I always hear about these challenges and let's face it, I've done several; 7-Day Detox/Cleanse "Challenge," 14-Day No Sugar "Challenge," 21-Day Affirmation "Challenge". And what I have found with these "Challenges" was that in the end, yes, I felt better but I also eventually slipped back into old habits. I get the feeling that some of you reading this are nodding your heads reflecting back at your many "Challenges" as well. In July of this year, I hit a big roadblock in my life and I decided, "Well shhhhh*********t, I need to get back to focusing on self-care." Anytime I have had a struggle and took time for self-care I have felt insurmountably better:
We talked about "Challenges", and I know several people are thinking "30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge." Hahaha...No. Surprisingly, my 30 days, let alone 60 days did not start out as a challenge at all. It was about economics plain and simple. If I went to hot yoga daily, then this unlimited package was only costing me $4.60 per day (that being if I only went once a day, which so far has been what's happened. Give me time though, I might do two). So, for me to justify spending $140 on a month-long package, I needed it to make sense of it in my head. $4.60 per day for a month is less than a one hour massage at most places or three visits to a chiropractor. However, more often than not, most people don't feel all warm and refreshed after a chiropractic visit (Although, I will share a story later of one such guy who rocked...but I digress). All of this to say, if I went every day, it would be worth it. So that is exactly what I did. I went and believe me the first few weeks were not a cake walk. In fact, the last 60 days has not been a piece of cake but I have been doing it and I will tell you, something amazing has happened.
Throughout these last 60 days, I transformed, both body and mind. No, I don't look like a super model but do I feel freakin fantastic and think I look pretty da*n amazing? YES! Of course, I did what many people do in the beginning, I went beyond my limits. Trying to prove something to myself that in the end proved that I could pull a leg and thigh muscle in one session. Note to all: Go slow and easy! This is not a tough man contest, and I was not racing to some unforeseen finish line. There are 26 postures in Bikram, and you do all of them twice...except the very last one. So go at your own pace and don't go beyond your limits.
When did I know this daily yoga practice became more than just a financial equation and more than proving something to myself or others? It was the day I showed up and class was cancelled. That moment is when I knew that I needed this. Studio or no studio, I needed this daily mantra to continue. And so, I went home and did all 26 moves holding each position for one minute at a time. I needed this because it was more than going through the motion of the positions. During this 90-minute physical meditation, I was problem solving my life.
Heading into each session, I found myself hit with these dilemmas:
What this process has all boiled down to for me is dedication, lots of faith, and an unshakeable belief in myself when there are question marks all around me. So here is my question for you, what is that one activity that makes you feel alive and connected? Whether it is catching a wave, going on a bike ride, a hike, kayaking, going for a swim, playing ball, or the multitude of other activities there are to do in the world which disconnects you from all of the noise but reconnects you to your body? Do that for yourself. No one else will.
"Creativity [...] is entirely and unapologetically based upon magical thinking. And when I refer to magic here, I mean it literally [...] I am referring to the supernatural, mystical, the inexplicable, the surreal, the divine, the transcendent, the otherworldly. Because the truth is, I believe that creativity is a force of enchantment — not entirely human in its origins."
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear