ruby’s tuesday | the rise of the challenge

Whether it's interviewing Lady Gaga, unveiling the latest trends in fashion, or getting under the skin of our most neurotic social trends, Ruby Warrington is at the forefront of it all. She's a British lifestyle writer and the celebrated creator of the blog The Numinous, but best of all is that Ruby is also a feature writer for the lululemon blog.

I recently came across the coolest video online (click play above to have a look!) advertising Amber Krzys’s 56-day Rock Your Body Challenge. Amber’s whole approach to body transformation is based on the idea that learning to love and appreciate yourself is the fast track to looking and feeling great. As she puts it, “I don't focus on weight loss. I focus on [you] forming a friendship with your body so you actually find yourself wanting to take care of it.”

But aside from this totally rad way of pitching a fitness program, the 56-day aspect keys into a major trend in approaches to wellness—the rise of the challenge.

From fitness to yoga and meditation, putting a number on it is emerging as the way to motivate people. Marathon trainers always have a deadline to work towards, and now everybody can benefit from the boost of having a finish line in sight whether it’s a new body, a new mind, or even a new life they want.

Self-help author Gabrielle Bernstein’s recent best-seller May Cause Miracles was also presented as “A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness.” As she points out, “Metaphysicians and yogis place much emphasis on the repetition of a 40-day practise, and research has shown that after repeating a new pattern for 40 days you can change the neural pathways in your brain to create long-lasting change.”

According to Amber Krzys, she chose 56 days for her program because “it’s long enough to really challenge someone. A big part of it is about stretching out of your comfort zone, because that’s where life happens. But it’s also a short enough time period for anybody to commit to.”

She says the other benefits of billing her “online, global body love fest” as an eight-week course is “knowing the commitment period up front is supportive for people. They can then determine if they are ready to fully invest in themselves for the set amount of time.”

If you’re in the market to turn over a new leaf this fall, it’s a great head space from where to begin. So, what will you challenge yourself to today?
Ruby Week 33

Rock Your Body 56-day challenge
what: an eight-week love-yourself-love-your-body total coaching workshop
why: designed to totally overhaul any negative thought patterns that might be holding you back from achieving your fitness and body-image goals; joining this online community of women supporting women is designed to radically shift your perspective and unlock inner confidence.
when: the next official Rock Your Body Challenge kick-off call is September 26.

Bikram 30-day challenge
what: 30 classes in 30 days, offered as a discounted package by most Bikram yoga studios
why: as much as the hot yoga hard core say that it takes 90 consecutive days of Bikram to achieve a brand new body, bones to skin, it’s generally accepted that this is a pretty unrealistic commitment for people living in the real world. Therefore, 30 days is generally recognised as long enough to lose weight, gain stamina and radically improve your practise.
when: whenever you can find the space in your diary for a 90-minute daily practise (plus hair washing, studio schlepping and time for rolling out sore muscles).

Deepak Chopra 21-day meditation challenge
what: presented by Deepak and Oprah Winfrey, join in with a daily 15-minute guided meditation session.
why: they describe the three-week course as a “transformational journey,” and the challenge is designed to help instill a regular meditation practise in your life. Each challenge is also designed to help focus on one area of your life that you want to address—most recently the focus was on relationships.
when: details of the next live challenge are tba, but you can purchase the most recent course on-demand. Live challenges are free to join.

Insanity 60-day workout
what: it's been called “the no.1 workout in America” and is presented as a DVD box-set of hard core 45-minute Max Interval training sessions (i.e. high-intensity interval training—or HIIT—without the breaks)
why: promising a year’s worth of results in just 60 days, the before and after pictures on the website speak for themselves. Think ripped abs, a total body fat attack and dramatic weight loss.
when: when you next have an all-action Hollywood blockbuster to get in shape for.

Baron Baptiste 40 Days to Personal Revolution
what: this 40-day program of guided meditations and yoga asanas can also be experienced online, and is supported by a motivational daily email from Baron and his team of teachers.
why: presenting yoga and meditation as a catalyst for profound physical and spiritual growth, “ultimately the yoga program found here is about developing a soulful perspective to the question I hear nearly every day: ‘How did I get into this state, and how can I get out?’”
when: the next online program will take place in January 2014.


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