30 Day Yoga Challenge – My Experiences
More exercise in everyday life; Feeling more comfortable in your own body and getting fitter: These were the goals with which I started my yoga challenge. But doing yoga every day for 30 days in a row – can I really do that? An experience report.
How it all began
We all know it: New year, new resolutions. A newbeginning. The chance to do better. In my case that meant doing more exercise again. Not because I was dissatisfied with the way I looked - that hasn't been the issue for me for a long time. For me, sport is more of a way to strengthen my body, keep it fit and give something back to it. For everything he does for me every day, every minute.
However, for a long time I struggled to find a sport that I really enjoyed . The pandemic didn't make things any easier for me - the gyms were closed and most other opportunities to do sports were almost impossible. What was left: home workouts. Every now and then I made it to the mat, but overall it was far too rare for my taste. I wanted to get to the point where exercise was a natural component of my everyday life. Exercise should become a habit.
At the end of last year I noticed via YouTube and Instagram that Adriene (from the YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene ) was starting her free “30 Day Yoga Journey” again in January. She has been doing this for many years now. “This is the opportunity!” I thought to myself and was immediately hooked. “After these 30 days something like a habit will have been established...!”
[A small side note: Adriene Mishler is American. Therefore, she conducts her yoga practices exclusively in English. Anyone looking for a German-speaking alternative is in good hands with Mady Morrison . She also offers monthly challenges that work very similarly to Adriene's. Mady is an incredibly great personality that I can only warmly recommend to you!]
How does it all work?
Adriene uploads a new yoga session to her YouTube channel every day for 30 days in a row. Each video represents part of the 30-day challenge. In concrete terms, this means: The goal is to practice yoga every day for 30 days in a row . There is no fixed time - after all, the videos are available around the clock (and also afterwards). Every “yogite” when he/she has time. The videos are sometimes shorter (15-20 minutes long) and sometimes longer (30-40 minutes long). They build on one another in a certain way, but in principle they could also be practiced independently of one another.
The cool thing about it: You do yoga “together” with thousands (even hundreds of thousands!) of other people every day. Everyone for themselves, and yet everyone is somehow united.
Adriene's community is incredibly loving, motivating and benevolent. In the comments and on social media everyone is supporting and cheering each other on as much as they can. That feels really good. Because even if you miss a day or simply can't physically or mentally make it to the end of the yoga session, both Adriene and her community understand this. No matter how things go, you are never alone.
In addition to the YouTube playlist, in which all videos are saved and updated, there is also a calendar that can be printed out . On this you can clearly see which video is on which day and how much time you should plan for the unit.
The 30-day journey has a different motto every year. This appears again and again in the videos and contributes to a meaningful structure of the challenge.
By the way, Adriene deliberately doesn’t call her program “Challenge”, but rather “ Journey ”. She wants to take the pressure off and acknowledge that this journey can look different for every person. And that that is good and right.
My goals and expectations
I have to admit that I had already started several 30-day yoga challenges before. After half a month at the latest, I always gave up or let it slide.
My biggest goal was to really do the 30 days consistently . And without me having to force myself to do it. I didn't want to lose the fun and lightness . That was very, very important for me.
Another goal was to feel fitter after the 30 days . I deliberately left open what exactly that should look like. I didn't want to set unrealistic goals and I didn't know exactly what to expect after 30 days of exercise. But the physical activity would be noticeable in some way, I thought.
Apart from that, I had hardly any expectations of the challenge. I knew that there would be days on this “journey” when I would have a hard time motivating myself. My expectation was very clear that it would n't always be easy .
Nevertheless, my motivation was there. I just really wanted to try it out and challenge myself in that way.
My experiences – The time during the challenge
My expectation that it wouldn't always be easy came true. However, I was very surprised at how well I would deal with the temporary lack of motivation.
On days when I find it difficult to roll out the mat, two mantras have helped me a lot. Both come from Adriene herself.
The first mantra was: “I choose to show up on the mat for the next 30 days. I can and I will.” / “I choose (make a conscious decision) to appear on the mat in the next 30 days. I can & I will.”
The wording was very important to me: I want / would like / consciously decide to do this. NOT: I have to / should! This kind of choice of words always reminded me that I wanted to do this whole thing for myself. wanted .
The second mantra was: “The beginning is always the hardest part.” / “The beginning is always the hardest part.”
Adriene said this sentence almost every day. And when you got to the point of hearing that sentence from Adriene, you knew you had already done the hardest part - taking the time to unroll the mat and start the video. Knowing or hearing this gave me incredible strength on some days. It felt like I had already achieved something.
