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Today marks the end of the #nynb30daychallenge. It’s been quite a ride and although it did’t go exactly as I had envisioned (I only made 26 out of the 30 days and barely made a dent in terms of numbers on the scale) but what I gained from it is beyond measure :) Borrowing the words of one of my fellow challengers: I may have not lost as many pounds as I wanted, but I don’t feel as fat on the inside and that’s more than I could have expected.

The challenge, however, doesn’t end with just the scorecard of how many classes I did or how much weight I lost (or didn’t lose), but I take away from it key realizations that will make me a happier, healthier, better human being.

Three important life lessons I learned through this challenge are as follows:

1. To Be Discerning. I guess it was really too ambitious of me to try to manage too many things because I ended up getting sick twice. However, what the challenge reminded me was to not to be too hard on myself and to learn how to discern when to push and when to step back.

2. To Keep an Open Mind. For those who know me, they know I am not a fan of the hot yoga practice. In fact, it surprises people when I take a class. However, this challenge forced me to step out of my comfort zone and to do things that are not necessarily my personal preference. By coming to the hot classes, I was reminded to let go of attachment to preference and to accept what is there. Svaha, as they say. It is what it is. The challenge also made my transition to my new role in the studio a little easier as it encouraged me to open up to others a little bit more and be more engaging with my fellow practitioners.

3. The Value of Self-Love. One of my big goals for this challenge was to step back on to the mat with more consistency. It is often easy for me to push my mat practice to the back burner because of other things I am doing. The challenge made me realize that setting priorities for my practice is not just an act of kindness and compassion to my body, but also of self-love. By nourishing my soul with that 60-, 75-, or 90-minute practice, I did not just move my body but it also gave me the chance to love myself a little bit more, day by day. By skipping my practice, however, I take away or cut myself short.

The challenge may be over but I carry with it these lessons. In the next month, my practice will be all about different kinds of self-love practices. Want to join me?

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