So today was day one of my 30 Day Warrior Challenge. I have committed to practicing hot yoga, vinyasa flow style three times a week for the next month. About two years ago I practiced bikram yoga while living in Brooklyn and completed a thirty day challenge where I practiced every single day no breaks, no excuses. It was life transforming. Following that, I started to practice vinyasa at home in the mornings almost every day. Somewhere along the line a year later, I fell off the yoga wagon. This challenge is a way to get back on in a serious way. As I walked to class today the lazy voice in my head almost convinced me to take back my commitment but I left the class feeling energized, sweating bullets, and determined to keep going. I had forgotten how amazing yoga is for your mind and spirit, and how incredible it is that no matter how challenging the class, the practice never leaves you feeling tired or lethargic afterwards like regular workouts—you actually feel like a warrior. Really like you could take on the world. Your mind is clearer, your limbs are freer, and your mood is on an even kilter. How could you snap at someone over something insignificant if you just spent two hours aligning your body, mind, and spirit?
This challenge was inspired by Tonya Zavasta, who I highlighted in a recent post as one of my anti-aging she-roes. Tonya has two fake hips made of titanium and could have been disabled for life, but the combination of a raw food diet and hot yoga revitalized her. My sentiments were, if someone with two fake hips can practice like a warrior, can’t I? There are countless others who stress that these two practices are a perfect combination to facilitate overall well-being, while increasing youthfulness and of course toning the body. When you adopt a raw food diet, you begin eating very fresh pure foods, but your body still has a backlog of toxin accumulations. The inversions, stretching, and twisting in yoga help to purify the blood and flush toxins out. Thus, the two incorporated in your lifestyle together greatly enhance one another for long-term detoxification. I really enjoyed hot yoga a lot more than bikram. It was hot enough to allow the body to stretch deeper and to get a great sweat, but not so hot that you wanted to vomit, faint, or run out of the room—which sometimes happens with bikram.
I feel like somebody great somewhere said that on the other end of a challenge is a miracle waiting to happen. If no one said it, I’m taking credit for it! Over and over again, I have experienced that embracing challenges, and cultivating discipline always leads to some unforeseen success. One of my favorite artists, actress/playwright Anna Deveare Smith said in her book , Letters to a Young Artist, (an adapation of the Rilke version: Letters to a Young Poet) that discipline is a form of love. I loved the way she put it. You can think of having to show up everyday as a hassle or a blessing, but by committing to improve your health in any capacity whether through diet or exercise is making the choice to show yourself a little love. Well it’s Valentine’s Day, so I am loving the heck out of my fly self. Starting today.
Anybody out there up for the challenge? If so find a studio, make the commitment, and email email@example.com, lets track our classes, and see what happens on the other end of these thirty days! I’m taking a Raw Girl vacay tomorrow Sunday and Monday, but will reemerge Tuesday with more fuel for your raw fire. – XoXo Raw Girl