by Ann Chrapkiewicz
Our annual Spring Yoga Buddy Challenge is a true highlight of the year and takes place from April 1 – May 31 each year.
It expands and deepens our practice and understanding of yoga, and it is so much fun!!
All teams who completed the challenge by May 31 received a unique 2017 Yoga Buddy shirt for each team member. (These are also available for sale if you would like one.)
You can view more photos on the Facebook album here.
Check out the amazing things the Yoga Buddies did this past Spring!
Shaking things up
Each team member practiced in at least 10 different designated spots in the room. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is amazing how easy it is to get stuck in a pattern. This is a simple way to see what attachments we might have created to geography, mirrors, sides of the room, “hot spots”, etc….and to get a new perspective on how we are affected by the external circumstances.
With the increased emotional control that comes from yoga, we can tolerate a wider range of circumstances, places, and people in the world. Not by “acting” or pretending to be more tolerant, but by truly, deeply, having less of an automatic reaction to things we do not initially “like”.
Standing in a place we do not gravitate to is a great way to start testing this process – to test our attachments to preferences and comfort zones.
Depth of thought
Part of the challenge is to read one of our recommended books on yoga. My top recommendation for those who have not read it is How Yoga Works. On every read through, it takes on more and deeper meaning. These are available for sale at BYCA, but you can probably find a yoga buddy team member to borrow it from as well.
Here are some of our favorite team names from this year:
Shake Your Asana
The Pranayama Mamas Strike Back
Super Sweaty & Spicy Senoritas
Los Tres Yogamigos
This year, all of the teams as a whole group get the award for the most diverse and creative expressions I have every seen. They did their yoga via writing, photography, practice, and even computer programming!! My jaw dropped more than once as I saw the submissions come in over the 2 months of the challenge!
Over the course of the coming months, you will see our many (very impressive) guest blog posts and creative projects.
In the meantime, a couple of noteworthy highlights:
Instead of a traditional blog post, Jess completed the May Ghosh Yoga Challenge with Scott and Ida Jo Lamps (thanks to the world wide web), practicing and photographing a specific posture DAILY and sharing something she had learned from it. Here are a selection of her most excellent expressions:
Finally, my eyes popped at the creativity of the team member who wrote a custom computer program to guide him through the Bikram Yoga postures for a home practice!! If that doesn’t tell you this yoga works, I do not know what does. 🙂
This student describes himself as now being on the “offensive” rather than the “defensive” in terms of his overall health, particularly the curvature of his spine. Having suffered many years of chronic back pain and having tried many types of yoga and other therapies, these past several months of Bikram Yoga have made a massive difference. His computer program is open source and free to use.
It is amazing how a simple routine of therapeutic postures can do so much.
Deepest and unending appreciation for all of the superheroes of BYCA! For your inspiring teamwork, dedication to practice, creativity, inclusivity and support of those just beginning, and your smiling, truly happy faces. The world needs you.