30 Minutes for 31 Days: a Yoga Challenge

When I wrote my goals for 2010, I decided that I would pick two months of the year to aim for 30 minutes of yoga daily. I understand that this is the bare minimum for other more dedicated yogi/nis, but for me it is a lofty goal. Between the full-time job, the dogs, the household responsibilities, and the general desire to spend at least a little bit of time with my husband each day, it’s a great week for me if I practice three times. December did bring a little bit of a slump for this yogini, but I made it to class this Monday and I feel like I’m beginning the climb out of that hole.

If there is any time of year that I need a daily practice, it’s January. Historically, late January/early February are hard months for me. The holidays are over, so the bone-chilling cold isn’t quite as romantic anymore. My brain knows that spring is just around the corner, but my body deems it impossible. During this bleak time of year, I’m boggled by the idea that I actually – less than a year ago – went outside in a tank top.

I’m going into this expecting a challenge.  It will take foresight and planning. I will have to interpret “30 minutes of yoga” loosely on some days. Some days it might mean spending my lunch hour in a conference room doing shoulder rolls and meditating, or a slow cat/cow flow, child’s pose, and savasana for the thirty minutes before bed. Some days I might be up for more, and on those days I obviously won’t limit myself to just 30 minutes.

I am gathering some tools to help me.

  • My friend Sarah loaned me this DVD with five 30-ish minute yoga workouts. They are “AM Peak Performance Yoga”, “PM Peak Performance Yoga”, “AM Yoga for Weight Loss”, “PM Yoga for Weight Loss”, and “Stress Relief Yoga”. I’ll let you know what I think.
  • Motivation. I attend my level 2 training January 30-31. Daily practice will help me feel confident and fit when I go.
  • Class at the gym. My gym membership expires January 31, so there are still four classes I can attend there if I chose.
  • Yogaglo. I plan to start my free 15-day trial membership sometime towards the middle of the month – earlier if I am lacking inspiration.
  • Fancy yoga studio in Bloomington. I plan to try at least one class, hopefully more, keeping an open mind about different approaches to practice and remembering that $12 is less than I spend on some nights I go out to dinner out with my friends.
  • I ordered this kit. I found it because I was searching for some sort of yoga pillow to take to training with me. After level 1, I ached more from the two days of sitting on a gym floor than from any exercise I did while I was there. This kit cost just a little more than a good throw pillow for the couch, and comes with a nifty timing gadget and a DVD on restorative yoga. I hope it’ll be perfect for the days that I otherwise wouldn’t want to practice. I should get it a couple of weeks into the challenge.
  • This blog. I will write periodically about how the challenge is going.

If I do only 30 minutes of yoga every day in January, I will spend 15 and 1/2 hours practicing. That sounds delicious.

Wish me luck, and happy January!



4 responses to “30 Minutes for 31 Days: a Yoga Challenge

  1. yay I’m so glad that you’re coming out of the slump!!
    30 minutes a day is actually preferred to a couple 60-90 minute practices a week :) so you are WAY ahead.

    I can relate with the bone chillig cold deal and trying to imaging going outside in a skirt and flipflops. actually did that today! (tried to imagine and couldn’t haha).

  2. Hi Jamie..I just discovered your blog today. I too am a dedicated lover of yoga who occasionally falls off the mat – but the great thing is that it is always there waiting patiently for my return, and i am always so pleased to make my way back. Last year I started a regular morning practice at home and it made a huge difference to my life – it has slipped by the wayside for various reasons but I am inspired to pick it up again after reading your post. At the very minimum I try to do down dog and uttanasana and a few shoulder stretches every day. Wishing you a wonderful 2010!

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