Whether you’re a beginner or have been practicing for years, everyone should consider participating in a Yoga Challenge.

A list of 10 things to consider for your Yoga Challenge.

1. Commitment. Make a promise to yourself and follow through on it.  It means promising to practice for a certain amount of time each day and just doing it.  Don’t set unworkable expectations, but pledge to a goal that pushes you.  Whatever you commit to, do it for 30 days and you will hugely improve your chances of turning your yoga practice into a routine.

2. Find a Yoga Buddy.
 Do it with a friend and this will not only provide you with extra support but will also hold you accountable. This truly would have been helpful for me for going gluten-free. If you are incorporating a dietary change into your challenge, I suggest tackling that one with a friend, partner, spouse, roommate, whoever. Strength in numbers!

3. Remove the temptations from the house. 
Hide the television, save social networking for evenings, but don’t stay on too long.

4. Morning affirmation.
 This was mine in the voice of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. “Do your practice and all is coming.” Short and sweet. Say it upon rising and whenever you think of it. This little ritual always keeps me rising to the challenge of practice.

5. Find an inspirational quote everyday
, or if your teacher provides one in class, write it down and contemplate. There are bzillions of quotes on the internet and in books. Get the most out of your practice. It’s way easier to practice when you are inspired.

6. Pick a pose to work on.
 I picked a simple handstand as I’ve been working this pose for years but never to the point of comfort. After 30 days, everyday, no problem!  A challenge within a challenge can combat the boredom that is sometime associated with doing something everyday and really makes your practice your own.

7. Start a blog or write down your thoughts before and after you practice.
 At the end, you’ll be happy you did and this will fuel the continuation of your practice, or your next challenge.

8. Plan to eat and rest well. 
Because I was aiming to do the paleo diet, my body loved me and therefore seemed way more up for the task of daily asana, which can be tiring, and for some, painful. Healthy whole diets reduce inflammation in all the tissues making them pliable, strong, and resilient.

9. Be kind to your body and your self.
 Let go of the self judgment and punishment. Move on and take it one day at a time. Maybe one day your practice can be rockin’ and the next day meh?

10. Give gratitude for your practice everyday. 
I cannot describe to you how this practice in itself will change your life. Like asana for the mind. When we are thankful there is no room for judgment, fear, or sadness. Thank yourself, too; you are doing it!

 

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