The #100DaysOfYoga Challenge!

100DaysOfYogaChallenge

I’m starting a #100DaysOfYoga challenge starting this morning!

What is it?

100 Straight Days of Practicing Yoga.
It will include 30 minutes of Yoga a day followed by a picture and a reflection.
All of these photos will be kept in a single album on Facebook (and Google+).

Why?

A WDS friend of mine, Rita Chand, inspired me immensely with her #100Days challenge of working out every day. Here is her post last week after making it to Day 100:
RitaChand

An incredible feat, and quite a commitment to a practice for over 3 straight months.

Yoga has been a big part of my life since the Fall of 2011.

I wrote a post on November, 11, 2011 entitled, “Home is where the heart is”. In this post, I mentioned, “I returned home to KC under difficult circumstances where I re-connected to my roots, made critical business partnerships, and found focus and clarity through Yoga (I’ll be writing more in-depth about this in future posts).”

I’m so sad I didn’t more closely document my experiences during these months because they held some of the most expansive self-growth I’ve ever had in my life. I grew more as a person in the year-after that post than I had in almost a decade before.

Only a couple times I posted...

Only a couple times I posted…

Only a couple times I posted...

Only a couple times I posted…

At the time, I meant to discuss things I had discovered and what Yoga meant to me, but I just couldn’t find my voice.

Sometimes, you lose your voice when you feel most in flow.

That’s what happened to me. I became so drawn to the practice, the philosophy, the culture, the science, the energy, and the world-wide community I met through Yoga that it changed my perspective. I ended up feeling incredibly connected to everything around me. As if I was engineering serendipity. I was so caught up in the flow, I lost the ability to connect with my voice about it.

I want that to change. I want to return to my inner voice which allowed me to connect easier with everyone around me. The voice that made it easy to write and blog about these experiences as they were happening.

For example:
I ended up at a cafe in Paris shortly after making that post; sitting quietly on a couch by the windows looking over the Rhine river. A man sitting next to me sparked a conversation that would end in us talking for hours that night. I remember feeling down, and being able to talk to this man about the successes of my business and lifestyle path was incredible. I could see a fire in his eyes; a passion and a yearning for something greater in life. He happened to be reading a book that I was very fond of in college and we reminisced on this intellectual wavelength throughout the night. We saw the greatness in each-other which allowed us to be grateful for ourselves. I never anticipated making a connection like this on a random night in Paris, but when you live intentionally with your heart out, the universe has a way of attracting people in your life at the right moment at the right time.

I would end up traveling through 8 regions of India shortly after…

Finding a spiritual center in Auroville, near Pondicherry.

Finding a spiritual center in Auroville, near Pondicherry. I would be drawn back to this magnificent place again and again shortly after this trip.

howYogaWorks
I still remember reading “How Yoga Works” while the plane was landing in Bangalore and feeling incredibly connected to the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth. It’s almost crazy and unexplainable… but I felt as if I embodied all that was around me, and all that was around me filled me up. As if there was a universe within mirroring the universe outside and I could feel that inner universe so purely. And no, I was not on any drugs.

Later in the Summer something incredibly would happen. I just had the most inspirational time of my life attending the WDS conference in Portland.

Photos by Armosa Studios. https://flic.kr/p/csPRB1

Photos by Armosa Studios. https://flic.kr/p/csPRB1

Morning Meditations led by Nathan Agin

Morning Meditations led by Nathan Agin

On my flight out, I was sitting next to a lady who was flying to San Francisco. She was flying to say her graces to someone who was passing away. She had been taking Yoga classes and was fascinated by the effects it had on the energy centers of the body. After I talked for almost an hour about my experiences throughout the year, she opened up to me and told me something that to this day still leaves me in Awe. She said she experienced this moment (while being a nurse and in the care of this elderly patient), where she saw the oneness in the universe. She was stitching a patient and rolling a white cloth over their arm, when all of a sudden, circles upon circles entered her field of vision until it engulfed her, but not in a confusing, scary, or mind-spinning way. She felt like she was in a womb — safe and protected. She felt the reactions her energy had on everything around her, including inanimate objects like tables, chairs, and the bed of her patient. She said she had been struggling with faith and dedicating her life to something noble in order to help people which led her to nursing. She was sad because she felt no matter how much she would care for patients, many of them (especially elderly patients), would simply pass away shortly after her care. Life was and is impermanent. As much as we like to control the outcomes of our lives and day to day experiences, life unravels sometimes in ways we can never even imagine.

She would later tell me that her son lived a few years in India, in the holy city of Varanasi. I had never heard of this city, but I happened to be on my way to India again, and it soon became part of many things that would line up in my life path.

This was only the beginning of an incredible year in 2012 which included diving deeper into my Yoga practice, collaborating on a Virtual Yoga Studio called Joyful Breath Yoga which is currently the largest Online Yoga Studio in the midwest, and finding love through incredible synchronicities.

2013 was a turbulent year. Despite this, I still helped organize a Yoga Retreat to India. The first Journey of Joy for Joyful Breath Yoga. Everyone that participated made this an incredible success. I was so humbled to even be a part of it:

YogaInIndia2

yogaInIndia1

This year has been all about restoring that peace and security of self I felt back in 2012.

I’m feeling incredible in these days leading up to Summer. I’m reminded of all the beautiful memories, the people I encountered, and the wonderful connections I made. Words have been pouring through my soul and I’ve been writing feverishly to keep these experiences close.

I want to publish these past experiences along with new insights I gain through a regular and dynamic Yoga practice. I don’t plan on just getting more physically fit, but also growing a deeper calmness in the mind and stronger spiritual connection.

Doing this in 100 Days will not only be a challenge to myself, but it will be an incredible journey in and of itself! In these next 100 Days, I already have plans on being in at least 5-7 different cities in at least 3 different countries!

First up will be Detroit this weekend for a visit with cousins, followed my Minneapolis with more cousins, and then Fargo, ND for the annual Misfit Conference.

After this, Jacki and I will be heading to Brazil for the World Cup and taking buses along the countryside as we venture onwards to Chile!

During this challenge, I will practice at least 30 minutes of Yoga every day, take a picture, write something meaningful that came to me from the practice, and post it in the same Photo Album on Facebook and Google+. At the end of 100 Days, there will be 100 Photos in that album.

Some days I may simply reflect on the experiences of the last couple of years which has shaped my life in ways I could never have imagined. Other days I will write what feels like is coming straight through me.

I’m so excited for this journey! If you have any interest in the deeper philosophies of Yoga or how they intertwine with the realities of our life, stay tuned (or make your own #100DaysChallenge)!
:)