By developing healthy habits such as practicing yoga and eating well, people can not only control their weight but improve mood, combat disease, boost energy and increase longevity. To make habits integrated into everyday lives, they must be purposefully practiced. Challenges such as 30-day yoga challenges can help motivate individuals to develop a continuous yoga practice.
By engaging in just a few minutes of yoga every day, versus one long class once a week or every few weeks, practitioners will notice a positive impact on their overall health. Benefits of a continuous yoga practice include:
- Increased flexibility and strength
- Better cardiovascular health
- Toning in the body
- Stress reduction
- Increased metabolism
- Decreased in injuries
- Better immune system function
Start a yoga challenge by making sure it is planned in advance of practicing. This way practice can get started first thing in the morning without browsing through various videos and advertisements. However, if you would like to skip the planning phase, check out our list of videos designed to not only strengthen and stretch the body but incorporate other aspects of yoga for a well-rounded practice such as chakras, mindfulness, yoga nidra, and restorative yoga.
Before starting the challenge, be sure to talk with your health care provider in advance and always honor the body. If there are postures that are too difficult or sequences that may create or aggravate a health condition or injury opt to take child’s pose or engage in pranayama instead. Additionally, if one class simply doesn’t work, you can also opt to repeat a previous practice.
To get your morning practice started, less is more. Rather than trying to start with full-length classes, start with shorter sequences to develop a habit. In this sequence with Sarah Beth Yoga, ease morning stiffness with this simple routine.
Sun Salutations are an excellent way to start the morning. While sun salutations can be practiced in a variety of ways, this gentle sun salutations sequence with Natasha Kerry is perfect for beginners while explaining the various postures.
Beginning to develop some more energizing postures into the practice, this Yoga for Focus and Productivity by Yoga with Adriene starts adding more postures into the routine that are strengthening such as WarrIor II and chair with various modifications to adapt your practice.
Incorporating more flowing postures into the mornings can be energizing. This gentle sequence by Big Gal Yoga still hers the body moving with gentle postures but starts including a few challenging postures as well.
A habit can be challenging to keep. While it is ideal to keep the same time and day to practice, slower more gentle practices can help maintain the habit while still giving the body a break. While this chair yoga sequence with Yoga by Candace can be performed in the office or during travel, this is a nice practice to do in the morning to help open up the hips and keep a practice balanced.
Power yoga can help build strength and improve posture. In this 15-minute power sequence by Fightmaster Yoga, students will build core strength and strengthen the legs and the arms.
Yoga nidra is a powerful practice that promotes rest and relaxation but also allows practitioners to be with what is present within themselves. After a week of moving, a yoga nidra is the perfect way to break for the body from asana while working on the mind. For this practice, no movement is required. Simply find a comfortable spot on the floor. While Lizzy Hill’s voice is certainly relaxing, try to stay awake to complete the practice.
Gradually begin to increase the practice times for the 30-day yoga challenge as the days progress. Erica Rascon creates a 20-minute flowing practice that strengthens the core and the back with some mild cardio to get the body moving and energy flowing.
The pelvic floor is often ignored is misunderstood. Having a strong pelvic floor helps to improve the function of the bladder, calm the sympathetic nervous system, and balance the reproductive system. This gentle practice by Yoni Yogi is not only relaxing in the mornings but helps strengthen the pelvic floor.
This flowing yoga sequence with Yoga with Bird is a calming 20-minute class that stretches the body while moving the body slowly. This class will definitely stretch the hips and provides modification invitations if needed.
The root chakra is our center of energy that focuses on security and stability. This yoga sequence by Jen Hilman is a part of a 7 part series that works on the entire chakra system. This class is powerful and strong to help strengthen the root chakra.
In this 15-minute yoga sequence by Yoga with Adriene, helps work on flexibility. This practice can either be done on its own or a standalone practice. Since all of the postures are on the floor you can even do this one in bed.
In this video by NiftyKeisha, your session will help establish balance and strength. She provides various options for certain postures that may aggravate the body.
After two weeks of challenging practices, a lighter movement free day can help integrate the experience focusing on relaxation. This Yoga Nidra practice by Chris Baker can help restore the body and mind.
This yoga practice by Yoga with Biola will continue to help establish more strength and balance in both body and mind through slow movements.
While this yoga practice focuses on back pain, this yoga session is perfect in the morning to help stretch the back to prevent back pain or work with it. This session is led by Carin Baginski.
Continuing to incorporate both chakras and meditation into a yoga practice, this session with Brett Larkin Yoga is a 15-minute meditation that balances the second chakra through a guided visualization. The second chakra is responsible for our creative forces.
Mindfulness is gaining in popularity because of its effects and accessibility to help reduce stress. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and pairs especially well with yoga. In this sequence, all movements are performed in a chair for not only ease but accessibility. While the postures are simple, the practice of mindful movement can still be quite challenging.
As the challenge continues, try incorporating longer practices throughout the day. This practice led by Shelly Nicole at The Mat Project is perfect to start building the length of time practicing in a gentle way.
This all levels power class by Lululemon with yoga instructor Alex Mazerolle will start the morning charged up and strong. Alex provides multiple modifications to make the practices accessible while still building strength.
Revisiting the chakras this session by Fightmaster Yoga will incorporate the first, second, and third chakras in this energetic flow practice.
This sequence with Koya Webb builds upon a sun salutation practice. This practice is about almost 20 minutes long and includes Sun Salutations A, B, and C variations for stress relief. Koya offers various modifications and encouragement for wherever the student is at in their practice.
Beginning to develop longer practices, this sequence by Body Positive Yoga is accessibility with the use of props such as blocks and chairs. While this is a longer practice, students will be able to adapt their practice as they need to. Explanations for props are provided as well.
A Yin Yoga practice helps work on the tissue and the bones and a perfect complement to more of a yang practice that primarily works on the muscles. In this Yin Yoga class with, Yoga with Kassandra, no props are required. This sequence allows students to hold postures on the floor for several minutes.
Balancing out the Yin Yoga class with more of a cardio flow, this session with Heart Alchemy Yoga led by Michelle Goldstein incorporates twists and the breath to help get the body moving first thing in the morning.
Another chair yoga class, this practice is perfect to work on flexibility and rotation for typical postures by using a chair. The use of a chair helps make postures more accessible so do you do not need to worry about balance. This 25-minute session is led by Five Parks Yoga.
Be prepared to take a shower after this Power Yoga sequence with Sean Vigue on HasFit. This is a challenging sequence. Use some of the modifications learned during the rest of the challenge to help modify the postures as necessary for your body or energy level.
Take some extra to time on this day to develop a longer Yoga Nidra practice. This longer guided meditation will help integrate personal intentions into health and wellbeing. Start the practice with Yoga Nidra followed by calming rain sounds.
After challenging practices, follow up the next day with slower calmer sequences. Switching up the routine can help with the balancing the masculine and the feminine aspects of life. This 20-minute restorative yoga sequence can help the body stretch and release tension naturally with the Artistic Vegan.
This vinyasa yoga sequence with Yoga with Tim is for strength and balance incorporating more challenging postures such as arm balances. If your practice does not incorporate them feel free to try them out on your last day or honor your practice and simply take a breather or modification.
By practicing yoga daily and challenging yourself with a 30-day yoga challenge, the health benefits achieved can be life-changing.