What Is a 21-Day Yoga Challenge?
Everything you need to know about starting a 21-day yoga challenge.
Have you played with the idea of doing a yoga challenge? Whether you’re curious about how to start your own home practice, or you’d like to rededicate yourself to a daily yoga routine, an online 21-day yoga challenge is a great way to receive inspiration and guidance from the comfort of your home.
The Basics of a 21-Day Yoga Challenge
Participating in a 21-day yoga challenge means committing to practicing yoga every day for 21 days straight (the length and focus of your practice will depend on the challenge you choose!). But it’s about more than just doing asana (yoga poses) each day. A 21-day yoga challenge represents a personal commitment you make to yourself. It can often be easier to find time for work, family, and friends than to make time for ourselves. A 21-day yoga challenge offers you a structure for creating time each day to nurture yourself.
If you find it challenging to make it to class at a local gym or studio, practicing along with a dedicated yoga challenge video at whatever time of day works for you could be just the thing to jumpstart your yoga practice.
In addition to allowing you to create your own practice schedule, an online yoga challenge gives you the opportunity to revisit your favorite classes, move at your own pace, and choose a teacher who inspires you.
One downside, of course, is that you can’t ask an online teacher questions the way you might to an in-person teacher after class. But many online yoga platforms do give you the opportunity to post feedback or questions. There are opportunities for connecting with fellow participants via comment sections, forums, Facebook groups, and challenge-specific hashtags. And if you enjoy practicing with others, you can invite a friend to join you for added encouragement and accountability.
In addition to online offerings, some yoga studios also offer 21-day yoga challenges (or, similarly, a 30-day yoga challenge) in which you attend in-studio classes, each day, for 21 days. An at-home challenge can also be a great preparation for, or complement to, a studio challenge.
Why Have a Daily Practice?
A yoga challenge can seem intimidating if you're not accustomed to doing yoga every day—so start out small! Some challenges ask you to practice for as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day, and a little yoga every day can be a lot more beneficial than practicing for longer periods of time only occasionally.
Because it gets you practicing regularly, a 21-day yoga challenge can help you build confidence in your practice. Much like learning the positions of your fingers on a piano or guitar, new yoga postures will often be unfamiliar at first; but as your daily practice continues, your body remembers! The more poses you commit to muscle memory, the easier it will be to dedicate yourself to a daily practice—and the stronger your body will become. The benefits of yoga will typically be experienced any time you practice, but establishing a daily routine helps you to reap those benefits on a regular basis.
Yoga challenges undeniably help you to improve your asana practice. More importantly, however, they allow you to begin to experience the effects of a consistent yoga practice on your day-to-day life. While you may notice improvements in your strength and flexibility, you may also notice more subtle benefits such as improved mood and attitude and better sleep patterns. According to a recent Harvard Medical School study, yoga can even help with anxiety and depression. Dedicating yourself to your practice—making time for even a quick sequence every day—may have lasting effects on your overall physical health.
Setting Yourself up to Succeed With a 21-Day Yoga Challenge
If the thought of beginning a 21-day yoga challenge, or perhaps even a 30-day yoga challenge, is overwhelming—don’t worry. There are many ways to set yourself up for success! Here are some tips for overcoming a few of the obstacles that many of us face when beginning a yoga challenge.
Find a Friend
Many people find new activities more bearable when they embark upon them with a friend. Find a friend who is willing to join you for a 21- or 30-day yoga challenge! You and your practice buddy can either meet up in person, or practice on your own and simply encourage each other with daily texts and check-ins. Inspire each other and hold each other accountable, and you may discover that getting on your mat each day is much easier than you thought. Plus, having a friend along for the ride can make the challenge a lot more fun.
Start With Achievable Goals
Don't begin with unrealistic expectations! If you’ve never practiced yoga before, don't expect to command advanced poses after just 21 or 30 days of yoga. Or if you’re strapped for time, don't set an unrealistic goal of a 90-minute practice every day. It may be more reasonable to shoot for a shorter practice—60, 30, or 15 minutes a day, for example. Once you feel more comfortable in your practice and have an idea of what to expect, you can then commit yourself to more challenging goals. When you set achievable goals, you get to celebrate their completion! Which brings us to the next point…
Celebrate Your Victories!
Throughout your 21 days (or 30 days of yoga) you’re sure to make some noticeable strides. Give yourself credit along the way! Pat yourself on the back for getting on the mat each day, knowing that that in itself is a huge achievement. Acknowledge when you keep your daily practice promise, even when you didn't want to or when your schedule seemed overwhelming. Celebrating victories—whether small or large—will help make your 21-day yoga challenge fulfilling.
Choose Something, and Stick With It
Establishing a daily practice will be hard if you’re not enjoying what you are doing. Take a few days to experiment with different teachers and different styles of yoga in order to see what works for you—from vinyasa flow, to yin yoga, to Ashtanga yoga, there are many types of practice to explore. Begin by watching different videos to see what style of yoga resonates with you. And while it’s okay if one day you really feel like a power yoga practice and another day you prefer moving slowly and meditating more, do your best to stick with your selected practice for the entire time. Most teachers will be progressively adding on to their program each day, so unless you absolutely hate it, it will be worth seeing the challenge through to the end. The deeper you dive into a practice, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Track Your Practice
One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated throughout a yoga challenge is to track your progress. Start a journal or find a mobile app that can help you do this as it will make the challenge more manageable and fun. Plus, you’ll see in one place all the progress you’ve made. If you choose to write in your journal, don’t include just your feelings, struggles, and wins, but consider also keeping a literal log of the amount of time spent in each of your chosen practices. By the end of the challenge, you may notice tangible improvements in the amount of time you’ve committed to your practice each day. And throughout the process, you'll be given real metrics that will help you measure your progress, as well as tangible tools to help you understand yourself better by the time you're done.
Sign up for a 21-day yoga challenge, and discover the difference that daily practice can make.
Try Our Online Yoga Challenges
Now you know more about embarking on a 21-day or 30-day yoga challenge. Are you ready to get started? We can help you with that. At Yoga International, we provide a membership that offers you access to carefully curated challenges—from beginner to advanced—each designed with a specific focus in mind, allowing you to choose one that aligns with your practice needs and goals. You can stream yoga classes wherever and whenever you want to practice. Videos are available anytime, anywhere.
Our membership is easy and affordable—and you can get started today without any cost! Sign up for a free trial that will give you immediate access to 30 days of yoga. Check out our 1,000+ customer reviews on Trust Pilot where you’ll see our excellent rating. We have pre-packaged challenges for participants of all skill levels, and with hundreds of yoga videos there’s always something new to explore. There’s no reason not to start now.
We invite you to join us. Come learn with us at Yoga International—today!