Although I cringe to post about the holidays — after all it seems so predictable — what I’m about to tell you about is anything but typical. My friend Oliver Ryan started this cool site a few years ago called Social Workout. The concept is to provide a place where people who want to stay on track with their fitness goals can connect with each other, be virtual workout buddies and support each other’s progress. Pretty cool.
I’ve watched it evolve over the years and have been inspired by his willingness to take a need he felt himself (and of course saw plenty of need for among other people) and turn it into a little side business that does so much good for so many people. This holiday season, they’ve launched a really awesome challenge: HolidayAsana . “Asana” means the physical yoga practice, and the HolidayAsana challenge goes way beyond just physical yoga.
Here’s what you have to do to meet the challenge over the 31 days, check it out:
- Practice yoga 20 times
- Eat 25 super healthy “green” meals (they define this as “meal that include at least one fresh, local ingredient. Think leafy greens, lots of vegetables, whole grains, and only organic meats and fish. Not too much, or too little. Best if you cook for yourself!”)
- Volunteer for one hour
- Use ZERO plastic bags
What I love about the challenge is that even though Oliver and his sponsors are based in NYC, anyone can do this ? With the Holidayasana challenge, even if you don’t do yoga you could take the challenge — what IS a form of challenging movement you can commit to doing 20 times over 31 days? I’m psyched about the challenge because really, it’s not limited to what Oliver came up with. You can add your own challenge elements: is drinking more water a goal you need to set for yourself? Sleeping more/less? Meditating however many times for however long throughout the month?
By deciding to take on a challenge, you draw a line in the sand and ask yourself to step up to the plate, or in this case step up to a healthier one. I did this over the summer by going on what I called my “cardio and carb-free cuarenta” which meant basically I committed to 30 minutes of cardio a day and no junky carbs for 40 days. My body and energy have been higher ever since. And although I don’t adhere to it rigidly now, I have continued to keep junky carbs at a minimum and integrate cardio into my week at least three times per week ever since.
Whether you use his site or his idea, modify it with your own challenges or create an online group with some friends and take a challenge or even just make it a quiet little commitment that you do for yourself by yourself — the invitation is to use YOUR LIFE to take action in support of the life within you that IS you.