I’ve always loved this time of year as we approach the end of December, when most people have more time available for loved ones. There is a spirit of togetherness and renewal as everyone takes a break from their busy lives and prepares for a brand new year. I’ve often taken this as an opportunity to slow down, enjoy time with family and look back on the previous year, sometimes feeling inspired to make significant life changes, or a few new year’s resolutions.
Our Yearly Yoga Challenges
You may also feel inspired to try something new or challenging in the new year. How about a yoga challenge? For those looking for the many benefits that a daily yoga practice can bring, we are preparing three brand new yoga challenges - for beginner, intermediate and advanced students - featuring 75 total days of yoga and 60 brand new classes!
Before we dive into the 2020 New Year’s Challenges, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and visit what we did for the past two new year’s. These challenges are still on the site and will always be available anytime you wish to challenge yourself to 30 days of daily yoga.
In 2018 we featured two new year's challenges:
Empower Yourself 30-Day Yoga Challenge - Beginner
Empower Yourself 30-Day Yoga Challenge - Intermediate
In 2019 we featured three new year’s challenges:
Back to Health Senior 30-Day Challenge
Be Strong and Flexible Beginner 30-Day Yoga Challenge
Build Your Resilience Intermediate 30-Day Yoga Challenge
Our Three 2020 New Year's Challenges!
In 2020, we will be featuring three new year's challenges. You can access them by paying a one-time fee, subscribing for $10/month or $99/year or applying for a bursary. If you share on social media using #dywm2020newyearschallenge, you will be entered into a draw for $200 toward any one of the eco-friendly yoga companies on our Review of Eco-friendly Yoga Pants or Review of Eco-friendly Yoga Mats - your choice!
They are called:
30-Day Athlete’s PNF Stretching Challenge - Beginner
The Elements 14-Day Yoga Challenge with Crista Shillington - Intermediate
Poise and Perseverance Advanced 30-Day Yoga Challenge - Advanced
1) 30-day Athletes’ Pnf Stretching Challenge
Cost: $30 one-time, $10/month or $99/year
Props needed: Strap, block and blanket
Focus: Full body flexibility using the PNF stretching method
Limited range of motion affects us all, no matter what we do. Joint tightness can lead to wear and tear, stress and damage to joints, tissue and nerves. This is most notable in athletes, who regularly push their bodies to extremes in order to be the best at what they do.
Not only will stretching help you avoid all of those things, but healthy range of motion is a key component of athletic success, since it contributes to overall speed, strength and endurance. Good joint flexibility leads to more pliable soft tissue, better blood flow, more efficient movement, less risk of injury and speedier recovery from training.
In this 30-Day Athletes’ PNF Stretching Challenge, David teaches you how to harness the power of a stretching technique called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF, to improve your flexibility quickly and safely. Many consider PNF to be the fastest and most effective way known to increase flexibility. PNF does this by working with a natural neurological response called the “inverse stretch reflex.” Let me summarize how it works.
When we are stretching a muscle, our central nervous system will protect a muscle that it feels is being over-stretched by tensing it, essentially stopping the stretch. This is called the “stretch reflex”. The key to PNF stretching is what happens about 5 seconds after the stretch reflex kicks in. The opposite nervous response - the “inverse stretch reflex” - relaxes that tensed muscle again. PNF mimics this sequence of events. It gets you to trigger the stretch reflex for 5-6 seconds, then moves you into a deeper stretch once the inverse stretch reflex kicks in.
On each day of this challenge, David will teach you how to use PNF stretching on one specific muscle group, taking around 10-15 minutes. In total you will learn 30 different stretches, learning more than one method for some of the key muscles such as the hamstrings, quadriceps and gluts. By the end, you will have the skills and the tools needed to target and unlock the tightest parts of your body.
This is a great learning experience for everyone, knowledge you can carry forward into every aspect of your life. Join the 30-Day Athletes’ PNF Stretching Challenge to learn how to stretch effectively, improve how you feel, speed up recovery and accelerate performance!
Note: PNF adds additional stress to the stretching muscle, which increases the risk of a possible soft tissue injury. David will teach you how to maximize the benefits of PNF while stretching safely.
2) Poise And Perseverance 30-day Advanced Yoga Challenge
Cost: $30 one-time, $10/month or $99/year
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Props needed: Strap, block
Focus: Helping you progress from intermediate to advanced in a safe way.
Even for the experienced yogi, knowing how to design or choose classes that help you progress toward more challenging vinyasa flows can be hard. Guidance, particularly from a group of experienced teachers, can be immensely helpful, particularly as when you attempt poses that are new to you.
Our Poise and Perseverance and 30-Day Advanced Yoga Challenge is designed to be both challenging and safe. It moves you through a progression that honors your body’s needs, challenges you when you are ready and gives you much-needed breaks to keep you going. Our teachers skillfully guide you through the challenging sections so you feel confident and ready.
The 30 days of daily yoga classes feature the styles and skills of seven of our most advanced and talented yoga teachers: Fiji, Tracey, Crista, Ron, Andrea, Rachel and Jonni-Lyn. Each has their own engaging approach and style, helping build your enthusiasm, and making it easier to roll out your mat each and every day.
Get ready for a wild and crazy ride! Join our Poise and Perseverance Advanced 30-Day Yoga Challenge so you enter 2020 feeling energized, confident, strong and capable of taking on anything!
3) The Elements 14-day Intermediate Yoga Challenge With Crista Shillington
Cost: $14 one-time, $10/month or $99/year
Props needed: Strap, block
Focus: Challenging intermediate classes that focus on yoga’s five elements.
Our New Year’s 14-Day Challenge features Crista Shillington, a lovely and very skilled instructor who loves to theme classes in ways that encourage you to connect more deeply to your practice. She takes you on a 14-day journey through nature’s five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. These elements together form the body in which we exist and the world in which we live, playing an important role in everything we do. Through yoga therapy and ayurveda, the elements teach us how to attain well being and how to best progress on the spiritual path. If a particular element is impure or out of balance, understanding how to work with them can give us the skills needed to purify and restore them back to health. For example, the fire element can be used to spark energy or burn up impurities. Water has a cleansing, cooling effect on the body.
Crista will help you reflect on the qualities of each element, teaching you how you manifest the energy needed to find inspiration both on and off your mat. Incorporating many practices that help you connect with the five elements, including meditation, chanting, breathwork and asana, the 14 days of daily yoga will be fun, energizing and maybe even transformational.
We love being your online yoga resource and are constantly challenge ourselves to be even better. We’re excited that you are considering us as your inspiration as you head into a new year. If you have any questions or comments, share them below.