by guest author & freelance writer Hazel Slade
There is no real way to describe how amazing it feels to successfully complete a 40-day Hot Yoga challenge… But I will try to put it into words.
As I bowed my head and thanked myself, my classmates and my teacher at the end of my final class on the final day of this immense six week challenge, I felt both hugely happy and super sad.
It is pretty obvious why I felt happy.
I had made it to the end, proudly stuck up all my 30 stickers and finished what I believe to be the start of a new way of life for me.
But why would I feel sad I hear you say? Well, surprisingly to me, I was actually sad that it was all over and the task had come to an end.
And, although this is not the end of my love affair with yoga – I hope to be doing a minimum of two hot yoga classes a week now I have finished – there are some things I will miss from the challenge.
One of the main things is the sense of comradery I felt with my fellow yogis while I was undertaking the challenge.
Knowing that other men and women were undergoing the same ups and downs as me, made the highs feel even higher and the lows more bearable. It is at this point that I want to say well done to all the other yogis who completed the challenge by my side. You all did brilliantly.
The second thing I will miss is aiming for a target.
It may just be a part of my personality, but having a goal helped me to get up off the sofa on those rainy nights, when all I wanted to do was curl up in front of the TV, and get down the studio. Without that extra push, will I be able to stay as dedicated? All I can say is, I hope so. I don’t want all my hard work to have been in vain… I want it to continue.
And finally, I will miss – and this won’t surprise you – the delicious green smoothies I have been devouring five times a week. My skin has never looked so good, and I can only put that down to these healthy vitamin packed drinks. I don’t think I will be giving those up any more than I will the yoga.
But, that said, I have to admit that the overriding feeling I have at the moment is joy.
I am flying at having completed what I saw as such an immense undertaking. And my body feels great for it. I feel more toned, stronger and flexible.
On the inside I feel calmer and, surprisingly I think, I seem to have better concentration. The only down point is I haven’t actually lost any weight, which I was hoping I would… although I am sure I can blame my chocolate addiction for that rather than the yoga.
But, that aside, I can’t tell you how many people have commented on how well I am looking and asked me what my secret is.
And, I tell them this… there is no secret.
Yoga is out there for anyone and everyone… of all ages and all abilities. All you have to do is get on the mat and give it a go. And even if you have been doing it for years, like me, you can still discover a new and expanded love for this ancient practice.
So trust me, my mat won’t be stuck in the cupboard gathering dust now I have finished the challenge.
It will be taking pride of place in my home… and in my life.
More on Hazel Slade:
Hazel is a freelance writer who believes that the written word has the power to move mountains.
Growing up in England, Hazel spent many years working as a writer and journalist, before bringing her love for the written word to New Zealand.
Hazel discovered a love for all things Yogi almost five years ago while living in London, but she has never undergone such an immense undertaking as the 40-day challenge.
She’s hoping to combine her passion of yoga and writing for a truly enriching experience for both herself and her readers.
More on Hot Yoga’s 40-Day Challenge:
Held twice a year, a Hot Yoga 40-Day Challenge is a personal commitment to 5 yoga classes a week with 5 minutes of quiet time each session. A daily green smoothie and attendance at special Hot Yoga events expand the Challenge experience. Students discover the power that comes with a sustained yoga practice. Check out Hot Yoga’s website to find out when the next challenge starts.