30 Day Yoga Challenge


A few months back now, I was offered an opportunity to try out a newer yoga studio in Newport Beach. While it was 30+ minutes away, something in me told me I should try it out anyhow. So I trekked into class, a little unsure what to expect since it had been years since I had done yoga, and the last time I had practiced I found myself in a crowded gym class, bored out of my mind. I was going into this surprisingly open-minded though.

Fast forward 3 months, and I found myself signing up for a 30 day yoga challenge in a studio much closer to home. The experience in Newport Beach had indeed been so positive that it had crushed a lot of my previously held notions about yoga, including it not being challenging enough, and being too spiritual and woo-woo. The classes I took were intense yet strangely relaxing, and the instructors played a variety of music that let their own unique personalities shine through, always ending with a very powerful and positive message. I suddenly understood why so many people loved yoga.

photo Today I completed that 30 day yoga challenge, and practiced 22 days out of the 30, for a total of 1,560 minutes. I had originally planned on going for 20 classes, and then after practicing 13 days in a row, I had a crazy idea that I could maybe even take 30 classes. After completing my 3rd week, I took a few days off though because I found my muscles tightening up on me rather than loosening, a sign they were being over-stretched. After taking a few days off, I went in the past few days and finished strong, feeling very powerful in the last 3 classes I’ve taken.

The studio I practice at codes their classes by color, not the type of yoga you’re practicing, so when often ask what type of classes I was taking, I just replied, “The hard kind.” I mostly did what would best be described as vinyasa, and I took an equal combination of room temperature and heated classes. In all classes I sweated buckets and left feeling stretched and stronger than when I had stepped in. If you think you’ll fall asleep in yoga, I promise you’re not taking the right class. Also, if you get a great workout, take a look at the physical changes in my body after just 1 week. While there hasn’t been much change in my midsection after that first week, I notice that my arms are dramatically more toned and leaner, and my legs are more tone and firm.

Yoga requires patience and consistency I’m soon learning. In just 30 days I notice subtle yet important changes in my postures, and am able to move a lot easier than before. I am by no means doing handstands or contorting into dramatic postures, but the small changes are meaningful to me and encourage me to keep going. There was a woman next to me holding side crow for what seemed like several minutes, as I struggled to balance into regular crow for just 2 seconds. I asked her how long it took her to achieve that position and she simply replied, “years.” Like I said, patience. And consistent practice.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with this challenge and achieving my goal. I have had a hard time getting really motivated to exercise consistently since Hayden was born, but this challenge seemed like just the thing I needed to get me going. If you’re struggling a little with finding a form of exercise you enjoy and are motivated to get to, don’t give up and be open to trying new and different things. Let the judgments and preconceived notions go, and you may just find what you’ve been looking for.

In other 30 day challenges, a few things to catch up on for the Andrea Made Me Do It 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

A private Facebook group has been started and now has close to 400 members. You DO NOT need to join this group to join the challenge. As a matter of fact you don’t need to sign up for anything to join in the challenge, you just have to do it! To help hold yourself accountable though, and to get encouragement, recipe ideas, or ask questions, you can join in on social media either through Instagram. The hashtag to see all the posts is #andreamademedoit. Or to join the Facebook group, visit this link and ask to join! I have been accepting requests almost as soon as they pop up so if you want in, just request to join. It has been a great place to post questions and follow really interesting comment threads, without having to do it all on IG.

We have also started a group Pinterest board you can follow along and contribute to. I also have my own Clean Eating Pinterest board you can follow, which I will most likely pin to most.

So I never really talked about my personal goals for this challenge, did I? As you guys know, I already eat pretty clean, so what could I improve? Well, there’s always room for improvement right? I am cutting back drastically on my potato chip/crunchy snack habit, and I am cutting down on drinking alcohol of any kind to just 1 day a week. The chips thing isn’t a huge disastrous vice, I realize, especially because I eat pretty minimally processed chips which contain few ingredients. But they are still fried, and they replace an opportunity for me to have a really satisfying and healthy snack. Plus, they just fuel my mindless snacking urges. I eat a fistful of chips, and am rarely full, but just hungry for more. The drinking thing is another vice that, when I’m not mindful, has become another vice that leaves me feeling less than stellar. It’s easy to get into this habit of having a glass of wine to unwind for the night, and before you know it, you’re pouring another half a glass or two, which ignites your snack cravings, and then you’re eating chips and drinking wine, waking up feeling sluggish and just blah. Or is that just me? I love my wine and occasional spirit, and will never cut them out, but I can definitely cut back a bit. Right now, I drink on average 4 nights a week, but would like to keep that at no more than 2 nights per week.

So who’s in the challenge with me, and so far, how’s it going? I can’t wait to see the progress we can make over the next 30 days! It’s not too late to join in. Scared or don’t know where to start? Visit these 2 links for the low-down on the challenge! The lowdown on the challenge, and the clean eating swapping guide.

Andrea is the founder of For The Love Of, a lifestyle blog dedicated to approachable, modern living. She writes about style, her love of DIY, and living a healthier life through wholesome, nutritious cooking. She is also a regular contributor at Babble. Get in touch: Facebook, Twitter You can find Andrea on Instagram @andreavhowe and @gwynethmademedoit

  • I just started yoga and I love it. As you said it is a lot more work that I thought it would be. I am always drenched by the time I get done. You feel worked out but also relaxed, which is strange, but great all at the same time.

    I have been doing it once a week and would be curious how it would feel if I did it everyday. Instead I mix it up with other dance and fitness classes.

    I love hearing about someone else’s journey.

    Have a great Day.

  • Diana says:

    Thanks – inspired to do a yoga challenge myself. You look great – glowing & healthy!

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