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A beautiful view of the mountains in Banff. Part of my 40 day journey will take place in the mountains of Kelowna so I’m just getting myself prepared 😉

Hello Everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely week so far 🙂 As many of you may know I’ve recently started a 40 Day Yoga Personal Responsibility challenge at my studio. One of the major goals of this challenge is to take responsibility for your life and your actions and to start replacing negative habits with positive habits with the belief that it takes forty days to make a new habit stick. It’s a huge commitment, but if I couldn’t take time to nourish my body and acquire the tools I need to grow, then I’m not sure if I would ever be able to be truly content with my life. I’m currently on day 5 and loving every minute of it and I wanted to give you guys a little glimpse of what this practice entails. For Forty Days I’m going to commit to:

Minimum 5 minutes of meditation a day:

I’ve made a great playlist (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and Concerning Hobbits from LOTR) that puts me at 33 minutes, which I hope to slowly increase as time goes on. I do my meditation first thing in the morning after my asanas so that I’m set up for the day and won’t have any excuses to miss it if I end up getting super busy. I also like meditating early in the morning because it’s nice and quiet, the light is soft, and it helps me start my day in a calm and centered way. I’ve already noticed my stress levels evening out and my thoughts aren’t flitting around with quite as much wild abandon as usual. Sometimes certain thoughts come up that I’d rather ignore, but I’ve realized that if I just sit with them and let them work themselves out, I can eventually let them go and get on with my life.

One of the most beautiful studios in which I've practiced located out at Ancient Spirals.

One of the most beautiful studios in which I’ve practiced located out at Ancient Spirals.

At least 3 yoga poses/day held for a predetermined length of time:

Unfortunately, when I was home for the holidays I let my practice slide and am quite out of shape, especially in terms of my endurance and down dog (it is looking ROUGH!). I’m currently in the process of slowly rebuilding it so that I don’t burn out in the first few days of the challenge, but continue getting stronger and healthier as time goes on. My body is feeling really stiff and mildly achy, but every day it’s getting a little bit better and I can feel how I crave the daily movement. Every day I’ve been adding more poses to my morning flow and hope to be back up to snuff within the week. I know it would be super easy to say “hey I’ve gone this long without yoga, I might as well just give up,” but I like to think that no matter how often you backslide, every time you’re still slightly ahead of where you were when you started. With that in mind, you can always keep making improvements and taking responsibility for your life and your body. I’ve gone to a couple restorative practices, a Sunday morning workshop, and today I did my first studio flow class in over a month. I took a lot of breaks in child’s pose between sequences, but it felt so good to be back in the studio. As long as I’m honest with myself and don’t try to push too hard too fast I think I’ll be able to do at least one in-studio flow or restorative practice a day.

Giving up at least one negative habit:

I have a couple negative habits I wanted to trade in for the 40 days. Check it!
Alcohol

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Alcohol is a poison and when I drink I always feel like I’m wasting time the next day even when I’m only mildly hungover. I also sometimes don’t make the smartest choices after a few cucumber lime gin and sodas, so eliminating the alcohol eliminates those negative behaviours as well. Win win! Luckily for me, in Saskatoon I’ve got a great group of friends and our get togethers don’t have to focus around booze or if they do, it’s very casual and no one notices or cares if I don’t partake. Thanks friends!

Staying up Past Midnight

I’m trying to be more productive and get myself into a good schedule again after all the traveling and time zone switches so I’ve made a promise to myself to be in bed before midnight for the next 40 days. In the first 5 days I’ve already noticed a huge difference in terms of my productivity. I get up, do my meditation and flow which takes about an hour, then I can journal (more on that later), eat breakfast and the day is mine! I’m currently doing an online business and marketing course, so it’s been incredibly helpful in terms of getting my ass in gear to do the work. Plus I feel more energized and rested than I have in a while.

Impulse Shopping/Buying Things that don’t Fall Under the Category of Necessity

I know it’s not very yogi of me to say this, but I absolutely love shopping. I don’t shop for clothes and stuff really, I shop for kitchen supplies, health and wellness gadgets, essential oils, new supplements I want to try, and teas and books of all kinds. As I mentioned above I’m taking a business course and so money is a little strapped at the moment, so I thought this would be a perfect bad habit to take out for the duration of the challenge.

The beautiful bookcase my friend Jay made me filled with a portion of my books...

The beautiful bookcase my friend Jay made me filled with a portion of my books…

Adding at least one positive habit

In the interest of symmetry, since I removed 3 negative habits, I’ve decided to add 3 positive ones into my daily routine.

Journaling

I’ve always flirted with journaling, doing it every day for a few weeks then completely forgetting about it for a few months, coming back for a bit, and so on. I like to keep track of important events and changes in my life and how I’ve felt at different times and in different places and situations, so I thought journaling this experience would be an excellent habit to add and thus far I’ve already gotten honest with myself about a few things in my life that I’d been avoiding. We’ll see what I come up with over the next 35 days!

Reading at Least 30 Minutes

I absolutely love curling up with a good book and whisking myself away to a new universe or conversely learning new things about the human body, health, or nutrition. But sometimes life gets in the way. Or if I’m being totally honest, binge-watching TV shows gets in the way and I’ll often miss out on reading for a few days at a time. I’ve added reading to my daily schedule to help me get through the mountain of books I have on my bookshelf since I told myself I’m not allowed to buy anymore new ones until I’ve read all the ones I have. Sigh. I think it’s going to take me a little longer than 40 days, but I’ve already finished one book Yoga Bitch and am partway through Joseph Boyden’s new novel The Orenda. He’s probably my favourite non-fantasy author and I actually wrote my MA thesis on his first novel Three Day Road. Even after critiquing that thing to within an inch of its life, it still remains one of my favourite books. Which is more than I can say about Douglas Coupland, whom I haven’t touched since finishing my Honours thesis in undergrad.

Listening/Watching at least one Video or Recording

You know how I said I like to shop? Well some of the things I like to shop for are online summits on health and nutrition. I have a huge backlog of videos and recordings from the Gluten E-Summit and Sexy Hormones online conferences that I keep putting off listening to, plus all the trainings and recordings for my business and marketing program. I’m happy to report that within 5 days I’ve listened to all 3 of the previous calls I missed in my business class, joined in on the live call last night, and started watching the videos from the Gluten Summit. I hope to finish the entire Gluten Summit and a sizeable chunk of the Hormone conference before these 40 days are up! Side bonus, adding the reading and listening to my daily routine has significantly cut back on the amount of TV binge-watching to which I’m prone.

 

So there you are friends! This is my life in a nutshell for the next 35 days. I’m super excited about it and can’t wait to see what happens as I continue on. I’ve also got some big and exciting changes coming to my website and practice in the next couple of months so stay tuned. A little hint? I’m working on organizing a free teleseminar for all my amazing readers and followers. That’s all I’m going to say for now, but stay tuned so you don’t miss it! Have a wonderfully whimsical week everybody!

Cheers,

Cait 🙂