Tag Archives: 30 day challenge

What to do in the face of Failure…

Hello my super awesome yogis of the universe!! It’s Friday. The last time I wrote was…I think on Sunday…oh gosh, I just looked and I think it might have been on Saturday…which means that I have missed almost a week of my challenge and it’s only the 9th of August.

humph

SO, here’s the deal…what do you do in the face of “FAILURE”??!!

I always believed that if I am going to do something (anything) then I must be great at it. I had the (un-conscious) idea in my head that if I was not good at something initially, then I was not good at it. Period. So, those things I would not do again. Ha, sounds so ridiculous to me in this moment, but at the time (for pretty well my whole life, at some times more strongly than others) it seemed to make sense, I guess. I am pretty certain I know where it came from originally. One of my clearest memories from my early years is of playing soccer. I went to an alternative elementary school called Sundance Elementary. My brother and I were a couple of hippy kids with a couple hippy parents who went to a hippy school with a bunch of other hippy kids and parents. We talked about warm fuzzies and cold pricklies, we had a family-room not a homeroom, we had offerings instead of classes and we, the kids (if we played our cards right) could have a hand in choosing what we wanted to do all day in our offerings…it was super hippy-tastic. One of the things I loved most about Sundance was that all the kids got to hang out together, no matter the age group. Sometimes there were classes that were age limitations (you had to be a certain age to play indoor basketball with the older kids, or maybe you were too old for the puppet show field trip etc), but for the most part, we were all free agents and worked at our own pace and played with the people we were drawn too, not necessarily the ones who were the same age.

So, here I was, a small 4 year old Sundancer, playing soccer (maybe even for the first time!) with my best friend (a small tot as well) and all the BIG KIDS. I remember running and running after the ball, constantly chasing the ball, and the kids, around the field…until the moment when it was my turn. The teacher, Giles, let both me and my besty have a turn. Everyone cheered me on, directed me to the ball…and I ran up to it and was so excited and I ….picked it up. And everyone yelled at me. Well, that’s how my 4 year old memory remembers it. I attempted something new, I got yelled at, I never played soccer again. Isn’t that how our brains work and develop? Something happens like that and then, whammo, we make a choice about who we are and what it means about us. Then we get to take all those thing we decide along the way and make them part of who we are. Awesome, from the age of 4, I made up my mind that if I am going to do ANYTHING, then I am going to be AWESOME at it, or not do it at all.

Super…those are some pretty big and lofty goals…and, it’s not that I am adverse to a challenge or adverse to having to work hard at things to get better or what have you…but the excitement that was crushed in a simple second by some harmless big kids who were only trying to help a small wee person play soccer…well, it’s taken me many years to want to play soccer again (actually, I don’t have any desire for soccer, but I have played and done all sorts of other things that I never would have done because I had determined that I was not good at, therefore would not do…but now I do things that I thought I was “bad” at, and realized that even if I am not good at those things (well, I haven’t played them my whole life, after all!), they are still fun!! Haha, who knew you can have fun without having to be an expert??!! Go figure.

So, now here I am, I committed to a 30 day challenge to write every day…9 days in and I’ve already missed writing for 5 of those days. And, I will be honest, I have felt pangs of guilt throughout the past few days about not writing…but have just said to myself that that is not how I operate, I do not make goals to feel guilty when I “fail”…in fact, setting goals for me is about being committed enough to stay with them even when they get tough…but not being so attached to them that I beat myself up if things don’t look or go the way I thought they were going to. Over the past few days I have had all sorts of conversations with myself about this. I have had to remind myself that I set my 30 day challenge to be creative and expressive and help myself write more…not to make myself feel badly if I am busy and get caught up and miss a day (or 5!). I also realized that I write when I am inspired…I write about things that ignite me, and that I feel passionate about (not to say that I am not, NOT inspired and/or ignited every single day, by something or someone around me, but it’s not always at the moment that I allotted for my writing that day!)…I don’t just write every day to fill a quota.

I have already had such a good lesson from my August challenge!! I am not writing a novel (right now!) or have a deadline to my editor (YET!), so I will continue on my path the way I am going. I am still committed to my writing challenge for this month, but I am also committed to supporting myself along the way (because, if I don’t support and champion for mySELF, then I will never be able to support and champion for ANYone else along the way…).

I love you, yogis. I hope you challenge yourself to do and try new things every single day. As I am realizing, “being good” at something has nothing to do with my ability, and everything to do with my intention. “Failure” only exists if I say it exists.

Love and special unicorn kisses,
-Ida xx

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if there is no CHALLENGE, then what’s keeping you moving forward…?

Gooood morning yogis!!!

