Enhancing your challenge

Hi there fellow yogis!! As our 100 days continue, I’ve been trying to add other elements into the challenge. For example, setting particular goals with my practice (holding a particular inversion, getting into your head/hand stand for more than just a fleeting moment), making sure I sleep at least 6 hours a night, or making sure I do core everyday. It can be whatever you might need to work on, something as basic as remembering to floss your teeth twice a day.

I’ve personally tried to tie these extra goals into my practice, but they can be anything… I’ve found this challenge to give me an overall perspective aimed at change, positive growth, and healthy happy living. Why not harness this energy and try to make other positive, habit forming changes in your life? I’ve made sure to eat a balanced breakfast every day since we’ve begun, something that I never prioritized… work always beat out eating a solid first meal of the day. 

I also have a horrible habit of watching TV before bed, which further stimulates me rather than letting my brain settle. Over the past week or so I’ve been replacing TV with music and reading and/or journaling. Even in the past couple of days, I’ve felt a difference in my rest. I fall asleep sooner, sleep deeper, and wake up feeling more refreshed. While this definitely has to do with my yoga practice itself, the change of pre-bedtime routine has done wonders. 

Undoubtedly, yoga makes life more fulfilled, balanced, and purpose driven. Try to take ten minutes sometime in the next day or two to find something else in your life that you can change with the hope of being more successful towards the end of fulfillment, balance, purpose, and contentment. 

Image

Flashback Friday to my mom and I during our session with our lovely island yogi, Ariel. Outside and in the sun, enjoying 75 degree weather… Hawaii does yoga right. Chicago weather is really making me miss home and my outdoor practice! 

Acro yoga!

Acro yoga!

My acro practice is in it’s infancy… I’ve only just started a couple months ago, and given the small size of the community here in Chicago (at least to my knowledge), I only get to play about once a week or so. I have basically zero knowledge of my own, except for your basic poses, like bird and folded leaf, etc.

Would love to know if any other 100yogis are into acro… I thought I saw a couple pictures in Jeremy’s post!

I hope the first 8 days of your 100 are unfolding peacefully and with an open mind and heart!

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Developing your home practice

The weather kept me home this evening, but my first home practice of our 100 days was amazing! 

I absolutely love practicing with people, to build community, feel a sense of oneness with others, and benefit from adjustments and the guidance of a teacher. I often forget how peaceful my practice can get when I’m surrounded by myself and the energy and air around me. I light incense and play music, dim the lights and meditate before hand. While all this can happen in the studio, having the space in which you are practicing entirely to yourself can mold and frame your practice in a way that is entirely unique (and if you’re like me, you’re cat too.. she seems to enjoy yoga as well). 

While a big part of our challenge is building community, both through this group of 100 dayers, and with our fellow yogis in the studio, I encourage you to build your home practice throughout these 100 days as well. Let your practice develop both communally and in an intimate, personal way, in and out of the studio.

Beyond having a space for yoga when the studio is either closed or 12 blocks away in stormy weather, I’ve personally found that having a home space makes my apartment feel even more like home. And of course, having an area strictly dedicated to my practice encourages me to come to my mat daily, regardless of weather, a busy schedule, or feeling crappy and/or exhausted — I think to myself, “it’s only 5 feet away, a bit of vinyasa and an inversion or two definitely won’t hurt…”

 

Image

Home yoga space!

In preparation for our 100 day challenge, I’ve set up my own in-home studio — I don’t know about you guys, but I often work late and can’t make it into the studio. Having an inspiring, cozy space set up at home motivates me to get my practice in, even if it’s been a long day and I just want to sleep…

Bringing in warm colors and comforting objects into your space is always a great idea. I also have incense in my yoga space, a tv to watch instructional videos, and speakers to play ambient music.  I use a space heater to get a variety of heated yoga, but of course, that isn’t a necessary component. I also have lamps and candles near by so appropriate lighting can help set the tone of my practice as well.

Just wanted to share this, as it definitely has gotten me excited and pumped to start this challenge!!

A cozy spot with incense, music, and Ganesh "Om gum ganapataye namaha"

A cozy spot with incense, music, and Ganesh
“Om gum ganapataye namaha”