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Sunday, 1 March 2015

The purpose of a 30 Day Challenge

Once a year we at The Village Yogi offer a '30 Day Yoga Challenge'.

This year it is a Spring Yoga Challenge beginning March 23rd, just after the Spring Equinox. After such a long and bitterly cold winter this will be a wonderful way for many of us to welcome Spring and the sense of rebirth and renewal that it brings.

The concept:  They say it takes 21-28 days to break a habit. Most (bad) habits are caused by stress and boredom. Sometimes, simply offering yourself something new and different is all it takes to start you moving in a new direction. Usually people are so focused on the way things are right now that it seems overwhelming (and discouraging) to even start the process of getting in shape (or feeling healthier, or losing weight, or changing your lifestyle, or simply being more positive). But with consistency, and changing just one or two things every day - remarkable things begin to happen. And before you know it, several months have passed and the person you were seems like a distant memory. By signing up for the 30 Day Yoga Challenge you are starting the ball rolling in creating lasting powerful changes in your life. The Challenge is to complete as many classes in 30 Days as you can.

The incentive: Aside from increased strength, muscle tone, focus and flexibility you will begin to replace certain habits with new healthier ones. We offer some pretty awesome prizes for those who complete 30+ classes however having a consistent yoga practice also challenges you to do something positive for yourself even when it's been "one of those days". You challenge yourself NOT to go to the pub right after work. You challenge yourself  NOT to hit the couch for 6 hours moping and texting your friends about how horrible and un-inspired everything is. You challenge yourself, instead, to keep do something every day that is designed to open your body, relieve tension and stress from your mind, and offers you on outlet (and some personal space) to work through your stress, boredom, anxiety or complacency in a healthy way. Aside from all of that - yoga naturally builds awareness. You may find yourself noticing how gross you feel eating all that processed food and not even wanting it any more. You may find yourself craving a good stretch instead of half a bottle of wine. A regular yoga practice also assists in balancing hormones, boosting metabolism, triggering the 'relaxation response' in your body and aiding in digestive and elimination processes. Plus - when you take the time each day just to stop rushing, to stop telling the script of  your 'story' to anyone who will listen and to simply just allow yourself some space and time to redirect your focus in a more positive/productive way...amazing things begin to happen! Suddenly you feel more creative, more energized. Or you finally find the courage to make that important decision you've been ruminating about. The benefits are absolutely endless! Your body WANTS to move - it's designed to move, it craves movement. The beauty of yoga is that it is, for the most part, very simple. And you're not maxed out by it. Typically, even in the most challenging class, you are working at about 50 - 60% of your max physical capacity. And many classes are more about mindful breathing and soft gentle movements than straining and struggling. Practicing every day gives you a chance to check in with yourself. And when you begin focusing on yourself in more loving patient ways you begin to create an optimal environment for vibrant health and healing.

But most of all....the confidence and self-empowerment that comes from having a goal, and completing it, is something money just can't buy. To commit to yourself, and respect yourself enough to follow through is one of the most powerful things you can do. It builds a strength unlike any other. You begin to believe in yourself. You begin to truly know and feel just how much you are capable of achieving. And once that happens - the sky's the limit! Before you know it, life as you know it will become a completely different experience - one of wonder and color and excitement.

Most people still believe that the happiness they seek will be found outside of themselves - in another person, another job, substances, a new home, a new town. But what many don't realize is - even if you acquire these external desires...chances will still be unhappy. Until you change what's going on inside no amount of money, material possessions, or attention from another will truly satisfy you.

Are YOU ready for a Yoga Challenge??