Uh, can you believe it’s AUGUST FIRST already??! Wowee, time flies when you’re alive 😉

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I am challenging myself to 30 days of writing. In the past, I have done much reading and researching about 30 day challenges (they say it takes 30 days to start a new habit) because of the popularity of doing yoga challenges. I like to choose a new challenge topic for myself whenever we do a yoga challenge because I am already pretty confident with my yoga habit, I feel like it’s not going anywhere. By creating new challenges for myself, I get to be committed along side of my yogis, I just use a different tool to achieve the same goal…I am writing myself a step closer and they are stretching themselves a step closer to the ultimate goal…Self Realization!

Ever since I can remember I have known how to read. I don’t remember learning how, I just always remember reading. Now I would not consider myself a big reader. Everyone in my family is a reader. Seriously, they usually read the same books in succession of each other, and often they are all reading the same series of books at the same time. They like to geek out and talk about all the characters and what’s happening in the books together, as though they are all there. They are currently reading the Game of Thrones, so there is a LOT of geeking out to be done with this series, it really helps when there is a worldwide mass hysteria over the book/series of books, and even better if there is a tv show and/or a movie!! It’s a real super geek fest if all those things are aligned 😉 (NOTE to my readers, I LOVE geeks and I LOVE my family…and I LOVE to geek out with my family as well, so I too am reading Game of Thrones 😉 )

So, with reading comes writing, and I’ve always just known how to do that as well. I know, sounds pompous, but it’s true. I was a smart kid. lol. As I grew up I didn’t really get into writing much…just the journal entries from teen-hood about my broken heart or my heavy crush on the new guy on the basketball team and what to do about it all. (Sigh, high school.) It was when I was in my early 20’s that I discovered how much I love to write. I was doing all sorts of self discovery and self expression workshops, taking acting classes and trying to figure out what my passion is and what is holding me back from being amazing and ridiculously fulfilled in all areas of my life (and, btw, what I learned through all these courses and workshops is that we are all capable of whatever we want to be capable of because we are perfect and powerful exactly in this moment, so start visualizing what you want to create and START CREATING IT!)…and I decided (remembered/realized?) that I was wanted to write and that I was going to write a book one day. I didn’t know what it was going to be about, I didn’t know if it was going to be fiction or true tale…I just knew I would do it. One day. I tried my hand at play writing and screen writing (uh, no). I wrote several monologues that were parts of larger pieces for a one woman show I would one day produce (and perform), and even have a bunch of stuff hidden away somewhere of the light hearted book I was compiling called “The Good Girl’s Guide To…”, a series of observations of a 20 something girl living in Vancouver…clearly I realized that this “Good Girl in the City” wasn’t the voice I was going to move through the rest of my life with…it’s still just in pieces stashed away with the rest of my young adult musings.

So, here we are. I have a lot going on right now professionally, and sometimes I feel like I’m not expressing my creativity enough. If I focus too much on the left side of my brain I get lop sided and the right creative is stagnant and I get grump-o-rama. I need to have some creative expression in order to have, you guessed it, BALANCE in my brain life body mind spirit. So I am choosing to write! I will write for the month and see how creative I feel at the end of it. (Feel free to read as much or as little as you like through the process 😉 )

Do you have something that you have been wanting to do but putting off (gosh, what a cliche thing to write!! ha)? Well, maybe NOW is the time to do it…

That’s today’s post, my loves. Sometimes prolific ideas come in small offerings…and sometimes a simple post is just a simple post 🙂

Have fun today,
Love,
Ida xx


Spring is Springing, time for a challenge….

Hello Pupps!!

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Tahoe it’s pretty spring like these days. I know, I know, you might be thinking “isn’t Tahoe a SKI area??!!”…, it is, and there is still lots of skiing going on. But here in town, there is hardly any snow and the sun has been shining for days on end with nary a cloud in the sky! Everyone is talking about when we are going to get the next big storm (we’re due) and how it could snow for the entire month of March…awesome. 

However…in this moment it is as good as spring for me, and Mexico is right around the corner (32 days!), so it’s Bikini Challenge or Bust!!! The next 30 day challenge starts on Friday (March 1st)…you know how I feel about 30 day challenges…but this is what I have come to discover:

30 day challenges are about honing in on one specific thing or area of my practice and concentrating on that for a month. For instance, we started this year out as “2013 Year of the Locust”…and let me tell you, focussing on working as hard as possible in Locust and Full Locust for the entire month of January this year has changed those postures for me!! As I always say at 30 day challenge time, “they say it takes 30 days to start a new habit”. So, if getting INTO your practice is your goal, great do a challenge….or do a personal challenge of 3 or 4 days per week instead of 1 or 2. Choose a set of postures to work on every day for the month, regardless of if your brain is complaining…get the idea?

