vegetables, smoothies are always good too and as long as they have wholesome, natural ingredients they can provide that little sweet touch that we all crave. The more nutritious your diet the better you will feel in yoga practice each day.
You must allow yourself to have adequate sleep each night. You need to give your body a chance to rest and recover properly each day.
This is a must, you’re upping your daily exercise and activity, doing yoga dehydrated is not fun and it is also not safe. Be conscious of your water intake each day and make it something that you prioritise.
You’re practicing yoga every day so of course not every class is going to be “perfect”. Some days you will feel strong and be keen to try new things, whereas other days you might take child’s pose a few times during class. This is a normal part of life and you will need to learn to accept that during the challenge.
Mix it Up
Mix up your classes. There are all different styles of yoga that you can choose to do. Make sure you are incorporating a bit of Power Flow, Align, Yin and Yoga Tune Up® each week into your practice. This enables you to give new things a go and let’s your body have a break from an intense Power Flow class or the constant deep stretching in Yin.
Being organised is imperative to completing a challenge and actually giving yourself a chance to succeed. At the start of each week schedule all your classes and book them in on the Warrior One Yoga App.
Taking part in a yoga challenge will enable you to create better lifestyle habits, sleeping well, eating well and all those other aspects mentioned above. You may find you have more energy and liveliness to get through each day.
Strength & Flexibility
Most people will find their yoga practice has improved, your chaturangas may be easier, downward dog might start to feel more like a resting position, you might be that little bit closer to touching your toes. If you do a mix of classes your overall strength and flexibility is likely to improve. I’m not saying you’re going to be able to do all those crazy things you see on Instagram and YouTube, it’s not about that. It’s about self-improvement and getting what you wanted to achieve out of the challenge.
Positive Mind & Sense of Pride
After the 30 days you will feel proud that you were able to complete the challenge. You may have been one of those people who deemed it to be impossible at the beginning. Conquering this challenge will most certainly leave with you a more positive mindset when chasing other goals in your life.
Of course your body will be tired and that will aid you to sleep but more importantly your mind will be at ease, you will be able to control your thoughts and switch off when it is time for your head to hit the pillow.
Lastly, each day you can look forward to that one hour on your yoga mat where no one can ask you questions about work, what you’re cooking for dinner or if the electricity bill been paid. It’s your opportunity to take some time out from your busy life of running errands, cooking meals, working, family and social activities.
There you have it, everything you need to know about surviving a 30 day challenge! Completing a yoga challenge is rewarding on so many levels, so when debating whether to take part think to yourself why not give it a go? Give back to your mind, body and soul and start your personal yoga challenge today!