Good intentions are my specialty. I am exceptional at setting lofty goals for myself. Following through on them is a whole ‘nother story. For years I have mentally beat myself up for not practicing as much nor as often as I think I should. Now, after ten years of practice, I practice most days, but I still lack consistency. At this point, after having recently completed my second 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, I am meditating for at least one hour per day (sometimes split into two smaller segments.) And so I figure this is the perfect time to recommit to my personal yoga practice as well.
My inspiration? Mandala Yoga, one of my absolute favorite places to practice in Portland. I think it’s the most beautiful studio in town, and it specializes in the yoga of sound, with plenty of kirtan and gong opportunities. I also love their focus on Kundalini yoga, a style of yoga that you don’t see too often. Anyhoo, Mandala’s brilliant owner Signa has issued a challenge for us: To practice 40 days in a row! You can sign up for this challenge at the Facebook event page. My personal guidelines for this challenge will be as follows:
–I must practice every day!
–A practice should be at least 15 minutes long. (This is my personal requirement, don’t let even this time limit discourage you from doing the challenge!)
–Physical postures (asana), mantra, and breathing exercises (pranayama) count.
Also, I will be adding this to my current meditation goal of practicing 1 hour of Vipassana meditation per day. (Again, you don’t need to follow this guideline to participate!)
Tomorrow, in my 7am Hatha Flow class at Mandala, I will be presenting students with a simple 20-minute flow they can practice at home in order to participate in the challenge. Here is a picture of that simple practice:
Written out, that is:
seated side stretch on each side
seated twist on each side
mountain, fold, 1/2 lift, fold, mountain (I would do this three times as well)
low lunge, crescent lunge, 1/2 splits, warrior 1, warrior 2, reverse warrior, extended side angle, warrior 2, low lunge, 1/2 lift, low lunge into crescent lunge, 1/2 splits, warrior sequence on other side
tree on each side
Mandala will be hosting a kirtan and potluck 30 days into the challenge, and a celebration at the very end. Whether or not you can attend those events, I invite you to join me in this challenge! I am excited to share the impact this daily sadhana (personal practice) has on my thinking, my body, and my emotions.