Have you heard the news? September is National Yoga Awareness Month! And yes, it’s a real thing (since 2008 actually!) thanks to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Yoga Alliance, 36 million people practice yoga in the United States ALONE which is up from 20.4 million in 2012! And the numbers will keep on soaring as 34% of Americans, or 80 million people, say they are likely to try yoga for the first time over the next 12 months.
By the way, the United Nations recognized that yoga is more than a trend when they declared June 21, 2015 as the first International Day of Yoga.
So yeah, yoga is really hot right now.
To help us all celebrate National Yoga Month and perhaps get other people involved as well, I have gathered below 10 ways to get the most out of this special month.
Let’s get started:
1. Practice free yoga
Yup. You heard that right.
For 1 week.
The Yoga Health Foundation has partnered with studios all across the United States for a 1 week trial throughout September. This is a great opportunity to check out that hot new studio that you’ve been dying to try out (if they’re participating that is). Go get your free voucher here.
2. Practice yoga in a new place
It’s time to change things up. If you go to the same old studio then it’s time to try a different one. Or even better, take things further and practice yoga outdoors in the park or on the beach if the weather permits. One of my local studios recently held a practice in lavender fields which looked like a blast (I have bad allergies so I had to miss this… bummer).
3. Try a new class
If you are into practicing standard yoga in room temperature, then how about switching things up and taking a Hot or Bikram Yoga class? If you’re already into practicing Hot Yoga and still want to break a sweat then how about trying Ashtanga or Athletic Power Yoga? To get more ideas on the types of classes that are out there, head over to my post “What are the Different Types of Yoga”. Until you try something new, you will never know what you can discover.
4. Set a challenge
Has your routine gotten stale and dare I even say it — even boring? Is your yoga practice too easy for you? Or you just practice once a week? Well then, now is the perfect time get out of your comfort zone! There are so many possible challenges you can creatively just make up for yourself. Here are some ideas below.
- If you want to practice more yoga, then set a September 30 daily yoga challenge
- You don’t know how to how to do a headstand? Then try to master a variation of this difficult pose
- Try online classes
If your current routine isn’t leaving you feeling inspired then check out online classes. You’d be surprised to know how many people have already started practicing yoga in this way. It’s not that shocking actually, knowing how much of a variety of classes you can find online— way, way more than at your local studio. And that the classes are always there to fit your schedule. The platform which I have been using and I recommend you check out is YogaDownload.com (read my review by clicking here!)
The site has over 1000 video classes which you can stream and download (and keep forever and ever). One feature that I find really cool are their charity classes where a portion of their revenue goes to a designated charity. So while you’re practicing yoga, you’re also supporting a cause that is making a difference to the world! It can’t get any better than this.
5. Go on a detox
Check out my previous article, Yoga Cleanse Diet 101, which is all about detox diets to find the right one for you. Fall is on it’s way and this is the perfect time to reset or jumpstart your health journey if you haven’t already done so.
6. Treat yourself to…
- A new pair of trendy yoga pants
- A new mat (is yours starting to wear out?)
- A block
- Whatever your yogi heart desires 😉
7. Start a Gratitude Journal
Complement your yoga practice by practicing daily gratitude. Why? Because by focusing on the positive, you will feel happier. How do I know this works for sure? Because I applied the same principle in creating my own happiness from within when I completed the 100 Happy Days Challenge.
8. Start a meditation practice
Meditation literally rewires and changes our brain for the better. And also, did you know that practicing Hatha Yoga actually prepares us for meditation? (Note: No, not Savasana as there is a difference. More on that in a future post!)
If you want to deepen your yogi experience, adding meditation as a habit is a must!
I’ve tried quite a few programs and I find that Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditations are my favourite as they’re accessible, inspiring, and they actually get me to set up and apply daily intentions.
What’s really cool about these programs is that right before they release a new program (which is like 1-2 times a year), they actually let you try them out for free before purchasing. To stay updated about the next free meditation, simply register and download their app on your phone.
You can also get a physical CD with their meditation programs. My personal favourite is “Getting Unstuck: Creating A Limitless Life”. Learn more about the Oprah and Deepak Meditations by reading my review here.
9. Give back to the community
How can we say we REALLY celebrated National Yoga month if we haven’t contributed to a greater good? If you want to showcase your leadership skills while making a difference, organize a yoga donation-based class. To do this, speak to your local studio about your initiative (they may waive the rental fee of the studio) and get your favourite teacher to jump on board.
Or if you prefer a simpler way, join a donation-based class, give your time by volunteering in a soup kitchen for the less fortunate, or just gift the gift of yoga to a friend who’s never tried it.
Any act of kindness will make a difference to spread the yogi spirit. <3
10. Get together and celebrate with your fellow yogis
Hanging around with like-minded people who also share your passion for yoga will make you happier and help you keep advancing with your practice. And together as a group and community we will spread more yoga love which the world really needs.
Tell me, how will you be celebrating September’s National Yoga Month?
Let me know by leaving a comment below!
PS: I respond to all comments.