Monday: 2/25 -- had a wonderful class, really smooth and relaxing.
Tuesday: still 2/25 -- Because of my lousy schedule this fall, I knew I wouldn't be making it to yoga. But yesterday was my last horrible Tuesday, because this is my last week of teaching this semester.

So I'm really looking forward to tonight's class. It's been interesting these past couple of days because even though my classes per week number hasn't yet increased at all (that will be later this week), just the fact that I set a defined goal has really been a motivational boost.

Stephanie asked in the comments about what were some of the biggest changes I'd noticed when I did the 60-day challenge last year. There were definitely physical changes -- over the course of the challenge I was able to get deeper into certain postures and improve my balancing poses. I lost a few inches (almost everyone does in the process). But the mental benefits were really important to me, as well. As someone who'd never trained for a race, or a competition of any sort -- there was incredible clarity about setting this precise goal and following through with it. It was so much easier than the larger, scarier, more nebulous goals I usually have -- "write book" or even "write chapter" or "write 3 pages" are so much harder than simply "show up for yoga class." This was obvious, focused, and immediately rewarding each and every time. Even on the really tough days, when I felt like throwing up -- even then, I knew that good things were happening inside my body. Bikram always says that if you feel lousy, the yoga is working. And I've definitely learned that's true.

And these good effects of the 60-day challenge persist -- the physical and mental benefits continued for many months. I kept up a more intense practice (5+ days a week) for a long while after the challenge. Then this fall, my schedule and the need to prioritize my work meant that my practice slid back to 2 or 3 times a week. But even so, I still think my yoga is at a different level than it was before the challenge. And I'm excited about tapping into that intensity again this month.