The 40-Day Challenge
September and most of October, have been extremely challenging months for me. My son started day care (which was extremely emotional) and I went back to work full time (teaching and writing). However, paired with the day care came illnesses, six illnesses to be exact (between my daughter and son) within seven weeks. Needless to say, I spent a lot of my time taking care of others and neglecting to take care of myself.
I know there are lot things worse than dealing with colds and flus. However, having a continual bout of illness in my home created a lot of strain. In particular, when I write from home, it is very easy to put my work aside until late at night or another day.
Practicing the sections of the various limbs of yoga helped. It was great having those moments of concentration and focus (especially since my focus was not my chaos). Now that I’ve came out of this bout of sickness, I need to get back on track mentally and physically. And so I decided the best way to do this was with a 40 day challenge.
What’s the purpose of 40 days of yoga?
- Both physically and mentally challenged
- Inspired by the power of your own body and mind
- Connect with individuals who have the similar ideals and principles
- Connect to the needs of your own body and mind
- Learn that you are your own best teacher
- Benefit from the practice of yoga
- Integrate a healthy new habit into your lifestyle
- Increase your energy, become more focused and feel empowered
The Forty Day challenge was a program originated by Baron Baptiste and other practitioners of power yoga. In this traditional format, you commit to the practice of yoga in a studio for 6 weeks straight. If you’re partaking at a 40 day program at a studio: it should include a nutrition plan, tips for an at home practice and a day of rest. The advantages of taking it at a studio is that you have the fellowship of others. There is nothing more reinforcing than having a friend encourage you through to the next step.
According to Baron Baptiste, it takes 20 days to break old habits and 20 days to form new ones. The 40 day challenge is developed around this philosophy. In his book, “ 40 days to a Personal Revolution”, Baptiste believed that after 40 days your mind and body would be committed to the benefits of the yogic life style.
So why am I thinking about this program? Quite honestly, I don’t have time to attend forty days straight at a studio. However, I know how tired and out of practice my body feels. I have gone from practicing yoga three to five times a week, to twice in the past month. My body is mad at me.
I feel exhausted, my muscles feel weak and my flexibility and cardio level are waning. I’m also feeling really disconnected with myself and my friends. Illness, even minor ones, can do this. And so, I needed a refresher and that’s what brought me to the 40 day challenge.
Here is my adaptation for the 40 day challenge:
- Commit to practicing yoga a minimum of 40 minutes every day. This forty minute session can be broken into two twenty minute sessions or in extremely stressful/busy days ( 4, 10 minute sessions).
- Continue the healthy eating: eating local, natural, foods on a regular basis
- Remember to drink plenty of fluids regularly (whether its herbal tea, water or juice)
- Do a five minute emotional check in (quick journal entry or drawing)
- Continue practicing meditation and/or concentrated focus
- When possible, attend a class at the local yoga studio to connect with others on this path
At the end of the forty days, I promise to honestly tell you how I did. Ideally, I would love to practice in Baron Baptiste’s digital 40 day challenge. This entire challenge is done completely online, but gives you the similar benefits that you would gain in attending a studio class. I would love to commit to this goal now, however, realistically, I think it may be something to focus on in the new year.