10 Things I Learned from Yogatique’s 30-Day Yoga Challenge

I have been taking yoga classes on and off for several years now. For my birthday last year, I gifted myself with a blissful 5-day yoga retreat on Koh Phangan, and since then- when my body felt the best it has every felt- I have given yoga a bigger role in my life.

Yogatique Yoga Studio in Bangkok recently hosted the New Year New You Yoga challenge: 20 yoga classes in 30 days. This was a great way to deepen and improve my yoga practice, and it was so dang rewarding. During those 30 days, here 10 important lessons I learned about yoga and life in general.

Yogatique

 Photo Credit: Minh Minimum

1. Take time for yourself every day.

At some point during the day, it’s essential to tap into the sources that allow you to feel alive, grounded, and centered. Yoga is my time for re-centering. During the challenge, I walked into Yogatique everyday and focused only on my body and breathing for a whole hour and a half; this was powerful. Indulge in what you love and in what feels and good and right every single day; you’re not selfish for it.

2. Appreciate every teacher.

There are teachers whose style might not jive with your own, but you can take something away from every teacher. I love the diversity of yoga teachers at Yogatique, and throughout my 30-day challenge, I experienced many different class styles and workshops.

Teachers, like Apple, will make readjustments that leave you gaping at your body’s capabilities. My arm can do what? Others, like Supapan, inspire us with their graceful movements and ever-tucked tailbones. We can even learn how, with teachers like Jannica, to purposefully, fearlessly, and safely fall over. With all this insight, I have been able to create my own mosaic of poses and modifications for home practice. Thank you, Yogatique teachers!

3. Breathe through it.

When you’re straining and shaking, that’s when you turn inward. The harder it gets, the deeper your breath becomes; let it consume your mind and your thoughts. The breath is always there- at any time, in any situation.

4. Embrace the impermanence of every pose.

It’s as if yoga can’t be mastered, and that’s the beauty of it. One day I confidently held half-moon pose (a tough balancing pose for me), and the next day, I couldn’t balance whatsoever. Yoga allows you to inwardly applaud yourself when you’ve hit a pose on the mark but reminds you to stay humble because tomorrow may be a different story.

 5. Changes are gradual but so rewarding.

I felt myself slowly building more core and upper body strength; with this came more stamina and ease in my practice. With more core strength, I was able to have more control in balancing poses. During the ‘Art of Falling’ workshop, I went up into a handstand and had an aha moment: so thissss is what engaging your core means. I stayed in my longest handstand yet. I improved in my posture, flexibility, and noticed more muscle definition in my upper body.

6. Be inspired by your own strength.

There were days when I had an abundance of energy to give to my yoga practice. I surprised myself with unwavering poses I had previously struggled with. On those days, I gave myself a pat on the back and let the rest of my day be infused with inspiration from my internal strength and determination.

7. Respect the lazy days.

Other days, I was sore and fatigued and I just couldn’t get motived enough to do yoga, and that’s ok. The important part is listening to your body and knowing when to take time to rest and rejuvenate.

8. Listen to your body.

You don’t want to push myself too hard, yet you don’t always want to be on the path of least resistance. Listen to the ebb and flow of your energy levels. There were some days when I had high energy and felt up for additional challenges. Other days, my body craved child’s pose. I believe got just as much from my yoga practice in both cases because I gave my body what it wanted and needed.

This doesn’t only apply to yoga. There are nights your body may want to be grooving to music and other nights where it wants to be in relaxing in comfy clothes. Listen to it.

 9. Find a yoga studio you love.

I have been to studios I don’t love, studios where a toned body and trendy yoga apparel felt like prerequisites for a yoga class. That’s not me; I believe yoga is not about your brands or your figure. If you’re going to dedicate time and energy to your yoga studio, it’s important to love their mission and to make sure their beliefs align with your own. Ask yourself, will this studio positively influence my yoga growth?

I’m so lucky to have found Yogatique in Bangkok, which is a beautiful community based studio that loves every part of all bodies. Every time I walk in, I feel like an old friend, and it’s easy to strike up conversations with fellow yogis. I admire Yogatique’s support and dedication to the local, healthy food scene. I love the energy in the studio, the daily quotes on a small chalkboard, and being part of a community whose ideals resonate with my core. When you meet the one, you just know.

 10. I need yoga in my life.

My yoga challenge reinforced this. After every yoga class, I navigate my day more mindfully and with more compassion. I’m more discerning and critical of all that I put in my body; I want to love on my body and feed it high quality ingredients. Yoga is strengthening, softening, detoxing, twisting, sweating, breathing, omming, surrendering, embracing, falling, and balancing. It’s everything I need!

headstand on the beach

Photo Credit: Michael Carrano

Yogatique had the real challenge: enlivening my body while simultaneously helping me find peace in chaotic Bangkok- and lord knows it’s not always easy to find peace in this city. But I’ve found it- Yogatique and repeat! Om Shanti om.

Ohm

Have you ever done a yoga challenge? Would you be up for it?

Are you in Bangkok and looking for a down-to-earth studio? Click here to see Yogatique’s class schedule.

36 COMMENTS

  1. fallequinox2006 | 18th Feb 15

    What an awesome program to be a part of. All are such great life advice, number 4 and 8 in particular (at least for me).

    • Words of a Wanderer | 18th Feb 15

      Thank you! It was a great experience. Yes- #8 for me too- listening to my body is something I need to remind myself of often!

  2. Aileen | 18th Feb 15

    Awesome post! I had my first Yoga affair back in the Philippines and I quite liked the experience! Much like you, I am trying to find ways to put yoga more into my life 🙂

    • Words of a Wanderer | 18th Feb 15

      Oh wow, that’s awesome! Did you take a yoga class or do some sort of yoga retreat there? Yay, more yoga in life! Can’t go wrong with that!

