The Hot Room Community is in the home stretch of the 30-day challenge with many members of our community well on their way to finish. We briefly met with our beloved teacher and student, David Suarez, to discuss the true intention of a 30-day challenge. His experience and wisdom is truly insightful. Please take a moment to read with an open heart.

The goal of the 30-day challenge—or any studio challenge—is to create healthy habits. Our goal is to create the intention for you to make time for a daily yoga practice. Your daily yoga practice should feel very much like brushing your teeth, washing your face, or moisturizing. You simply make it an everyday thing. However, I see a trend where students miss the overall goal of doing a 30-day challenge.

What I see are students missing several days of their practice and then coming in to take 3-4 classes each day to get the classes in to meet the challenge. This general pattern is not the goal of the challenge. Usually the first class in the string of classes is really great, the second class the students start to lose focus, and by the third class they might actually fall asleep. The amount of work required for change, and the energy and excitement to make a change quickly deteriorate due to exhaustion. The practice becomes a chore rather than a healthy habit

We’ve all been there. I’ve been there, and it’s perfectly normal to create these habits in the journey. What we need to remember is change happens when we acknowledge habits that could be damaging so we can make room for growth. My own trajectory from a student to teacher took many years. I started my practice back in 2005—that’s more than 15 years, and for all but five of those years, I was just a practitioner. The first couple  years of my practice were very inconsistent, and I would always pick back up where I left off. However, it wasn’t until I started paying attention to exactly what I was doing that I was actually able to make the changes in my own body.

In my first challenge, my practice really grew which inspired me to do my first asana championship. It wasn’t until before these events that I realized I set limitations with my body. To break free from these limitations I established three pillars for my practice: consistency, accuracy and intensity. With these three pillars I was able to crack the code and move my body beyond the limitations I inadvertently placed on myself. It was the first time in my adult life where I could look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I am beautiful, capable, and powerful.

That’s why I want to share this message with you so you can feel beautiful, capable and powerful regardless of the number of classes you take during the challenge. Here are some suggestions to help you grow in your practice during and beyond the 30-day challenge because at the end of the day it’s all about consistency, accuracy and intensity:

  • Be mindful and plan your doubles. Plan ahead and look at your week because it’s easier to block out time a week ahead—you’re more prepared if your schedule needs to change.
  • Look at classes that are a healthy option to take back-to-back. A 45-minute Inferno Hot Pilates (IHP) class and Original Hot Yoga (OHY) class is a gorgeous pairing. There’s often time between these classes for you to change your clothes and properly hydrate. Another great pairing is OHY followed by a Yin class. An example of what I would not recommend is a 75-minute Hot Power Vinyasa (HPV) followed by an OHY class with a 15-minute turnaround. This timing does not allow for your body to full recover, and your time in the room and in the heat is well over two hours.
  • You want to make sure your meals are planned ahead as well. These meals should properly nourish you. It’s easy to go into a calorie deficit during a 30-day challenge for an added punch in your fitness goals, but you might want to look at what you are actually eating versus taking a calorie deceit. You need the proper fuel to keep up with your daily practice.
  • Rest is super important. Be mindful about if your schedule requires doing late evening classes and early classes. You need to make sure your body is getting enough rest in between your classes. Recovery is key—even in yoga.
  • Remember this is a community challenge. We all share the space. The work you bring in the room affects those around you. Take on your practice with integrity so you share that energy with others around you. No Hot Naps!
  • Also, be aware of why you are checking off the boxes during the 30-day challenge. Those boxes are for you. Be mindful about what those boxes represent, and make sure it truly benefits you in your yoga transformation.

The work we do in this room is very specific, and our goal is to grow in strength—both mind and body. There is a purpose in what we do. There is a form in the benefits of each posture. There’s a how to each class we offer. If we are too fatigued to get the how of the practice then we are missing the very specific strength training and goals of each class. This environment for yoga is meant to be a therapy, it’s meant to be fun, it’s meant to be about community, and it’s meant to be good for you. It’s never meant to be used in a way where the body could incur injury—that’s when the practice is no longer beneficial.  Keep up the beautiful work and be mindful about your practice during the final days of your 30-day challenge. Your body and soul will thank you.

About David Suarez

David first discovered The Hot Room when he was teaching nearby in Columbus, Ohio. A fellow teacher told David he absolutely had to make the drive to Indy and experience the best yoga studio ever. After making some inquiries and setting some dates to come out for a weekend visit, he was hooked. As a traveling yoga teacher, David had many opportunities to visit new and exciting cities, but his favorite assignments are the ones that introduce him to amazing people. After having met The Hot Room team in Autumn 2014, David knew it was only a matter of time before he made his way back to Indianapolis. To learn more about David, visit his bio.

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