Up For A Challenge?
Our Modo Yoga 30 Day Challenge is drawing near! Do you look at it and go “Heck yes, I’m in!”? Or maybe you’re more the “Umm… timing’s not great right now. I have a lot of work stuff going on”, type of person. Or the classic, “No way! I could never do something like that.” If you’re one of the last two types, that’s cool, I get it – but before you make your final decision, hear me out. Most of you are starting to get to know me (Thy) better with each passing day and class, and will probably glean that I love a good challenge. I’ll tell you why…
It started back in 2005. I had started yoga about a year earlier and then found my way to Bikram yoga (Gasp! No way!). Yes it’s true – feel free to ask me more about it sometime. Anyways, I had some really great teachers and I was in University and needed the discipline. Over the 2 years I practiced Bikram, I completed 3, 30 day yoga challenges. I absolutely loved them. I was much more competitive then, than I am now, so that was actually very helpful. To be honest, I don’t remember them very clearly, except that they really didn’t seem as tough, physically, as I originally thought. I loved the yoga and I loved all the things my inspiring teachers were saying.
The most challenging thing I found was in fact the scheduling. Planning classes to work with my schedule because I was in uni and didn’t live particularly close to the studio. And with Bikram classes, they were always 90 minutes and from getting there to the time I got home, it took roughly a good 2.5-3hrs! Incredible to think I invested that much time when I look back on it. But totally worth it. The sense of achievement and accomplishment, not to mention the physical changes I experienced. My yoga practice had become really strong and I was open in so many ways I hadn’t been before and even lost a bit of weight, not something I was necessarily expecting. Did I continue practicing consistently after the 30 days? Yes I did; not every single day, but nearly. So does 30 days of doing something create a new habit?
You’ve heard people say, “It takes 21 days to form a habit.” Or 30 days, or 40 days… so what is it? Here’s a great article describes the origin of this: http://jamesclear.com/new-habit. In a nutshell, it all depends. My favourite answer. According to a study in the article it actually takes 66 “before a new behaviour becomes automatic” and really could be anywhere in the realm of 18-254 days for people to form a habit. Whhhaaaaat??! Crazy stuff right? But it makes so much sense to me. Everyone is so different, of course it would take some folks more or less time to develop a certain habit.
I think it comes down to how much you enjoy the behaviour/activity, why you do it, and why you want to keep doing it. Always start with why, I say. For me, it was simple. At the time, I loved yoga, I enjoyed the mental, physical and emotional benefits, and practicing yoga consistently allowed me to feel amazing, a lot of the time. Here I am now, over 10 years on, still loving yoga (Bikram, no), getting to share what I love and have completed a few other personal challenges along the way. Such as…
- 30 day Modo Challenge (2 times). Loved! And would do again, obviously.
- Daily yoga practice. Ended up being 6 months of daily practice, minimum 60 minutes a day of physical asana. Amazing, would recommend. A big thing I keep in mind here is that now I don’t do daily physical practice, but yoga is also and most definitely practicing off the mat too!
- 30 day meditation practice. Turned into 1 year of daily practice, minimum 10 minutes a day. This was awesome and I aspire to do it again… I’m going right after I write this!
- 30 days sattvic diet, that excluded dairy, processed foods and alcohol. This was during a yoga teacher training and was more an elimination diet to see if any foods were causing negative feedback in the body and also a mental experiment (according to my teacher), to “see what comes up” when you restrict yourself from certain foods. I’ll tell you – you question if life is worth living if you can’t have chilli or garlic in your food.
- 30 days vegetarian, which turned into 6 months. Started at a yoga teacher training and then became my own personal lifestyle experiment. It was so interesting to see how my family responded and the weird reactions it brought up in other meat-eaters. I will say that I realised how much my body loves fish, because the moment I had a piece of salmon after 6 months, I felt like a superhero that could save the world from an apocalypse.
- 30 days running (twice). This was great to kick start consistency in my running and totally paid off for me in regards to enjoying running and getting better at it – got me pretty damn fit too!
- 30 days without alcohol (3 times). This is a good experiment everyone should do at least once. Feels good in the body and mind.
- F45 8 week challenge (in progress!). I’ll be posting a blog up on this soon. 1 week in, feeling fit and strong. And now some yoga poses are more satisfying and others, ridiculously intense!
My big takeaway is – WHY. Why do you want to do it, what do you hope to achieve, and even consider, why don’t you want to do it and could that be the very reason you should give it red hot go? So… go sign up for our 30 Day Challenge! We’ll be here for you along the way to laugh, to cry, to high five and sigh. There is no such thing as failure in these types of pursuits. You learn so much about yourself and notice how you can be your own worst enemy, or hopefully, how to become your own best friend.
Tips to Enjoying the Challenge:
- Write down or schedule in the classes you’ll be able to make in the week. When you have scheduled it, you know you have made time for it and like other meetings or appointments, you are more likely to keep it; this one in particular, because it’s with and for the most important person – YOU!
- Stay hydrated. Try to drink between 2-3 L of water (not included in your food or other beverages, just clean water). Adding lemon is a great natural electrolyte, or you can also get ‘Ultima’ at the studio – an electrolyte replenisher, super helpful after our sweaty classes.
- If necessary, meal plan or prep. If you are planning to go to classes around your usual mealtimes and you know food prep time will be cut short, prepare the meal ahead of time, or plan one that is easy and nourishing, to prevent getting hangry (hunger that makes one angry) and thus not hindering you from going practice.
- Go to bed. 7-8 hours is optimal for most people. It restores, replenishes and so much more; read here if you’re interested.
- Grab a mate to join you! It’s always easier with a friend. You can encourage each other, commiserate when you’re having tough days and it’s easier to hold each other accountable and ensure you both make it to classes.