30 Day Practice

There is something powerful about committing to a 30-day practice. When I was first getting into yoga in college, one of the studios I went to offered a “challenge” month, encouraging people to practice yoga every day for one month straight. I went to a studio that was a 30-minute walk from the apartment I lived at in Montreal, and every day for the month of November I was at the studio, ready and eager to practice.

Committing to my yoga practice that month was an anchor for me in the midst of an otherwise isolating period.  Going to the yoga studio was a breath of fresh air, and it allowed me to embrace the city even more. It was lovely to feel apart of something larger than myself, especially while living in a big city that could otherwise be overwhelming.

It was during this 30 day practice that I started to practice a variety of yoga classes. At first I would just do Vinyasa classes (the same style I now teach). Then I felt I should move “up” to Power classes, to test my strength and stamina. Then I would feel super sore and want a break, so I ventured into (and fell head-over-heels in love with) the yin practice. Before that month I never knew there could be so many different styles of yoga to practice.

This 30-day practice gave me something I felt a combination of control and freedom through. Every day the practice felt a little different. I found my body responding to poses differently the more frequently I practiced them. Poses I once hated with a passion became more tolerable. I began to feel more at home in body.

Over the years I have committed to a 30-day yoga practice in different ways. I loved the experience of joining a studio for this commitment, but I have also done 30-day practices on my own time. In these I would do a combination of group yoga classes and practicing alone at home. Every time there have been days when I have wanted to quit. Yet when I have been able to show up to my mat anyway, despite wanting to stop, by the end of the month I have felt more accomplished and open than I began.

It has been through these months of commitment that I have felt my practice deepen, grow, change, and expand.

I’m writing this in preparation of beginning yet another 30-day practice. It is daunting at the beginning. There is no doubt a level of time commitment that puts other workouts on hold. However, I know there is something powerful about committing to a practice, and watching it change.

Playing the Minimalism Game reminded me of the power of the 3-day practice. It doesn’t have to just be yoga: it can be meditation, it can be prayer, it can be going outside,  it cam be writing, it can be playing an instrument. Whatever calls to you.

Have you ever committed to a 30-day yoga practice? If not yoga, have you done any other 30-day style practice?

With love,

Ashley

 

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