MY challenge for this month is water and juice. For anyone who has spent some time with me, you know that I love drinks. Liquids of many flavours and varieties. Water, however, is something I only enjoy for the most part when I’m in or near the yoga room. Last week I wore down my water reserves and I got really dehydrated. Because I am in the yoga room every day, after a few days of not building the water storage back up as well as replenishing the daily loss….well, it leads to getting dehydrated which for me slows everything down, causes back up and body pain and feels generally not awesome. So, my 30 day challenge is to drink more water (specifically, have TWO big glasses first thing in the am rather than just one).  The second challenge is having green juice or a green smoothie every day. I am pretty good with this now, but by making it my challenge and committing to it I will ensure that no matter what else I eat that day at least I’ve had my greens!

So, there you go. Many people at this time of year give things up for Lent. You could think of this as the same idea…only instead of giving something up you are gaining something more! Coolio.

Think of it, puppies, maybe you have a goal or two that would work for you. But remember, whether you decide on a challenge in your practice or in your life, be kind and generous with yourself. If you love you then you will love others too 

I love you.

Love,

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New Year got you down…?

Hello everyone!!! 

I’m so energized today. Why, you ask? Don’t know exactly…could just be the super high test Yerba Maté I’m drinking this morning, laced with delicious high grade organic maple syrup…that always seems to give me a swing in my step and a palpitation in my heart!

Yesterday I taught a class in the morning. It was filled with (but not only with) people coming back to their practice after having a bit of a break…a holiday break, a been too busy break, an I needed a break break, an I have been gone so long now I can’t fathom going back break…you get the idea. So, I did the best I could at my job to give them the space they needed and the encouragement and sweet but tough love they desired in coming back into the room.  It got me to thinking…all the New Year’s resolutions that float around the air at this time of year. All the feelings of being not good enough are hanging heavy over people’s heads right now. All the food and drinks and celebrations now seem to be overkill, the joy has been removed from the occasions and now all that is left is the extra few pounds, the pants that don’t quite fit, and the feeling of the New Year’s resolutions that were made in an energized, perhaps slightly inebriated state of mind fog that now have to be maintained. 

MAINTENANCE. Ugh. It could be such a big oppressive word, don’t you think?! Making the goal and starting the new activity (eating/exercising/positivity/whatever else you have made for a NYResolution) is easy…you have the motivation for it, you told yourself you would and now you are…but then it turns to the reality of LIFE. It’s one thing to start something new when you are on vacation or with the kids out of school. But, yesterday the kids went back to school and everyone went back to work and suddenly it was like the realisation that it’s not that you changed something for a while or for fun or to try it out…you made a RESOLUTION and now you must stick to it or fail (again?) at your resolution….the MAINTENANCE of it is here again. 

So, yesterday, as I saw all these people come back to the mat with a slight bit of fear and trepidation, they also brought with them a feeling of knowing…knowing they would feel great in a few short classes, a feeling of triumph of getting back in the room and knowing they just needed to get through 90 minutes and they would have bliss at the end of the road. The thing about making resolutions (or any kind of change at any time of the year) is that once you get through the first month, it then becomes part of your life, not just something you do. They say it takes 30 days to create a new habit. It’s one day at a time, one choice at a time, but after 30 days, you are over the hump and hopefully you have created this new habit for yourself. (I’m not saying you have to do a “30 day challenge”, but just maintain your goals for a month however you need to to be able to do them, and with some luck you will feel in the groove to keep going!).

So, all that being said…my goal for my yoga practice for this year is to enjoy the feelings I get IN the yoga room. A couple years ago I decided I would not ever go into a yoga class with the feeling of “ugh, I so don’t want to go to class”…why would I? I didn’t want to bring in any negative thoughts or feelings into my yoga practice with me, so I have created a wonderful relationship to my practice that has taken me…oh, 12.5 years to cultivate!! So, I decided this year I want to focus on the wonderful feelings I feel INSIDE the yoga room, not just the hard work in the yoga room to reap the feelings OUTSIDE the yoga room. As a teacher I look at my students in the postures and feel elated for them! I look a the bodies in the postures and think how much is going on in the body…the blood flow and the oxygen saturation and the heart pounding and the lungs expanding and the skin stretching and everything getting a tune up!! (makes me excited to get into the yoga room just typing it!!…I’m such a yoga geek). So, now my goal is to bring more mindfulness and presence to my own practice this year. LIsten, I have been doing this yoga for over 12 years, if you think this series cannot be practiced for fear of boredom…think again! I have learned more from this one series than from anything else in my life. But it is my job for myself to figure out all the things it has to offer me. My job right now is to bring this mindfulness and presence to my own practice so that I can help my students find it as well. 

