Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Physical Challenges and Preparation

On Sunday I was playing around on the website for my favorite yoga studio, Prana, when I noticed that for the month of May they are having a special challenge- 31 in 31. Basically, you challenge yourself to complete 31 yoga classes in the 31 days in May. If you miss a day because you are sick or away, you practice more than once in a day to make up for it!

It sounds completely insane. I'd have to dedicate an hour to an hour and a half each day to yoga, plus the time it takes to get to the studio and take a serious shower afterwards. It's not just any time- it has to be a time they offer a class (and truthfully, if at all possible it has to be an hour long class because I start to lose my mind by 90 minutes!). I'd have to commit to hot power yoga on the same day that I do a 30 mile bike race. I'd have to commit to hot power yoga twice the weekend that I also have two weddings and a rehearsal dinner within a 48 hour period. I'd have to make up for any time I spend at the Cape by doing more than one tough class in one day!

I have so many reasons not to. It's a busy month. It's hard to fit in specific class times. I'll be away some days completely. I might die of boredom. I might die of muscle exhaustion (this is not like chill out yoga, it's intense).

Yet, I really really want to try this. I really want to see what 31 + hours of yoga in one month can do for my body. I really want to see what 31 + hours of yoga in one month can do for my mind. I kind of want to see how flexible I can get (I am the least flexible person ever right now). I kind of want to see if it would help my knee. I just want to see...

It doesn't start until May 1st, so I have about 3 1/2 weeks to get myself ready for this. I need to build up my yoga muscles so I am going to try to practice 3-4 times a week starting now (even if sometimes I do it at home). I need to start working the times into my schedule starting tomorrow morning.

They offer a 6:15 class most mornings of the week but it does not end until 7:30. I really don't want to be at work any later than 8 (which is already over an hour later than I usually get there, but I'll just have to use my time at work a little better on the mornings I go to yoga) so tomorrow I will be testing if it's possible to shower and get to work in a reasonable amount of time considering how fast I can shower and what traffic is like at that time of day.

I had to do some serious prep:

Bag o' Stuff...

The past 3 weeks I have gone to Urban Rebounding on Wednesday mornings and each week I have forgotten 1 thing- first flip flops, second hair stuff and third socks. SO...my goal this week is to forget nothing :)

I also packed my lunch for tomorrow so I can grab it in the morning. Some things need to be in the fridge until the morning so I am storing them all together...

I also made a list of what I need from the fridge so I don't forget any of my food (much bigger crisis than forgotten socks!)

I also packed myself some overnight oats to scarf down when I make it to work (hopefully not at the same time as the kids!)

Not so photogenic...but hopefully yummy...

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of soy milk
1 big scoop of plain greek yogurt
1/4 tsp of cocoa powder
a few strawberries

Tomorrow morning I'll add a little banana and enjoy :)

Everything is 100 % ready to go (I even broke out my sandals I am going to wear- it's supposed to be over 80 tomorrow, what?!). Does anyone else ever shower at the gym and have to prepare everything ahead of time? Any tips?!

If I do choose to take on the 31 in 31 Yoga Challenge it will be the hardest physical challenge I have ever done. What is the hardest physical challenge you have ever taken on? Was it worth it? What physical challenges do you hope to take on in the future?


  1. 31 days of yoga would be tough, no doubt you can do it!!!! My biggest challenge was a half marathon this past October. I was never a real runner, nor enjoyed it all that much. It was a personal challenge, more mentally than anything, and I ran the half marathon in less than my goal time. It was a truly a great feeling of accomplishment.
    Oh - I shower at the gym nearly every morning! I have a little "gym" bag for all my shower stuff, hair stuff, lotion, makeup, etc. I also bring a half robe type thing and flip flops are a must. So...that stuff is always put together and all I have to do is pack my clothes and shoes for work. It takes no time at all to pack, and I find that I get ready faster at the gym than at home cause I have no distractions and just want to get out of there! Sorry for the novel.

  2. I really admire your ambition girl! this is a great opportunity for you and I wish I could join you in your yoga challenge. Be sure to let me know how it goes, k?! lots of love! xo

  3. I could never get ready at the gym. I know that sounds so stubborn of me to say that, but I just can't stand the locker room at the Y I go to. Plus, I will say am a bit high maintenance in the am with needing to use my own blow dryer, straighten my hair, etc, etc. It's not a quick process... So yah, going to the gym & then straight to work really isn't an option for me. :(

    If you do the 31 in 31, I will be here cheering you on! I did something sort of similar. Last June, I declared the month "June-athon" and tried to run every day. I ended up modifying it and running 5-6 days a week since it's good to take time off to rest your legs. Anyways, it was the first month after finishing grad school and I wanted to get back into the habit of exercising every day. It was tough, but I did it, and then it was so habitual, it was easy to keep up that habit after June was over.

    So good luck to you! Even if you dont' do 31 in 31, maybe you could do a modification, like Yoga 5 days a week or something like that?

