by Nicole Rae Grannie
If you’re anything like me, the home page of your Instagram app is plastered with accounts for yoga, barre, fitness, healthy eating, etc. And, if you’re anything like me, you love to take on several challenges every month—whether I’m doing crunches during commercial breaks or capturing a different yoga pose each day to share.
The latter of these seems to be problematic for some people; if yoga is a personal practice, why are we turning it into a show? In response, I offer my top seven reasons why you should take up a yoga challenge.
1. Daily practice
Every day there is a new pose! And the best part? It’s all laid out for you—all you have to do is roll out your mat, do a quick flow/a few stretches to warm up, and snap your shot! I think this is particularly helpful if you don’t already have a daily practice. It can be hard to find the motivation to flow through a full practice, but I do believe that small monthly challenges help to begin to create a healthy habit!
2. Progress tracking
This one will definitely surprise you. I’ve been practicing yoga since I was 14, but only began to participate in yoga challenges when I was 19. Two years later, I am now able to go back to older photos and compare side by side… and WOW! The amount of openness and expansion that I’ve felt in my body over the years is clear but seeing the progress is something totally different. It helps to keep me motivated and excited about growing! You’ll be blown away by the visual changes that you can see after just a month!
3. The IG yoga/fitness community
Social media is an amazing thing—it brings together people from all around the world together who all share a common interest and who are all likeminded individuals! The amount of love and support you feel from this community gives you the light and energy to propel you through your practice and through your day. Additionally, you have an infinite amount of people to learn from—not to mention the never-ending stream of inspiration you have at the tips of your fingertips.
4. To inspire
This feeds off my last point—you too will serve as an inspiration to others! The first time someone told me I was an inspiration to them I was taken aback; I was just posting my pictures for fun! But you’d be blown away by the comments you receive and the stories you hear. Just this last week, I shared a photo of a challenge pose. The first time I tried the arm balance, I fell flat on my face (you can laugh— it’s okay!) and had worked on the pose every day for the next two years. After posting my picture along with my story, I received a comment from someone telling me that she was now inspired to return back to her practice! It is little stories like this that bring so much light to my day.
5. To humble yourself
With any journey, you will have times of humbling. Participating in these challenges has forced me to get out of my comfort zone and expose myself to new styles of yoga and new poses. For instance, I am naturally very flexible and love, love, love holding heartopeners/backbends or splits. However, when it comes to strength, I am humbled in my practice. I see my areas of weakness, accept them, and then continue to grow. Having a loving community behind you helps so much with this as well!
6. To express yourself
At the end of the day, I really believe that sharing my practice is an expression of who I am—my heart, my mind, and my soul. I believe that yoga is going to be a different experience for every one and that the expression of those differences is beautiful. Why should we not share our experiences with others? Create connections. Share who you are. Shine bright!
If you haven’t come to this conclusion already, then allow for me to say that these yoga challenges are FUN! I look forward to the new challenge each and every day and am always excited to try something new! Bring a sense of playfulness into your practice and into your life!
Are there any challenges you’re taking a part in now? What about in the future? I can’t wait to see some of you on my feed! 😀