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30 Day Yoga Challenge

In the years I have been in the fitness industry I have been an advocate of everybody can and should be strong enough for everyday tasks that may happen. Taking down a mountain lion, wrestling a bear, carrying groceries. You know, everyday occurrences. We all know the benefits of building muscle and getting stronger, but we tend to do it at the expense of movement quality. Everybody wants to lift heavyweight, we beat ourselves up the gym or run 10 miles a day (weirdos), but very few want to take the time to ensure the body gets back to homeostasis, back to a set point of joint centration and mobility, muscular flexibility and mental awareness. We generally don’t take the time to take care of ourselves in a loving way and the general excuse for not taking care of ourselves is, I don’t have the time or money.

This is a typical excuse for me. That is about to change. If I can’t find 30 minutes in my day to take care of myself then what kind of life am I leading. Am I really living if I’m not taking time to take care of myself? Yes, I take time to exercise in one form or another daily, but rarely take the time outside of the gym to rebuild or anabolize. I would say I am a product of society whereby we beat ourselves all day every day without a second thought of building ourselves back up.

As most of you know, I love to challenge myself because my thinking is, if I’m not challenging myself, I’m not growing. If I’m not out of my comfort zone I’m not progressing. With that said, for a few weeks now, I have been seriously contemplating doing Yoga on a regular basis, but never took the action. Truth be told, I’ve been considering doing Yoga for years, but always looked at it as “soft”. It’s not a real exercise of you’re not picking stuff up and putting it back down was my train of thought. I suppose it has been my ego that has been stopping me from getting the ball rolling on my own practice, despite the fact that I’ve been building Yoga poses and movements into my client’s programs for about 5 years.

Why would I build Yoga poses into my client’s programs, but not practice them myself?

Well, I know and understand the benefits of yoga. The flexibility and mobility, the lower heart rate and blood pressure, the relief of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, the increased sex drive, and increased stability and strength. But real men don’t do Yoga, right? No pain, no gain. Wrong. Real men do Yoga because real men don’t care what other people think of what form of exercise they are doing, and real men don’t let their ego get in the way of a better, healthier body.

So here is the challenge that I invite you to join me on. I started today and will complete 30 consecutive days of Yoga to see how I can improve and enjoy all these benefits that we spoke of earlier. I will still lift on days that I typically lift, but I will do Yoga on top of that. I downloaded an app today and acted. I did my first 35-minute Yoga session with Adriene (the lady in the video) and holy shit, I am a mess. I couldn’t even get into the Indian-style sitting position without my hips cramping up. This is OK, however; I know this is my first day and I can’t expect to be a master at it, even though that is my disposition. If I’m not good at something right away, then it’s a waste of time and I quit. After my first session, I genuinely felt better because of the breathing, the movement and the presence created even though many of the movements were a struggle and I forgot to breathe a bunch, but remember progress lives outside of the comfort zone.

What do I hope to gain from completing the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

At the end of these 30 days, I hope to have developed a better physical-spiritual connection that can help me live a fuller and more vibrant life with fewer aches and pain after lifting, playing ball, or wrestling bears. Sounds super new age and foo foo, but that is my intention and I’m sticking to it. I hope you set your intentions too and join me.

Michael Keane


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