  4. I used to have swim practice in the mornings all the time so I can relate. No real tips here, it's been so long since I've done it. I will share that one time I forgot my underwear because I changed into my suit at my house. Thank goodness I live about a mile from the gym! Haha!

  5. Oh wow, that is ambitious! But I have no doubt that you can do it. Sounds like you are well prepared for your practice round tomorrow. Enjoy!

  6. ooh, are you going to d2e? i was thinking about it... it's been awhile since i've been on the morning gym routine since my fav spin instructor left. i'd love to get back into it, but it's been tough! 31 in 31 sounds a little crazy, but i'm still new at this yoga stuff :) i might be able to do it if it was a slow flow type, but never taken a 90min class. more power to ya, though, it'll be amazing!

  7. Wow! You have got some serious ambition!! -- Good for you! You will have to give updates on the progression and effects of all this yoga you will be doing!

    I want to do it, and I like the idea of yoga--but I have a reallllly tough time convincing myself to take the time to do yoga. I'm so impatient! But it's amazing for the body!

    The biggest fitness endeavor I've taken was probably training for the marathon.

  8. Argghhh I always leave you the longest comments and then the computer eats them!!! Haha, OK, let's try this again:

    So this post made me super excited because I'm doing something very similar (but not as intense) as this starting next week! I am doing 7 yoga classes in 7 days at the new Hot Yoga studio that just opened in Kamloops. For first-time clients it's only $20 and you get 7 days of unlimited yoga so I really want to try and go every day for 7 days! I'm starting my challenge on Thursday the 15 so I'll wrap up on the Thursday before we leave for Europe! I TOTALLY think you should do it!!

    Also, I got ready at the gym every single morning this winter and it didn't bother me at all. You get into a routine after awhile and it was actually a *treat* for me to get ready at home! Haha. It's VERY important to pack your food and bags the night before though!

  9. DOOO IT!! I think this is going to be awesome. If they do it again in two years when I am not at school I will do it! And I will do yoga with you the day we do the 30 miler! haha
    Don't forget your yoga mat!!! (I didn't see it there in the picture, and I totally would forget the most obvious thing).

  10. I do change at the gym but I am the wrong person to ask for advice because I forget something every single time!

    Good luck with the yoga challenge if you end up doing it!

  11. The job I had before this I used to shower at the gym all the time. Of course, I also used to forget my underwear all the time...

  12. Two years in a row I did a morning boot camp for the last few weeks of school. I would get up at 5, have class from 5:30-6:30, drive home and shower, then get to work by 8. I was used to getting to work around 7:15 so that was tough, but it was a great experience. It was part of my get ready for the wedding fitness regime. 31 hours of yoga sounds interesting! Does it count if you do yoga on your own at home? Or do you HAVE to do to one of their classes? I am going to try the yoga sculpt that pbjenny tweeted about. I would love to get my husband to do it too....he needs to get more flexible! I wish he was a morning person but there is NO WAY I could get him out of bed for a morning workout.

  13. I have a similar Oikos and apple pic in my post! Ha, just thought I'd share!

    Good luck with the yoga challenge!

  14. Hi there! I came to your blog from Carrot's n Cake where I saw you are an injured runner as well. Ugh, I am so frustrated with my knees right now.

    Anyhoo, just wanted to say hi and I love the look of your blog. I need some serious help in learning how to customize my look.

  15. i'm kind of grossed out by showering at the gym. typically, i go when i can get back home first and shower.

    but i have had to do it and get things prepared in advance. i always forget SOMEthing.

  16. At my gym we can pay to have a locker. ($10 a month) so I rent a locker and just leave all my shower stuff up there...is that an option??

  17. Oh goodness, I feel like I spend half of my time (when I am at home) packing and unpacking for the gym. In the evenings I am packing my gym bag for the morning as well as my lunch and sometimes my breakfast (if I am swimming). Then there are days where I do two-a-days and pack for both gym sessions, as well as lunch and dinner and snacks. Lot of prep time, but you gotta do it to get it all in - that's what i think.

  18. that does sound tough! But hey if it something you are interested in, you may as well try to accomplish it ya know!

    I tried the whole shower at the gym thing and just didnt like all the extra prep I had to do--i think thats just me being lazy though :)

  19. I shower at the gym over my lunch break, but don't wash my hair. I let the roots get a tiny bit damp from the water and then blast them with the hair dryer. So it saves a lot of time not having to fully dry and style my hair. Lots of ponytails!

  20. Ouch, 31 days of yoga? Good luck, girl! I know if anyone, you can do it!

    I love that you make a list of everything you need to take out of the fridge before you leave. I forget things when I'm packing my lunch all the time!

  21. What a great challenge!

    I tried a yoga class in the fall and didn't love it - but i'm not sure if it was the teacher or yoga.

    I want to try a yoga class again - I need to find a yoga studio!

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  23. I'm excited to see how this challenge turns out!!!

    I most definitely need to prepare my things the night before or else I invariably forget something crucial. Last week I went to bikram yoga and realized once I got there that I had forgotten my towels... oops!