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40 days is long enough to form new habits...
...try to make sure the habit is a good one.
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)

The last month and a half has been quite a journey for me in a myriad of ways. At a local yoga studio starting February 5th and ending March 16th, I participated in a 40-Day Personal Revolution.

But my personal journey didn't start exactly in February.

I think the tiny, itty-bitty inklings of my journey started as early as September of 2005. I was just starting to get into the groove of being a part-time nanny, and Adrian (now my husband) was working as an assistant sound editor for a new television show. The woman I nannied for was training to be a Yoga Teacher, and she was having a free Community Class - practicing her skills as a teacher on the unsuspecting public. I got invited, along with her mother-in-law, to the first yoga class I'd ever participated in.

Before that class I'd never thought about trying yoga. It seemed so hippy-dippy and weird and... what's with the effing chanting, already? Because I was already so concerned with being considered 'weird' throughout high school and college, I didn't want to branch out into something else that might futher label me. But since moving across the continent, I've opened my eyes to new experiences without the shadow of a judge looming behind me. So after that one-and-a-half-hour class, I went through the rest of the day thinking "Man! I have a lot of energy and I feel all limber and ... good!"

A month or two later, while visiting Adrian at work, I chatted with an acquaintance who mentioned she was doing this 40-day "Yoga Thing," and she was feeling awesome. She'd done it before and had a really amazing experience, and she was hoping to lose lots of weight and be more fit again.

Fit, you say? I thought to myself, regretting the fact that our financial circumstances held more in the way of Kraft Dinner than of super-healthy and nutritious meal planning and snacks. I was gaining weight, and not thrilled with it.

I kept up with some great eating habits and lots and lots of crunches over the Summer of 2006, but when the fresh, cheap produce eventually faded into the hearty stews and soups of fall (coupled with the not so great paycheques, for that matter), I ended up sinking into some depression over my weight, my job, my prospects for the future - anything I could stress over.

However, at the end of October, I was doing yoga videos twice a week at home and hot yoga classes at a local studio, Yaletown Yoga, on Fridays with my friend Julee.

The Friday classes at Yaletown got me hooked. I LOVE THE HEAT! Hot yoga makes me sweat! It's not the same doing yoga at home as it is in the studio! So, a month or so before Christmas of last year, I told Adrian that all I wanted was a new body, I wanted to do this 40 Days to Personal Revolution programme at Yaletown Yoga. That was my one and only (quite expensive for people who are broke) Christmas present from my lovely, delicious husband.

My only real goal going into this progamme was a sexy new body. I was thinking along the lines of Heidi Klum, to be quite honest.

I took 36 classes over the 40 day period, which is a little scattered. You're supposed to take a day off a week, but I got sick a couple of times and then there are scheduling conflicts and having a life - I ended up doubling up some classes to make sure I had enough.

My hour-long Hot classes were the most physically powerful - I've never felt more beautiful. In the Yin classes, we held stretches for five to ten minutes EACH, causing some emotional releases. Those classes helped me feel like a new person, more accepting of myself. Julie, the diminutive and sparkly woman whose 90 minute Hot classes and occasional Powerflow classes I would attend, whipped me and beat me until I was on the floor and then made me get up and do it over again. And I love her for it. Those were the most transforming classes I was privileged to participate in.

Throughout my transformative journey, I didn't quite achieve a supermodel body, but here's what I got instead:

- I got a new view of life. I 'get' it. I know where I stand and what I stand for. I know who will stand for me. I know how to define myself, and I know that definition will constantly change. I know how much I mean it when I say "Namaste" - 'the divine within me salutes the divine within you'.

- I got new friends, friends who have similar interests, friends who like to do yoga, have Games Nights and brunches, friends who will encourage me to follow my dreams while staying grounded, friends who won't let me be a slack-ass, and will expect the same in return, friends who are amazing people.

- I got new goals and dreams. For the first time in my life, I have a goal that isn't focused on being rich, more powerful, or famous. I just want to be a happy yoga teacher. I want to help people feel what I feel. I want to take my practice to higher levels.

- I got a whole new grasp of the concepts of dedication and selflessness. I know what it means, now, to dedicate to something bigger than yourself. I can dedicate an hour-long beautiful, diligent yoga practice to the spiritual welfare of all sentient beings and MEAN IT. I can dedicate a half hour of silence to healing and relaxing ME. I can dedicate a 'not-feeling-it-today' class to my belly button and be just as happy with the outcome.

- I got a new sense of acceptance. Instead of worrying, I dedicate my worry and let it go. Acceptance, following the Law of Attraction, has become a powerful tool in my life.

- I got to flip my switches to 'ON.' Love, hope, happiness, peacefulness, gratitude, acceptance - they're all switches in your brain. Switching them on is merely telling yourself that it's okay to accept good things into your life. Instead of worry and fear and hate and stress, I've allowed myself to experience the good things that come to me. I can acknowledge bad experiences for what they are and let go of them.

- I actually did get a sexy new body, too. I don't look like Heidi Klum, but I do feel like a new, graceful me. A me that is full of love and life and laughter, who can see the beautiful and positive in even a grey, cloudy day. I'm also more toned and muscular and strong and healthy and powerful.

I can stand on my head, beetches!

Over the last forty days, my personal revolution has turned into another personal journey, and it's far from over. I'm looking forward to where it's going to take me from here.


Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.

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tracey kelley
3.28.07 @ 1:21a

I ssooooo wish Des Moines had hot yoga. I think I'd really like that, like a little leeeezard on a rock.

Speaking of rock, you do!

sandra thompson
4.2.07 @ 9:24a

Where do I send these sixty year old pom poms? If that doesn't get me up off my butt nothing will, I reckon. Back in the sixties I took yoga classes from a hot young yoga teacher, and that was what I considered "hot" yoga. I attended most of the time just to ogle his adorable self. Sigh!

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