14-Day Mind Over Mat Challenge

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Challenge Overview

Our ability to grow and change is ever present, and yoga can serve as a resource for our transformation. Still, sometimes we feel stuck and unable to grow in the ways that we'd like to. What gets in the way?

In this 14-day Mind Over Mat Challenge, Alanna Kaivalya, Ph.D.—author of Yoga Beyond the Mat and the founder of the Kaivalya Yoga Method—will help you address your obstacles so that you can create lasting, meaningful changes in your life. 

Throughout this challenge, you'll learn how to create chakra-focused rituals that are designed to help you transform your thoughts from negative to positive, get "unstuck" from old habit patterns that are holding you back, and become empowered to transform yourself.

Each day for 14-days, we'll send you two short videos to watch: a discussion of that day's topic and a meditative or contemplative practice that will help you embody it. Each session (discussion plus practice) will take 30 minutes or less.

Bring the transformative power of ritual into your life.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Challenge Outline

3HRS to complete

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Section 1
  • Our ability to change is ever present and yoga can serve as a resource for our transformation. Still, sometimes we feel stuck and unable to grow in the ways that we'd like to. What gets in the way? In this course, you'll learn practices that will help you get to the root of this question so that you can address your own obstacles and deepen your connection with yourself and with others.
  • Explore a writing exercise that will help you see how much you've changed over the years. This exercise can help you discover what no longer serves you. It can even help you reclaim lost aspects of your personality that were once helpful, and may still be helpful for you. Remember: You can become whoever you want to become.
Section 2
  • Satya, or truthfulness, is one of the most important practices of yoga. According to Alanna, living from a place of truth can help you cultivate a lighter heart. She expands on why that is here.
  • What is the truth of your heart? This guided practice is designed to help you discover it.
Section 3
  • In modern culture, we’ve almost entirely lost our connection to ritual, but yoga can be a means for bringing this practice back into our lives. Here, you’ll learn how ritual can bring both inner and outer stability during times of change. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of a ritual practice (the symbolism and structure) so that you can create your own. It’s easier than you think.
  • Gather your favorite sacred items (e.g., crystals, rocks, inspirational cards, a candle, water, incense, essential oil, a statue, a photo of a loved one) for your first ritual. This ritual, which can serve as a new or full moon ritual, serves as a jumping-off point. You can use its basic structure to create your own ritual with a theme of your choice.
Section 4
  • Now, let's explore the role of ritual in personal transformation. We'll do so using the framework of the chakras (energy centers), which Alanna refers to as metaphors for how we carry personal experiences inside of our bodies and minds. The first chakra we'll explore is the root chakra (muladhara). You'll learn how and why working with muladhara can help us release negative experiences, get grounded, and empower ourselves in the present moment.
  • Gather elements of earth (perhaps a plant, a bowl of dirt, a rock, a crystal) and have a candle on hand for this ritual that features a root chakra (muladhara) meditation. First you’ll learn how to use these tools to create the ritual space, then you’ll do the practice. The affirmation for this practice is: "I am grounded, stable, and empowered to stand on my own two feet." The mantra is: LAM
Section 5
  • The sacral chakra (svadhishthana) is said to be the storehouse of our sensuality and our emotions. Working with this chakra in practice can help us find emotional stability and develop self-reliance. Alanna states that the core wound of this energy center is looking to someone else to be the "one." She reminds us that, according to yoga philosophy, we are already whole and complete on our own.
  • Gather your favorite sacred items, and if there's something you're particularly passionate about, try to find a symbol of it and bring that symbol into your ritual space. Have some water available too, as the sacral chakra (svadhishthana) is related to the water element. Set your space, then begin this guided practice that's designed to help you connect with the creativity and abundance that comes from within. The affirmation for this practice is: "I am passionate, creative, and empowered to manifest abundance from within." The mantra is: VAM
Section 6
  • The solar plexus (manipura) represents our ego and sense of individuality. It’s also often depicted as an inner fire or sun. Alanna shares that when this fire is too bright, we can become too egotistical; when it's too dim, we can become timid and shy, and then, other people don’t get to benefit from what we have to offer. According to Alanna, these imbalances are often caused by this chakra’s core wound: approval seeking. By working with the solar plexus in practice, we can find balance and learn to act from our center so that we will no longer be so driven by the need for external approval.
  • Have a candle on hand as well as something else to burn (such as incense, sage, sweet grass, or palo santo) for this solar plexus (manipura) ritual intended to help you cultivate a healthy, glowing fire within. The affirmation for this practice is: "I am confident and ready to express my life's purpose to serve the highest of all around me." The mantra is: RAM
Section 7
  • A well-rounded yogi is grounded in both the earth and the heavens, which in this context means both the higher and the lower chakras. The heart chakra (anahata) is said to be a bridge between the lower three chakras and the higher three chakras. Working with this center in practice can help us live from a heart-centered place. But what does that mean? It's a bit more complicated, and perhaps more challenging, than simply feeling and expressing love for those who are closest to us. Alanna shares why this is and she elaborates on the core wound of this chakra: the inability to forgive oneself.
  • This heart chakra (anahata) ritual includes a meditation that invites you to dive into your heart to see what or who might be there. You can invite a loved one to join you for the ritual, or have a picture of a loved one near you. You’ll need a candle, and you can also incorporate any items you consider to be significant (for example: a heart-shaped item, a crystal you enjoy, or a favorite essential oil). The affirmation for this practice is: "I am grateful, courageous, and willing to open my heart to unconditional love." The mantra is: YAM
Section 8
  • The throat chakra (vishuddha) is said to be our energetic center of communication. According to Alanna, the core wound of this chakra is self-doubt, the negative voice in our head. To increase our self-confidence, we need to discover our personal truth and speak up about our needs. Working with the throat chakra in practice can help.
  • For this guided throat chakra (vishuddha) ritual, have a candle and (optional) your favorite essential oil on hand. This practice involves chanting the seed mantra for each of the seven chakras. It also involves creative visualization. The affirmation for this practice is: "I am able to clearly express myself and speak up about the truth that is important to me." The mantras are: LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, and OM (OM is repeated twice).
Section 9
  • The third eye chakra (ajna) is said to be the source of our connection to our highest self, our own inner wisdom. The core wound of our third eye chakra is the false thinking that someone else can show us the way to our highest self. Alanna shares that taking back your power—knowing that you always know what is right for you—is one of the most important things that you can do as a yogi. Working with this chakra in practice can help guide you to that place of empowerment.
  • Ritual for the Third Eye Chakra

