21 day yoga challenge


So I was reading my February issue of Yoga Journal and I came across info on their 21 day yoga challenge:


After letting my eating habits and workout routines slowly spiral downwards over the past couple years (combination of graduate school and...well, some depression) I've decided to set challenges for myself to get me going again. I recently got the gym style dvds so starting March I'm going to make those my weightlifting rotations. For cardio, I'm going to trade in my step workouts for running a few days a week. And for yoga -- well, I found the 21 day challenge so I thought, why not add this to my list of challenges?

I do think I'm in danger of over-challenging myself and getting disappointed if I start falling short...but I'm going for it anyway! :) Anyway, the idea is simple enough: 21 straight days of yoga. I'm definitely a yoga person -- been practicing it for years and even taught it for a while...but once I stopped teaching I fell out of practice, so I'm using this to hopefully get motivated again. The website has segments for every day -- from 15 minutes to an hour. Anyway, I'm giving this a shot, and I'm also going to try to blog about my attempt to get healthy again. Healthier, I guess. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm *not* overweight and I *am* fit -- but I just want to reach a better place. Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about it -- I've done 2 days in a row so far, and I just wanted to pass the link along in case anyone else was interested, and add a 1000 word commentary with it. ;)


Thanks so much for posting this! Like you, my exercise regime has been a downward spiral over the past year. I was an avid runner until I herniated a lumbar disc last April. It was horrid, but I did recover without surgery (thank God!) My ortho is a big advocate for Yoga and feels incorporating yoga into every day really helps with back issues. He also feels like I can run again, but I am very reluctant and like you, I tend to jump in and do maybe too much too fast. SO, I have started doing some yoga over the last week and love it. I will do the challenge with you! My only concern is that I really need beginner moves as I am extremely inflexible and don't want to injure myself so I am taking it very slow. I usually do the Yoga on Exercise TV on demand and have found some great ones.

Good luck in your quest for fitness as I try to find my way back to mine - injury free!:)


I suggest using the shorter yoga sessions after your jogging/running. I love using yoga as a cool down. Also, that way it won't feel like you have a humongous double workout planned, its just a run plus a cool-down. That seems less intimidating. With your runs I suggest keeping it mellow. The coolest thing about running (and exercise in general.) is that it is a great mood booster and has a better outcome over time than any antidepressant. GS is a bit intense (imho) so let your running be a more chill kind of session. Workouts are about feeling good, not feeling bad.


Thanks Farah for telling us about this. I am in! I have been good about exercising lately but know my body need the stretching and stress reduction of yoga. I had to euthanize my dog this weekend and I think yoga will help in the grief progress, too.

I am being given a new TV and DVD player later this week, with DSL, so hopefully I can play the Yoga Journal yoga workouts on it. I think they would be to hard to follow from the screen on my laptop. Anybody tried this? I have a lot of virgin yoga dvds to pick from until the new equipment arrives ;=))


Buckeyegirl -- I do think yoga would totally help with your back -- there are a lot of great poses that are both soothing and address back pain. And no worries about not feeling flexible...it's a progression. A few years back I got one of my professors into yoga and he was one of the stiffest, inflexible people out there (physically and academically :p ) and as his yoga instructor I saw him progress a TON with regular practice. Plus I remember him saying that he used to have chronic lumbar pain and yoga really helped it.

Sorry to hear about your dog, Pam. :( I hope you find an outlet, be it in yoga or another medium. And I have been using my laptop, actually, for the yoga clips, but I also have a cable that plugs into my tv so sometimes I'll use that too.

Anyway, yay! I'm glad you guys are interested in doing this too. Best of luck, I'm off to start on day 3: 20 minute core focus :D


I wrote about this same topic on my yoga blog that I started in January. :)

I started a 30 day challenge to help me get back into a daily practice. Once I completed that, I extended it to 60 days which I am currently doing. I'm planning on extending to 90 days next. :)

I have had many ups and downs with my yoga practice over the years. I've had periods where i did yoga twice a day and periods where i did not practice at all. What has kept me going is giving myself permission to do shorter practices when I'm tired and that has helped me stick with it.

Once you commit to 21 days and complete it, you will feel great and it will be easy to maintain afterwards.


Where is your yoga blog? Can you post a link?


Hi Alisha,
If you just click on my name and select "visit Elle_p's homepage" it will take you there. I'm pretty new to the whole blogging scene but it gives me a chance to share what I know through my own practice and experience. Feel free to leave me a comment!:)


Thought I'd do a check-in! I'm just going to paste from my blog yesterday's entry about the challenge:

I've completed 10 days of the 21 day yoga challenge from Yoga Journal, and I am proud to say that so far I have done 10 consecutive days of yoga. Establishing a regular yoga practice has always been difficult for me, as much as I like doing it, so I'm really pleased that I've made it this far and that I've been making time for it each day.

One thing I've learned from this challenge though (and doing the videos provided on YJ's site) is that a little goes a long way. I'll admit, of those 10 days, most of them I've only done 10-15 minute sessions, cutting the videos short if I had too much work to do. But they still count, because really 10 minutes is all you need to chill out, get a good stretch in, relax your mind. A longer session would definitely be preferable, but you have to make do with what you've got time for. And what's more, if I'm allowing myself short sessions, I know I'm more likely to stick to a regular practice -- and that's what the goal was/is -- to establish a regular practice.

This puts me in mind of something. Last week I stopped in front of my keyboard while cleaning up and decided to play for a bit. It had been a very, very long time. I got kind of frustrated with how I had forgotten so much so quickly, after working so hard trying to master different pieces over the past few years. I thought about getting lessons, so I went online and did some research. Too expensive (at least on a TA's salary!) so I decided to skip it and just discipline myself to practice more. But in the process, I came across one instructor's site, and she mentioned something about how daily practice was essential, and that it's better to practice for a few minutes every time you pass a piano than to practice 1-2x/week for an hour to make up for missed time. That never occurred to me, though it seems like such common sense. I teach Spanish every day, study Arabic every day, and (attempt to!) practice my French every day, because even a little goes a very long way. Ah, there's that lesson again.

Anyway, yeah. Speaking about language practice and piano practice also reminds me of another thing that this yoga challenge has brought to my attention: can you really have it all? I make time for Arabic because I'm enrolled in the class. I audit French so I go when I can; I'm not a concert pianist or anything so I have no sense of urgency to practice. Yet I really want to make time for all these things that I love, and make time for them on a daily basis. But it seems exhausting. French, piano, yoga, oh and my regular exercise routine too (cardio, weights, and occasionally pilates/abs!) It just seems like I have to choose. Not all of them are going to make it into my daily routine it seems. (so far only working out/yoga has made it....everything else occasionally gets a turn). But then, I didn't think there was room in my schedule for daily yoga, but these past 10 days I've managed to work brief sessions in. And maybe that's the only way to make it all work -- a little bit of everything. 10 minutes of French and 10 minutes of piano doesn't seem too bad. That could work. Of course, I'd probably have to watch less 30 Rock and Glee, but maybe it's for the best.


Hi Farah,
Great job on completing 10 days of your challenge! :D You are off to a great start.

What you were saying about about practicing piano, my own yoga teacher has said about yoga: It's far more beneficial to practice yoga daily, even if it's only for a few minutes, rather than practicing for 1-2 hours here and there.

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