Whatever it is that you gave to yourself for this year, whatever goals or thoughts you gifted to yourself for 2013, they are here for you. They are here for you when you want them and for when you don’t. Be generous with yourself but give yourself some sweet tough love. Set yourself up for success and be generous every day with yourself. Some days are going to look how  you want them and some won’t. Some days you get what you want and some days you get what you need. And…if you’re really lucky, some days what you want and what you need are the same thing.

Happy life, my puppies. Whether your goals and resolutions involve something physical or spiritual, something tangible or not…happy life…that’s all there is to it.

Love and sweet unicorn kisses,

Ida xx


Yoga isn’t just about Relaxation…and other interesting tidbits

Good morning my loves! It’s another grey morning out there, but the rain seems to have stopped for now and even that seems a relief.

I just watched a quickie video interview with Rajashree (Choudhury) and the final word from the new caster was something about being relaxed for the next segment. While I FULLY agree that yoga DOES create relaxation in the body/mind/spirit, I think it is an energizer in those areas as well…don’t you think? I started doing this practice (Bikram Yoga) in the summer of 2000. I did it because a couple friends recommended it to me. I had been doing other yoga at the community center and this sounded interesting (btw, I don’t even think either of them mentioned it was HOT…but maybe I just don’t remember correctly). I have been doing this practice of yoga for over 11 years and have been teaching for almost 9. I could not even begin to tell you the amount of classes I’ve taken or taught over those years.

I will tell you this, though, I have had times of more yoga and less yoga and what I have come to believe and know in my head heart and soul is that whatever you decide for you in your practice is what is right for you in your practice. There are challenges going on all over the world right now…30/60/YEAR! challenges…yogis who have decided to do a challenge because it’s happening, or because a friend is doing it or because they want to lose weight or or or. I have done many a challenge in my years and after the last 30 day I did I decided I would not do one again (that was almost 2 years ago). I found myself in that challenge begrudging the yoga and my HAVING to go to class. WHY WOULD I WANT TO EVER HATE HAVING TO GO TO CLASS?? I know, the challenge is to show you how strong you are and how in the face of adversity you really CAN do something and give you a sense of accomplishment etc etc…and so many other things it can give/show you. But when I found myself on days being angry about going to class I decided then and there that I don’t ever want to go to the yoga room feeling angry that I’m there or wishing I wasn’t…

Yoga is about whatever you want it to be about. On the surface it is so good for the physical body. It stretches the whole body, the spine, and helps to counteract the effects of daily life (the sitting, the carrying, the stress and tension we hold…). As you practice more you start to realise the mental benefits of clearer thinking, increased relaxation, quieter mind, better judgement and/or choices…and the list goes on. A few months ago there were a string of articles about how yoga isn’t actually good for your back and body. Isn’t that the truth about anything and everything if practiced incorrectly or for the wrong reasons (people often refer to the people who push themselves to do more than the body will allow or is willing and ready to do as ego driven…this includes yogis and all athletes alike…come to think of it the same goes for people driven in all areas of life…alas, that is for another post). For me now (and, don’t get me wrong, I have done many postures and things with my body at a time that my body was maybe not ready to do but I did it anyhow…and I’ve had many messages from my body that it’s had enough. Some pains I feel and have felt are movement and healing and some are self-infliced. I totally get that now and understand the difference between ego-ing into postures and practicing yoga…) yoga is truly about the union. The coming together of the body, mind and spirit. I spend my time in the yoga room reminding myself to enjoy this life and enjoy this body enjoy the sensations I’m feeling because I CAN feel them! Most of us spend our entire lives trying to find this union and see only glimpses of it…but isn’t that the fun in life?

 


You have to experience it for yourself to make your own choice…

Good evening, Yogis…

Tonight I taught a class and saw one of my favourite yogis there…this yogi did a personal 365 day challenge last year (January 1-December 31, 2010), and then didn’t come for almost all of 2011. She tried many other kinds of yoga during the past year, practiced often and experienced what she felt in the other classes…but didn’t do Bikram. However, she came back to the Bikram practice because she really likes it and likes the way she feels…but she had to try it all in order to find that out!

Did you get that the first time…SHE HAD TO TRY IT ALL IN ORDER TO FIND THAT OUT!! The only way you can really know what YOU like is if YOU TRY things and experience them for YOURSELF!!! I can wax poetic about the benefits of Bikram yoga and I can tell you how my life has changed and I can regale you with the thousands of stories I’ve heard from thousands of students…but you won’t really know how it is for you until you experience it for yourself. And, I mean, REALLY experience it…now, I’m not saying you have to do a 365 day challenge, but you need to give it a try in ernest and feel what you feel and then pick your choice.

That’s all…I was so inspired to see her and her knowledge of herself to choose to do different styles of yoga and listen to herself to know what she likes and how she feels. I was so inspired to see you ALL tonight in class…see you all tomorrow 😉