  3. The Roaming Renegades.com | 18th Feb 15

    We used to do a lot of Yoga a few years back and it really does allow you to get a great perspective on life. To slow down and really allow yourself time to think things through. We really should get back into it! Great post and has inspired us to take it back up!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 19th Feb 15

      Thank you!! It was a great reminder for me to slow down and walk through life a bit more carefully. The awesome thing about yoga is that it’s everywhere now, so you can jump in anywhere in the world! 🙂

  4. SLioy | 18th Feb 15

    Fair point on #7 – I think we’re often so pushed to go and do and solve and achieve that it’s not always easy to remember to value the downtime as well when you need it.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 19th Feb 15

      Exactly! I find too that when I’m not forcing my brain to work overtime- when I’m just chilling out- that’s when I get some of my best ideas!

  5. Laura | 18th Feb 15

    Wow so cool! I would love to do this, at the moment with moving around all the time we just do yoga videos from youtube – definitely works but it’s very high on my bucket list to do something exactly like this – must be a billion times better!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 19th Feb 15

      Laura, I definitely know what you mean! But it’s awesome that you do yoga videos from youtube!! Then you have the convenience of practicing anywhere and anytime! You may also be interested in this: http://www.doyouyoga.com/course/the-30-day-yoga-challenge/ it’s a 30-day challenge online, and it looks pretty cool! I just came across it yesterday on DoYouYoga. Happy Yoga-ing! 🙂

  6. lesvoyagesdumonde | 20th Feb 15

    Have always wanted to go on a yoga retreat (Eat, Pray, Love style). Love all these lessons, hope to apply them into my own life on the road

    • Words of a Wanderer | 20th Feb 15

      I had the best time ever at my yoga retreat- I would totally recommend it- especially if you visit SE Asia- they’re very affordable!! And these lessons have been a good reminder for me too- not just for yoga but for life in general!

  7. sarah | 20th Feb 15

    I’d love to do a yoga challenge and even more so a full yoga retreat!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 20th Feb 15

      You should do it! It’ll make you feel so great! 🙂 My yoga challenge and retreat have been some of my favorite life experiences.

  8. heather843 | 20th Feb 15

    I’ve often wondered about yoga…never tried it but so many places we visited in SE Asia had amazing platforms with stunning views where they did yoga, really must try it out myself next time!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      You should give it a try! And you’re right- SE Asia has some AWESOME places to do yoga with a view- and often times you can find really great prices too! 🙂

  9. Brian - Go for a Wander | 21st Feb 15

    I have never actually tried yoga myself but it’s cool to see what benefits you are getting from it and that you enjoy it. I really like point 5 – “changes are gradual but so rewarding”. I feel that this is a life lesson that can be applied to almost anything. If you work hard and stick at something long enough it is great to eventually see it all pay off! 🙂

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      So true, Brian! I love to see pay off after working hard at something! 😉 Thanks for the comment!

  10. Alli Blair | 21st Feb 15

    Amen to respect the lazy days! I feel like that is so important for both yoga and also everyday life 🙂

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      It is important!! This is a HARD lesson for me- I always feel like I should be ‘doing’ something…. but we need to be lazy from time to time! 🙂

  11. Megsy | 21st Feb 15

    #8 tho.. Sometimes we ignore our bodies so much. Great advice!

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Thank you! And I agree- sometimes it’s hard to listen to our bodies especially when we’re traveling and on the road, but I think we can all benefit from it! Thank you for stopping by!

  12. Sean | 21st Feb 15

    It’s great how these lessons apply to so much more than just yoga, just like so many great lessons. I love “Respect the lazy days.”

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Thank you! Yoga has gifted me with lessons that are applicable off the yoga mat! I love that one too… gotta respect the lazy days- we all have them at one point or another… haha!

  13. Kate | 22nd Feb 15

    I would love to try yoga after hearing so many great things about the physical and mental health benefits. Numbers 4, 5 and 8 on your post are really important in my opinion. Embracing impermanence in life is tough but worthwhile. Great post and photos. Thanks for sharing

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Thank you for your comment! I agree that embracing impermanence can be tough but definitely worthwhile since most things in life are impermanent. It’s a good lesson to constantly come back to. You should give yoga a try! I really do feel so wonderful after a good yoga class!

  14. Anne Klien ( MeAnne) | 22nd Feb 15

    I nevet tried yoga but a friend of mine keeps nagging me to try. .. something I should put on my list to do 🙂

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Haha, I do the same to my friends! You should DEFINITELY give it a try! You might love it!

  15. Elena | 22nd Feb 15

    I have never tried yoga but I know how useful it is for your physical and mental balance (I’ve done other kind of exercises and meditations and the idea is always the same, the results too :)))

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      That’s awesome!! I do enjoy meditation as well- like you said, it’s much easier to experience mental balance after some sort of grounding activity. It also feels so amazing to see/feel the results!

  16. Adventurous Journeys | 23rd Feb 15

    I hope to attend one of those programs in the near future, preferably in India! Great life tips we should all embrace.

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Thank you!! Oh man, I would LOVEEE to do something like this in India! I’m sure that would teach me many more life lessons 🙂 haha

  17. Revati Victor (Different Doors) | 23rd Feb 15

    I must admit I’m kinda lazy when it comes to yoga. But everytime I see a post of yours, i’m kinda reminded about the importance of fitness for a traveller! (Might just hit the gym today, and it might be thanks to you!)

    • Words of a Wanderer | 23rd Feb 15

      Haha, thank you!! I can get lazy too, but I always remind myself how I’ll feel after yoga and after taking time to let everything else go, and that motivates me! I hope you had an awesome workout (or an awesome lazy day)! 🙂

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