by Suzanne Beenackers
A long time ago I practiced yoga daily, ate whatever looked comforting, and used my calendar for dental appointments and birthday parties. In a hobbit like fashion I sauntered through life, I never had any adventures nor did anything out of the ordinary. And then, inspired by a phenomenon known as The Yoga Challenge, where you commit to a daily practice for a certain period of time, I designed my first Challenge:
The Goddess Challenge. It was a yoga challenge, but with the reward that I promised myself I would have turned into a Yogic Goddess (read: a supermodel with extra ordinary powers) if I practiced yoga twice a day, for 30 minutes, for one month. I pulled it off and was very pleased with the result, although I still weighed the same, could not detect any newly acquired psychic powers. My headstand did become quite impressive.
Ever since then I’ve been on several yoga challenges, a zero alcohol challenge, a sleep challenge (with a lot of sleep, not little!), a finish-that-project-challenge, a clean-basement-challenge, a challenge to only wear really tiny underpants, and two challenges which I can not share here because that would be inappropriate. I also clock how long it takes me to write this blogpost, how many effective hours I make in a day, what I eat, what I weigh, and beat my personal best at how many minutes it takes me to do the dishes. I’m like the Mindfulness movement inverted. I would make spirituality a competitive sport if I only knew how.
This may be a good time to refer to the photo: it’s Zuzka Light. A You Tube fitness instructor and she’s releasing a yoga dvd this month where she is making yoga challenging. And although I don’t particularly like bootcampy yoga, I look forward to it.
Yoga in April
This month I encourage you to look for a challenge. Look for something that suits your needs: if you’re tired do a sleep challenge. If you feel depleted, keep your computer off after work hours. Challenges that require you to do things, create new habits and patterns, are more inspiring than the challenges that ask you to refrain from something.
For yoga videos you can have a look at Yoga Journal’s Willpower Challenge – a 28 day program that includes a yogavideo at the beginning of every week. You can sign up for free and receive emails daily. You can already check their yoga videos if you click week 1 week 2 week 3 week 4.
The videos are easy to follow, and about 20 minutes long.
In class I’ll be teaching from the four sequences of the Yoga Journal Willpower Challenge.
It took me 53 minutes to write this blogpost, I haven’t done the dishes, and postponed both yoga and fitness to an undefined timeslot somewhere in the evening where all my chores were done and my house was clean. My cats would be well fed and encouragingly purring on the couch when I was blissfully doing my yoga. What a pity that moment never occured…. How can I work this into a challenge?