Practice yoga three times a week and you’ll get fit.
Practice yoga every day and you’ll transform your life.
~ things yogis say
I’ve had a “serious” yoga practice for about four years now. I use the word serious quite loosely. I practiced online, on the 17th floor of my Taiwanese apartment, for the first two of them. My oh-so-serious yoga routine at this time typically consisted of me unrolling my mat once a week, sometimes only getting so far as to break out a few downward dogs before life called my name and I was back to racing through the motions. I don’t have any judgment for myself during that time of my life; we all must start from somewhere. I might not have been able to practice yoga as much as I would have liked, but I could sense a subtle difference that yoga was beginning to create in my body and my mind.
My yoga journey changed when I came to Costa Rica in the fall of 2013. I was tired of practicing yoga alone, and I knew that I needed a physical teacher to help me in my adjustments and poses. I also sensed that there was more to yoga than sweaty workouts alone. So I signed up for a personal surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica. The surfing didn’t go so well (I spent the week doing a lot of belly flopping), but the yoga classes re-fueled my passion for the practice. I knew by now that yoga had a powerful effect on my mind, body and spirit; it was up to me to start committing to it.
For the next year and a half, my yoga journey saw many ups and downs. Being a full-time traveler and living out of a backpack, I struggled to find my routine. Bouncing from city to city, hotel room to hotel room, I lacked the consistency and the community to keep me accountable for my practice. I wanted to show up on my mat every day, yet somehow, I always managed to come up with an excuse not to.
Knowing I wanted to stop making excuses and start deepening my practice, I signed up for Blue Osa’s yoga teacher training program. I learned many lessons during the intense days of lectures and practices, but easily one of the greatest things I learned was the importance of showing up. After thirty days of practicing yoga every single day, I felt fundamentally different. Of course, my body felt stronger and more powerful, but I felt a tangible difference on the inside, too. I was more grounded. I could take whatever life threw at me. I embraced the teachings of non-attachment. I felt more present, more gratitude, more love and more peace. Friends and family might not have noticed that I was now a different person, but I certainly felt it on the inside. Something wonderful had shifted inside of me, and it came from showing up for yoga every single day.
I won’t say it has been easy to show up on my mat every day since yoga teacher training. The world still turns, just as responsibilities and to-do lists still dictate my time. But I now realize that I have no time for excuses. All I need for my yoga practice is always within me. Maybe it’s sitting down to meditate for twenty minutes. Maybe it’s a 90-minute power flow. It’s not so important what I do, so long as I do something.
But why is it really so important to show up on our mats?
Because how we attend to our practice is how we attend to our lives. Are we just going through the motions, floating aimlessly through our routines—from work to home to sleep; from yoga pose to yoga pose? Or are we cultivating a sense of presence, moving deliberately and with awareness? Are we taking the time to get still and steady? To let the universe and our soul speak to us?
When we learn how to show up on our mats, we learn how to show up in our lives. And that’s when extreme transformation can happen. If you don’t listen to me, heed the words of wisdom from Patanjali. Yoga Sutra 1:14 says, “To become fully established in our practice, we must attend to it for a long time, without interruption, and with devotion, service and a full heart.”
Your practice is personal, and how you choose to show up is completely up to you. But find time to meditate, to breathe and to move every day over the next month. Challenge yourself to show up on the mat, and then see what happens. Notice any transformations that occur. Then come back and share with us the impact it had on you—we would love to be part of the journey!
Easy Tips For Completing the 30-Day At Home Yoga Challenge
1. Don’t limit yourself
Resist the urge to tell yourself that you must fit in 90-minutes of yoga every day. Some days might be more hectic than others. Be flexible and understanding with yourself. 10 minutes is better than no minutes.
2. Have a routine
Having a set time of day to practice yoga can make it easier to stick to the yoga challenge without making excuses. Put your practice into your daily routine or agenda so that you don’t find yourself trying to squeeze it in last minute before bed.
3. Choose a special place
Your yoga practice is a sacred and special thing. If you are doing thing yoga challenge at home, find a special place where people know not to bother or disturb you. Keep it clean, devoid of distractions or technology, and look forward to retreating into this spot every day. It will feel less like a yoga challenge and more like a yoga retreat!
4. Find a community
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself accountable is to find other people to do it for you! Find a community of yogis that have a regular practice. Keep each other accountable, practice together, and talk about your milestones. Life was meant to be lived in community.
5. Make it non-negotiable
There’s no such thing as not having enough time. We are all blessed with the very same 24 hours a day—it’s simply what we choose to do with this time that matters. If you make this yoga challenge a non-negotiable component of your day, the same as eating or sleeping or obsessively checking Facebook, then you’ll find you have ample time to hit your mat.
Don’t forget to check back with us at the end of the month and let us know about your experience with this at home yoga challenge!
Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to deepen your practice every single day for a month while in paradise, surrounded by good people, good food, and good views? Learn more about the yoga teacher training immersion program at Blue Osa here.
About the author:
Casey Siemasko is a content marketing consultant, travel blogger and wandering yogi. An entrepreneur at heart, she is the co-founder of the award-winning travel blog A Cruising Couple.
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