Challenge to Change Anything

I am doing a 30/40 challenge - Yoga 30 times in 40 days. I have been avidly going to yoga this year anyway and I think it may just be possible to do accomplish 30 yoga classes in 30 days.

Is that too ambitious of me? Maybe. But why not try it?

So I normally attend Yoga Sculpt classes, which is what I am yoga certified to teach. That is yoga with weights. It goes through a Sun A, Sun B, a Vinyasa flow, balancing series, surrender series, core series, etc. so it looks like a C2 but more intense. It also adds some "cardio bursts" as I like to refer them as, which is when we do burpies, jumping jacks or something to get the heart rate pumping.

In all, the sculpt positions offer several variations and modifications. That is another reason I love this class... If I am not feeling full airplane, heck with it, I will stand in Crescent Lunge and do my tricep kickbacks and if my legs are too sore for that I'll go to chair pose... It's still yoga... so it's your practice your body!

Anyway, it's not the typical yoga class but I enjoy it because it is a workout that hits every muscle group throughout the practice which is done in a heated studio about 92-96 degrees. Sometimes it can feel much warmer when the humidity is up!

But by the end of class I am dripping sweat, and that is what I like. I feel like this is a class I can go to for an hour and then feel accomplished for the day.

Sculpt can be hard on your body if you go everyday, like anything you do in over excess. My abuela (my grandmother) says you can eat whatever you want as long as it's in moderation. That is the key. So like eating, it's important to stay moderate in all aspects of life.

It is day nine in the challenge. I am nine classes for nine days.

Since I am going to India (for a yoga seminar/retreat/certification) in TWO months I feel like I need to get my yogi expertise down and not focus on the sculpt classes. So I made a deal with myself, in order to take care of my body, I will attend 4-5 sculpt class a week and the rest will be regular hot yoga classes like a C2 (Vinyasa flow) or a Hot Power Fusion. These specific class names come from the studio I belong to, Corepower.

I have been attending the 7:15 or 7:30 AM sculpt classes three times a week. Yesterday I slept in and went to a C2 class at noon and felt I should get my day going this morning. So I glanced over the scheduled and saw a 7:15 at COBO (the studio a mile from my house). I did not think twice if it was a sculpt or not because I saw one of my favorite sculpt instructors was teaching that class, so I assumed it was a sculpt.

I get there this morning, sign in, place my mat down. I go to the closet to grab my weights, feeling extra ambitious today since I didn't do sculpt yesterday I grab 5 lb. weights (I usually just stick with 4 lb., no need to get too buff, just sculpt-y).

I have a tendency to never look around the studio at other people.

1. I don't want people looking at me.
2. I find it weird when I catch someone's eyes looking at me.
3. This is my space and nobody else matters.

Point being: I didn't look around the room, at all. I minded my own business and laid there, did a little stretching until the instructor came in.

She sits down on her mat, "Good morning and welcome to C2." I was like wait what...

I then glance around the room to notice that NOBODY has weights by their mat except me. I smile and laugh to myself. This must be a joke!

I never do two C2 classes in a row, I need my sculpt! And I do not wake up at the crack of dawn to get my butt of out of bed for a regular hot yoga class... I get my butt up to sculpt!

Bummer. And a little uncomfortable knowing that the class probably saw me get weights wondering what I was doing...

I was bummed for about a minute and realized maybe my body secretly needs another day of regular yoga and not sculpt. I am trying to deepen my yoga practice anyway right?

I enjoyed the class in general. I love trying inversions and she gave us time to do whatever we wanted. She adjusted me in a few postures to help deepen my poses. It was nice.

The downside about sculpt is that the instructors rarely, if ever, adjust you. Whenever I teach I make it a priority to make sure I adjust every student at least once. I think it creates a comfortable and more relaxing setting for the class. It also enhances the yogis practice, so why not? Plus I love to get adjusted and hope I do in any posture! But it is rare!

Anyway, my morning didn't start out exactly how I planned but nevertheless it was a wonderful way to start my day and remind me how blessed I am to be able to get on my mat everyday.

Challenge for today: do something different, even if it is slightly different in your routine and go forth with a positive attitude. Change it up.

Our bodies and minds tend to dislike change and hold a barrier up before accepting it. How about challenge your body and mind to change something without change having to change you first?

It could be as simple as changing up your workout routine, like I did (accidentally). Despite the fact it was unintentional, it happened for a reason, and I'll accept this reason as a way to change up my day and the challenge to accept this "unwanted" change with a positive attitude.

A peaceful photo I took during the Israeli - Palestinian conflict/war, Operation Protective Edge, less than 70 km (45 miles) from the war zone in Gaza.

Maybe go for a run instead. Maybe go to a coffee shop instead of the library. Maybe change your attitude to smile at something you would not normally smile at!

Let me give you a random example, that made me realize I am growing into a better person with every new day.

I was driving home and I was not in a rush. But if you know me, I drive with a purpose. Two lanes were changing into one. I was in the merging lane and I have been on this street dozens of times, it's a 35 MPH speed limit and the car in front of me merged to the left so I assumed, as driving manners would, that I would merge after the car behind him.

That was not the case.

This car was straight up rude. She completely cut me off and I had to break and let her go in front of me. Now if you do not pass someone on this particular street it's not like you won't get a chance to get in front of them because in about 500 meters it opens back up to a two lane after the light... So why was this girl on such a mission to cut me off?

Oh, I don't know. Early morning? After all it was 8:30 AM. Rough start to the day? Whatever the reason, she was not feeling it.

Back in the day before I was graced by the constant presence of positivity and appreciation I would have beeped at her or thrown my hands up but this time I did not.

This is when I realized maybe my time working to be a more grateful and a more understanding person was working! My reaction: well "American Girl" by Tom Petty was on the radio so that was a bonus. I laughed to myself like, "Damn woman, if you must!" And turned up the radio and jammed to one of my favorites, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

If I reacted the old negative way, I could have easily gotten pretty annoyed and exasperated at the driver killing any positive mood I was in. And naturally having this calm positive reaction made me feel more relaxed and it gave me a laugh! A laugh by myself... those are the best.

I changed the way I reacted. Now I know that this is only one instance but a change is a change. And a change for the better.

Starting with a simple physical change in a routine can help guide your mind and body to an internal change, a change of attitude to the way you treat your body and eventually others.

Change is often frightening but when the mind and body are ready, you feel a sense of accomplishment and gratitude, change is no longer bursting down your door, you are bursting down the door for change of new things and happier days.

As my favorite poet would say, "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. Your are free." 


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