Why the 40 Day Challenge?
Anyone will tell you that I am not a model of physical fitness or self discipline. I drink much more coffee than is really healthy, I eat when I’m not hungry, I use food as a motivator or a reward, I don’t always get enough sleep, and I have never been known for my dedication to daily exercise. I am, in the immortal words of Lumiere, the anthropomorphic candle, “Flabby, fat, and lazy.”
But the more I dedicate myself to really focusing on a daily yoga practice, the better I feel. I view the 40 day challenge as a way to work with my natural desire to devote time to Yoga. Having written my name on that little card and stuck it in that jar on the guru’s desk, I must do some form of yoga practice every day. I have never done any physical activity for 75 minutes a day for 40 straight days. I’m not even sure my total yoga practice amounts to that... but the cool thing about this challenge is if I skip a day here and there, if life gets in the way, that’s ok. Nothing horrible will happen. I can, however, strive for something better, and that’s what this is all about.
Now, understand, I don’t think yoga is some magical cure-all. I don’t believe that sweating in a small room with 10-15 other sweaty people while we hold strange poses and breathe in funny ways is going to solve all the world’s problems, or even all of my problems. I understand that to some people the word “yoga” is tantamount to the word “torture” and that’s ok. For me, yoga works. Its the only form of exercise I’ve found yet that physically challenges me and makes me feel good at the same time. I’m doing the 40-day challenge because it seems like an achievable goal, because it challenges me in a good way, and because right now, at this rather tumultuous time in my life, I really need that 75 minutes to just focus on the way I’m breathing. For me, that feeling of turning the focus entirely inward, of allowing myself that time to be completely internal and selfish is healthy.
75 minutes of Yoga a day for 40 consecutive days, beginning Oct. 1st. (Ideally that’s 40 straight days of studio practice, but I’m allowing myself one day a week of home practice if I need it.)
Additionally, my long-term goal (it may take over a year to accomplish) is to build up enough strength to do a headstand. I am actually writing this after my 4th consecutive class, and today, I lifted my feet into the air about 2 inches. For me, that’s a serious accomplishment.
If you have any questions or comments about the 40 Day Challenge (or anything else), post them!