Let’s talk about the studio(s) before the challenge. There are various Yoga Vida locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I’ve only visited
the Union Square and NoHo studios.
I heard about YV from yoga instructors on Instagram. I started going to YV for the community (donation-based) classes because I was looking for something affordable.
One day while I was there, I saw these posted on the walls:
I was stoked and had to sign up for the Harry Potter yoga workshop! I went and had so much fun. The room was packed with other HP fans and it was just a welcoming atmosphere.
After YV posted and emailed about the 30 day challenge, I wondered if I could actually do it. I believed I could, but I wasn’t sure if it was too much or if I’d get tired of it. I like a good challenge, so I thought, why not? I didn’t have anything to lose besides money and time. I’d be exercising anyways, so it’d be a good way to keep myself in check. There were also incentives if you completed the challenge, so that helped.
After I committed to the challenge, I saw another cool workshop posted:
After seeing this, I was basically hooked on YV. I signed up for the Hamilton yoga workshop and regretted nothing. I also was glad since it would count as one of the classes for the challenge.
For the challenge, I was told I could either do 30 consecutive days of yoga or just be present for 30 yoga classes within the span of 30 days.
Since I thought I couldn’t keep up with 30 consecutive days, some days I doubled up on classes, which was a fun challenge. (A challenge within a challenge. It was a challenge-ception!)
YV classes range from: basic, flow, heated flow, meditation, restorative, etc.
I normally stuck to the community classes, although I love restorative yoga for those days where you’re just not feelin’ it.
The challenge ended up changing my mindset and my body.
-I get “yoga face” when I’m super concentrated. I learned to relax and let my body do what it wants and needs.
-Sometimes it really is mind over matter. One day I wasn’t feelin’ it and I was just going through the motions of class, not really thinking much. But it was the first time I comfortably stayed up in a shalabasana (and my chest/legs were raised higher than normal!) Normally, that’s a pose I dread, but not thinking, “Ugh” when I knew it was happening actually helped me stay in the pose.
-Since I went to a lot of the community classes, the instructors differed most times. I loved some flows and hated others. Or I thought I did, at least. Then I realized after going to the same instructors week after week that it was all in my head. The practice is what you make it. Instructors teach differently, and that’s the beauty of the practice. I got to experience that and it was refreshing to my ears and mind.
-Everything is harder in yoga now that I’m 25 and not 15.
-I’m still working on perfecting basic yoga postures. For example, downward dog is harder to get in to than I thought because I wasn’t really lifting my hips high enough or drawing my chest back toward my thighs enough.
-I learned what to pay attention to for when instructors adjusted me. For example, I’m always getting adjusted when I go into a trikonasana and when I go into parivrtta trikonasana. This made me wonder what I was doing wrong or what I could be doing better in those poses.
*Side note: If you keep your mat at your yoga studio, put your name on it. I didn’t put my name on mine and I left it at YV the whole month for the challenge. One day, my mat was gone. I searched every single cubby but couldn’t find it. I figured someone must’ve grabbed it by mistake. However, once they rolled it out, they would’ve seen it clearly wasn’t theirs. It had little rips/tears all over. I got it for free and it had no grip whatsoever. I wasn’t really that mad when I couldn’t find it, but I was irritated. What if I had an expensive mat and it just disappeared? So yes, it’s my fault for not putting my name on it. But also, check the mat you grab before you grab it. A YV employee helped search the lost & found and checked the cubbies again, but no luck. She mentioned seeing someone walk out with a mat that matched my description earlier that day. **Also, YV was doing a yoga mat spring cleaning, so members were prompted often to remember to take their mats home by the end of the month instead of leaving them in the cubbies since leftover ones would be donated. I contemplated donating mine anyways, so really, I’m OK. But it’s not OK that someone just took a mat that wasn’t theirs. Anyways, moving on.
A month of yoga really opened up my shoulders, which I desperately needed. I’m grateful for that because I didn’t know what to expect.
I learned a lot about willpower. Some days were rough. Some days were easy. Some days I ended up cancelling. I cancelled because I knew my body couldn’t take it and I needed to rest, or I just wasn’t feeling up for it. I did a lot of doubling up where I took a class in the afternoon and a class at night. Throughout this month, I was also doing other physical activities on top of the 30 day yoga challenge, so perhaps that changes things.
Overall, if you haven’t done a 30 day yoga challenge before, I’d recommend it. This was my first one and I’d do it again in the future.
I learned more than I expected to and I’m glad I stuck to it when I thought I was going to give up.