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Here we are, halfway the way through the May 30-day challenge, and it’s wonderful to see stickers accumulating next to so many names.

It’s even better to see your happy, glowing faces in class more often. Good for you for setting goals and showing up for yourself. Thank you for telling us about breakthroughs and rough spots and meaningful moments in class. Each of you contributes to the positivity in the the studio and to the growth of other students, whether you’re participating in the challenge or not.

Sometimes the rule for a 30-day challenge is that you have to actually come to the studio and practice for 30 consecutive days in a row.

This is called a “pure 30,” and it has benefits. Relentlessly building your schedule around something that is good for you is powerful – it sends a message to friends, family, and (most importantly) yourself that your mental and physical health matter. Demonstrating the discipline to show up day after day helps you see how strong and determined you are.

However, it doesn’t take much to bump a “pure 30” off track – one weekend trip to a spot where there’s no yoga studio, a sick day, one of those afternoons where you simply cannot leave the office or you have a family event that you don’t want to miss out on.

And that’s why our current 30-day challenge allows doubles. Life happens. If you need to miss a class, no need to stress. Just catch up by taking two classes in one day, remembering that the spirit of the challenge is daily, consistent practice.

Now, let’s talk in a little more depth about doubles.

Quite a few people have been doing doubles by taking a yoga class and then staying for the Inferno Hot Pilates class afterward, and people of various experience and fitness levels seem to be doing fine. A good number of people seem downright thrilled at the end of their second class of the day, whether it’s due to endorphins or the good company in the hot room or just the fantastic feeling of “I did it!”

A yoga double can also be an interesting thing to try. You could do a back-to-back double or one class early in the day and one class later, with a break in between.

If doubles keep you on track, or you genuinely enjoy them and you have the time in your day to spend at the studio, fantastic.

But here are a few of things to be thoughtful about when building doubles into your challenge:

  • Hydration and nutrition are key. Come to the studio well-hydrated, and even if added electrolytes aren’t a part of your normal routine, consider a boost with a Body Armor or a coconut water or some of the electrolyte supplements we sell in the lobby. Make sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You might even find yourself needing extra protein, as you’re building muscle.
  • Practice/work out with focus, self-kindness, and curiosity. We really mean it when we say that you practice with the exact mind and body you bring to each class, and that includes two classes in one day. Take a break whenever you need it.
  • While it can be fun and rewarding to really commit to a fitness routine, one of the reasons we do yoga/Hot Pilates is to enhance our life outside of the hot room. We want to be in the healthiest condition possible for us right now so that we can be present for family, friends, and the work we do in the world. Balance is key, and too much – even of a good thing – is too much.
  • You are aiming for a sustainable practice. Think about what your plan is for after the challenge is over, and commit to that for the next few months. Remember that it is better to practice 3 or 4 times a week every week than to come 10 times a week for 4 weeks and then burn out and stop. 

Keep up the great work, challengers – you’re all inspiring!

–Ellen Olson-Brown, The Hot Yoga Factory Chelmsford.

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