Yoga Challenge: February 2020
Why a 1 Month Yoga Challenge?
My mother has known the benefits of yoga since I was a child. She was never a hardcore yogi, but she would attend classes, follow yoga videos, and had a few books on the subject. She never made me or my sister do anything, but she bought some kid's yoga DVDs that we would sometimes follow along with. I remember doing child's pose, mountain pose, and tree pose.
When I was in high school, my English teacher was into yoga. We would do stretches in our chairs or standing behind our desks. She actually convinced the school to let her teach a yoga class that could be taken as an elective. She touted yoga's stress-relieving benefits and stressed the importance of stretching when you find yourself trapped behind a desk all day.
You know how sometimes you know something is good for you but you don't do as often as you should? Wearing sunscreen, flossing, cardio are all things I avoid, and so is yoga. Or at least it was.
In an experiment in self-discipline and habit forming, I plan on doing yoga every day in February. Of course, I'm also extending an invitation to anyone else who is looking to do more yoga.
A big theory in habit formation that is very popular is the 21-days theory. It states that if you do an action every day for 21 days, by the end it will be second nature for you. Fitness challenges like this lend themselves naturally to this theory.
I've always loved challenges like this; my old bullet journals are full of 30 day squat or ab challenges. It's actually what first got me into fitness! I find challenging yourself, and tracking your progress, to be very effective in building up momentum.
The point of this challenge is simply to do a little bit of yoga every day; there are no required poses or flows.
Previously I've done challenges created by other people; This time, however, I've decided to create my own challenge. There are a couple of reasons for this:
I wanted something that all skill levels could do since my partner will be doing the challenge with me. For this, I wanted to avoid deciding on specific flows or movements, and instead focus on just practicing some yoga.
I wanted the challenge to be flexible. Since there is no requirement as to how long or which poses, I believe this challenge will be accessible for people with unpredictable schedules (such as students!).
Using Yoga Journal as my source, I put together a visual guide of yoga poses for reference when we practice. The guide isn't about how to do each movement, it is merely a reminder of which yoga poses I know and are practicing. There a few poses I haven't done yet that I plan to work up to in February.
For my daily practice, I plan on doing a few key poses to warm up, practicing ones I find difficult, and then doing a few more poses that are good for relaxing and meditation.
For more information on how to do each pose, Yoga Journal has a step-by-step guide as well as recommendations on how to make the pose easier or more challenging.
If you want to join me for this 1 month challenge, you can download my free yoga tracker and pose guide!