I’ve completed over two dozen 60 Day Challenges at this point, but not once did I do this: practice in every spot in the room. In this third location of BYSJ, we installed these cute orange mat markers in the flooring for the 48 spots we have, making it easy to accomplish – or so I thought.

Being a front-row girl most of my yoga life, this challenge of roaming the room was my REAL challenge. Doing 60 consecutive days of yoga is tough, but, gosh, guys, I do yoga almost every day anyway. It made me realize that 60 days of yoga isn’t that much of a stretch for me, but THIS challenge of moving around IS. It’s been humbling, and I can relate more to all of you doing 60 days in a row. My challenge might be different in content, but context-wise, I feel you.

Michele shows the map she used to roam the room

Mixing and mingling

For starters, there’s a relationship with my front-row peers that soak up the vibe with me. Nothing wrong here, except I didn’t realize its impact until now. The energy in and around different people in different locations for 90 minutes is significant. We move around different people every day, all day long – isn’t it necessary to experience? Thank you, yoga, for my spidery senses, because what I picked up from this is the give and take; that we flow in the midst of those immediately around us. 

It can FEEL stable, unstable, heavy, light, calm, or aggressive, and each moment you choose how to deal with it, how to concentrate, how to help it, and how to let it go. And keep in mind, too, that I’m giving off my own attractive and unattractive aura. With this new insight, I loved the opportunity to contribute to the immediate area of my world in those 90 minutes and help instill some harmony so we all succeed! Isn’t that the lesson – what’s my part in making it all work? Love it!

Seeing things differently

Additionally, being in the front row 99% of my yoga life means my distance to the mirror is virtually the same. Not only can I see well, but I can also navigate the distance between my hands and the mirror. There’s a familiar amount of space from my eyes looking forward to when my eyes look down. Every other spot outside of the front row brings less external clarity and throws off any spatial relationship I’ve memorized. Whoa? These foreign spots made me feel lost at sea, like how you drift further out in the ocean without realizing you’ve lost your view to shore. 

If any of you have seen me laughing as I come out of Standing Head to Knee pose, that might be why. As soon as I put my head down in the final phase, the view to the bottom of the pool that I could set my eyes on was nowhere to be found in this new ocean. I noticed how many anchors I created from being in the front row, so many intangibles that held me up. It’s not a bad thing, really; it’s important to build supportive mechanisms into your world. But ironically, I wasn’t really balancing anymore because I had these crutches in place to lean on. What a harsh and beautiful blow to my ego!

I bow down to all of you who prefer the third and fourth rows. So much distraction can ensue with what’s in front of you; members are falling, wiping, and drinking – they’re IN THE WAY of your concentration. I found these to be a welcome noise to practice through, but the biggest challenge for me is the spots closest to the doors. One evening, I spent most of the class dumbfounded at the consistently long line at the Taco Bell drive-through. OMG! All I could think of was, “why aren’t you in here doing yoga?” Fascinating, and don’t ask me who the teacher was that day. I wasn’t all there – haha!

Finding presence, feeling community

There are other notables, but I’ll leave you with this. Roaming the room dismissed the lack of presence I didn’t need when I was always in the same spot. Said another way, I had to rely on myself alone, in foreign territory every time. Every new location meant new horizons for me to see and a greater discipline to handle. With no pattern to fall prey to, I spent less time considering the end result; I was too busy fighting to stay present. And the end result of THAT is more awareness. Patterns keep our focus narrow and limited. So screw them up once in a while to become more conscious of things you haven’t seen but are there!

Lastly, what I will highlight again is discovering how important our roles are amongst each other even though we aren’t saying a word. I felt my part in my area to contribute; I felt a community in motion working together towards a greater me and a greater you. I could help you or hinder you just by my state of being, and it’s a responsibility I welcome. We affect each other!

Looking for a way to find new horizons in your yoga practice? If you want to try roaming the room, you can download our yoga room layout to track your journey.

Congratulations to all our challengers finishing up in the coming weeks. What was this challenge like for you? We have a challenge party on Saturday, September 24, 6:30-8:00 pm. Bring your family and friends, share your experiences, and hear everyone’s unique story.