Section 10
  • The crown chakra (sahasrara) is said to be our connection to source: our self, our bliss (or however you choose to define it). According to Alanna, by working with this energy center in practice, we can make that connection more pronounced in daily life.
  • Connect to your light and your bliss. Have a candle, water, and if possible, a crystal on hand for this crown chakra (sahasrara) ritual, which includes creative visualization and chanting. The affirmation for this practice is: "I am." The mantras are: OM and SO'HAM
Section 11
  • According to Alanna, one of the most important aspects of yoga is discovering what is within your own psyche. And the language of the psyche, she states, is mythic. Uncovering the mythic image that lives within your psyche can become a powerful tool for your ritual practices. Learn why this is and explore a yoga practice that can help you uncover this mythic image.
  • Lie down and get comfortable for this guided yoga nidra, which is designed to take you through the five koshas (layers of being). As you travel, layer by layer, you’ll come closer to uncovering your own mythic image.
Section 12
  • How can we free our minds and break negative thought patterns? In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali tells us that when a negative thought arises we can replace it with an opposite, positive thought. Here Alanna shares a simple way that you can refine this practice, making it even more effective.
  • Alanna outlines four simple steps that you can use to transform negative thoughts and find more freedom of mind.
Section 13
  • The definition of yoga is union, and the state of yoga is often said to be an experience of bliss. According to Alanna, yoga as bliss is essentially enlightenment. Many yoga teachers say that enlightenment is impossible for most people. But, in reality, if you are human you can become enlightened. It’s available to all and inherent to all. You can find this bliss within yourself; you can ask your own highest self to show you the way.
  • Come to a comfortable seated position and turn your attention to your breath as you allow your conscious mind to rest. This meditation is designed to get you in touch with your highest self, or “blissful” self. Whatever you experience during this practice is right for you. This practice includes five invocations, which are: “Blissful self, please connect me to source now.” “Blissful self, awaken me now.” “Blissful self, grant me as much healing as is possible for my highest good now.” “Blissful self, expand the light of my awareness to the extent that it serves the highest good.” “Blissful self,...
Section 14
  • The result of the practice of yoga psychology is that yoga becomes your new normal; you get to walk through life with the eyes of bliss. Alanna provides some final tips for how you can maintain this sensation of bliss in daily life.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Alanna Kaivalya, Ph.D.
Alanna is the founder of The Kaivalya Yoga Method 500 online teacher training, as well as The Modern... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this challenge in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This challenge is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Challenge completion.
No prerequisites are required; this challenge is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the challenge is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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