The fun factor
I definitely had fun with the challenge. Adriene's videos are very elaborate in terms of imagery and content . The sessions varied nicely in terms of intensity and focus, so it never got boring . Every now and then there were breathing exercises or mini-meditation sessions. So it wasn't just about asanas (the typical postures) themselves, but about everything else that yoga entails.
What also gave me a lot of joy was Benji , Adriene's dog, who comes to every practice. Sometimes he lies in the background and dozes, sometimes he runs across the picture, and sometimes he joins in with the downward dog. It may sound stupid, but I looked forward to seeing Benji again every day. 😂
My favorite part of the yoga sessions, however, was Adriene herself. She has a super pleasant manner and manages to meet each person where they are. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or a professional – Adriene has a suitable tip, variation or advice for everyone. Even if you're not live with her in the studio at that moment.
In addition, she is super funny and entertaining. This makes the units very relaxed and relaxed . She uses a lot of metaphors to illustrate the correct execution of the poses, which really helped me a lot.
The minutes fly by because of the way she teaches.
In the first few days, I integrated the daily yoga session into my morning as early as possible . I thought that the videos should be part of my morning routine so that I can start the day fresh. Anyway, I'm more of the type of person who does exercise in the morning because I can't motivate myself to do it in the evening.
Well, how things have changed! One day during the first week I didn't have time in the morning because I had a university event quite early. So it happened that I completed my unit in the evening before I went to bed. How good that did! I felt like I could let go of the tensions of the day and slept like a baby.
From then on I practiced around 80% of the 30 yoga sessions in the evening . That just worked really well for me and I was really looking forward to the half hour of relaxation in the evening – just for myself.
Of course I want to be honest here: I didn't have the time to do yoga on two days. But instead of beating myself up about it and telling myself that the challenge was a failure, I just continued the next day. Then I caught up on the last day's video and then did the new day's unit.
So even though I didn't actually do yoga for 30 days in a row (after all, I had two yoga-free days in between), the challenge was a huge success for me. For me, I don't think the challenge was a failure. 😌
One thing that is also part of the extras and of course shouldn't be missing from yoga: comfortable clothing that makes you feel comfortable. For me this usually involves a sports bra, a loose shirt and jogging or harem pants . But here too, everyone has their own preferences. The main thing is comfortable!
Transformations & Progress
I have already noticed some progress during my yoga journey. Here is a small list of things that have changed during this time:
- I became increasingly more balanced . More relaxed and less stressed. So much so that my friend noticed it too. 😋
- I felt more vital and fitter . And that after the first three days.
- I felt my muscles again for a long time. With each passing day I was able to hold the plank a little longer and more securely. And with each passing day it became easier for me to endure strenuous poses.
- Over time I became more and more mobile . I’m not the most flexible person, and admittedly not the “stiff” person either. However, I was able to see some progress!
- I became more mindful of my body. I was much more aware of him and sensed what he needed more quickly (or at all!). Even away from the yoga mat. I found myself occasionally correcting my posture at my desk or feeling like I wanted to move.
- I took the breathing exercises that Adriene teaches into my everyday life. They helped me a lot - whether before an exam when I was stressed or in bed in the evening when I couldn't fall asleep.
- Aside from these evenings, my sleep has improved tremendously.
Of course, I can't say with certainty whether all of these changes and progress occurred exclusively or only because of the yoga challenge. After all, changes are usually a product of several variables. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure that the daily portion of yoga made up the majority of it.
By the way, I didn't notice any negative effects or changes. 🤗
What happens next – the time after the challenge
If you couldn't already guess: In my opinion, the 30-day challenge or journey was a complete success . After the 30 days I just kept going ! And yoga still does me a lot of good; I do not want to miss it anymore!
With the help of the challenge, I achieved my goal of feeling fitter and doing something for my body regularly while enjoying exercise at the same time. If I don't do yoga for a day or two, that's completely fine. Finally, I can consciously decide what I want to do or not do. As Adriene always says: “ Find what feels good.” After all, yoga also has a lot to do with mindfulness.
Unfortunately, I had to take a break from yoga due to foot surgery. I don't know when I'll be able to hop on the mat next time. But one thing that I know and that I realized again through the foot surgery and the associated restriction of movement is this: being able to move, do sports, run or dance is a privilege. And we forget that far too often in everyday life...
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, healthy eating, sustainability or family and pregnancy, check out more exciting blog articles on these topics here .
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