Bikram Yoga College of India in Alexandria is currently undergoing A Group 30 Day Challenge! A 30-day challenge is when you practice for 30 conservative days, if you miss a day, which happens because we all live lives outside the hot room, you do a ‘double’ (two classes in one day). This challenge promotes the mind-body connection that is rooted in Bikram Yoga alongside many benefits like the noticeable changes in stress, mental clarity, strength, flexibility and so much more. However, participating in the GROUP challenge you feel supported, there is constant encouragement, and popsicles plenty of popsicles; this challenge builds as it reinforces the Bikram Yoga College of India in Alexandria community.
The essence of this challenge is mentally and physically committing to do something for 30 days. Showing up for yourself, getting to the mat, and being patient with yourself, ultimately allowing the transformative power of yoga to change you.
It’s week 3 of the challenge, and I’m personally beginning experience the changes that come with practicing every day. There are days when I can’t stay present, like hitting a mental roadblock. In some classes locking my knee and stretching up more, seemed impossible. Yet, despite the struggles, I see and feel myself making progress—growth! Classes where I can sit comfortably in back bend seeing the windows showing all of Washington D.C.! I have been able to endure the standing series with a sense of calm and enjoyment, even if I fall out the asana or need to reconnect my breath. I felt so good in one class that I smiled and winked at myself in the mirror during the awkward pose series!
The days you feel like you aren’t making any progress, remember that you are! Every day you learn more and build on top of what you already know. “ If you saw a video of yourself from your first class to your most current class, you would agree that you aren’t in the same place as you first started, you keep going forward ”— some perspective from Micheal P
Here are a few things I’ve learned and quotes from instructors that resonated and helped me during this 30 Day Group Challenge:
- “Practice Excellence”Swyann
Trying your best where you are, accepting yourself and practicing without judgement
- “Fall in love with yourself every class”Jessica B
“Each class is an opportunity to be vulnerable with yourself to let go and release all tension in the body and mind. All the thoughts that don’t help you, feel better or see clearer
“looking in the mirror is a challenge, a very personal individual challenge and we take it for granted and through the process, I’ve learned self-acceptance and accountability, and it starts with you. It’s a struggle, but it’s a choice”
- “Forgive Yourself”
When we practice yoga we tend to hold a lot of tension, judgment, and stress in our bodies and minds. Then we bring all that to the mat and it influences how we see ourselves (and looking in the mirror can be hard alreadyhard), especially when we fall out a posture or can’t get into it! Those thoughts and feelings only hinder your growth and interrupt your peace. These feelings are will passl, but forgive yourself—let go and distance yourself from those thoughts and feelings. Practice re-connecting your breath, so those negative thoughts begin to fade away.
- Embrace the Journey
Honestly, there are so many lessons being thrown at us while participating in A 30 Day Challenge, but it’s hard to acknowledge them when all you think about Is finishing the challenge. Each class is an opportunity to learn more about yourself and about the yoga. Take advantage of that!