“If it Doesn’t Challenge you, it doesn’t Change you”

30 Day Challenge

By Felicia  Taliaferro

If it Doesn’t Challenge you, it doesn’t Change you” 

Bikram Yoga College of India in Alexandria is currently undergoing A Group 30 Day Challenge! A 30-day challenge is when you practice for 30 conservative days, if you miss a day, which happens because we all live lives outside the hot room, you do a ‘double’ (two classes in one day). This challenge promotes the mind-body connection that is rooted in Bikram Yoga. As well as gain, the therapeutic, mental, and physical benefits. However, participating in the GROUP challenge you feel supported, there is constant encouragement, and popsicles plenty of popsicles; this challenge builds as it reinforces the Bikram Yoga College of India in Alexandria community.

The Challenge 

The essence of this challenge is mentally and physically committing to do something for 30 days. Showing up for yourself, getting to the mat, and being patient with yourself, ultimately allowing the transformative power of yoga to change you.

It’s the final week of the challenge! I have learned a lot about myself and the yoga. I have experienced many of the changes that come with practicing every day: an increased sense of focus and discipline, less stress, and more open and optimistic. There were days where I couldn’t stay present, like hitting a mental roadblock. In some classes locking my knee and stretching up more, seemed impossible. Yet, despite the struggles, I see and feel myself making progress—growth! Classes where I have been able to endure the standing series with a sense of calm and enjoyment, even if I fall out the asana or need to reconnect my breath.  I felt so good in one class that I smiled and winked at myself in the mirror during the awkward pose series!

The days you feel like you aren’t making any progress, remember that you are! Every day you learn more and build on top of what you already know. “ If you saw a video of yourself from your first class to your most current class, you would agree that you aren’t in the same place as you were when you first started, you keep going forward.”—  Perspective from Michael

Here are a few things I’ve learned and quotes from instructors that resonated and helped me during this 30 Day Group Challenge:

1.“ Practice Excellence” -Swyann

Performing your best for where you are, accepting yourself, and practicing without judgment.

2. “Fall in love with yourself every class” 

In one of my 30 Day Challenge classes, I had the pleasure of practicing with Jessica B. During savasana she said “Fall in love with yourself every class”, which really resonated with me because I know how hard I can be on myself on the mat. I had the opportunity to follow up with her to ask her about what it means to fall in love with yourself every class. Here’s what she had to say:

Looking in the mirror is a challenge, a very personal individual challenge and we take it for granted and through this process [practicing yoga], I’ve learned self-acceptance and accountability, and it starts with you. It’s a struggle, but it’s a choice

3. “Forgive Yourself” – Jean

When we practice we tend to hold a lot of tension, judgment, and stress in our bodies and minds. All of that follows us to the mat and it influences how we see ourselves (and looking in the mirror can be hard enough), especially when we fall out a posture or can’t get into it! The ill- feelings will pass, don’t be too hard on yourself! Forgive yourself—let go, BREATHE, and distance yourself from the things causing you to feel uneasy or worrisome.

4. Embrace the Journey 

Honestly, there are so many lessons being thrown at us while participating in the 30 Day Challenge, but it’s hard to acknowledge them when all you think about is finishing the challenge. Each class is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and about the yoga. Take advantage of that!

5. Listen to Your Body

This challenge, more so this yoga prompts your body to heal, which is great! Yet, for the healing to happen our bodies have to go through a lot of stretching, pulling, bending and compressing which is  AMAZING for our health, but it hurts (a good hurt!) If you experience any pain, discomfort, or begin to feel overwhelmed take a step back and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Maybe you are pushing yourself too hard or doing something incorrectly in the posture. Your body is telling you to be a little more gentle with yourself and take notice of what is going on. If you ever need someone to help you understand why something hurts or is uncomfortable, reach out to an instructor! They are available before and after class for questions.

 What have you learned about yourself? How do you feel?

The Challange is almost done! We got this Yogis!

Continue to LOVE your SWEAT!