“It’s just 40 days.”
Those were the four little words I clung to when I signed up for the 40 Days Program last year at Free to Be in New Orleans, unsure of my legitimacy as a yoga student in general, much less as an active member of the Free To Be community.
In January of 2018, I was a three-week old newlywed when I got a wild hair and decided I wanted to take my health more seriously. I chose Free to Be to fill that need. It was a place I spent a lot of my time already, but up until that point, I viewed it as nothing more than a place I took yoga. I signed up for the 40 Days Program, reassured myself “it’s just 40 days,” and stocked up on all of the healthy things.
The first week was an adjustment to say the least. My body went through a withdrawal of sorts from the lack of caffeine, alcohol (Nola, y'all), and refined sugar it was used to. But when the fog lifted, I was shocked by the energy, clarity, and deep connectedness I felt each day. After fulfilling the component of five studio classes each week, I started to let my mind wander toward deeper pursuits of my practice, and a dream I’d had for years of enrolling in yoga teacher training didn’t see seem so far fetched after all.
The daily meditation and journaling each morning served as a magnifying glass to the hidden contents of my heart. I saw clearly for the first time what was written there and sadly recognized how absent those things were in the real, everyday parts of my life. As the program continued, I gathered those things I’d discovered and carried them with me from week to week. My life began to change as I rearranged, eliminated, added, and rebuilt to make room for what I now knew I wanted my life to be—and more importantly, for who I now knew I wanted to be.
Admittedly I did fail my fellow program-mates in my commitments a few times (again, Nola y'all), but my shortcomings made the program all the more real for me, all the more “me.” There was a seismic shift in my life that happened during those forty days, and it set my feet on a different path, a path without familiar direction but one that felt more authentic, more solid beneath my feet.
Fast forward nine months, and I am still on that path, guided by the things I uncovered deep inside of me during the 40 Days Program. Two months after the program ended, I became the founder of an online community of almost 1,000 women, the purpose being simply to encourage others in their individual pursuits of passion, an idea that drew breath during those forty days and has continued to thrive ever since. Also, as of one month ago, I became a 2018 graduate of the 200 Hour Teacher Training program at Free to Be, and I just taught my first solo yoga class at a local gym this morning.
“It’s just 40 days.” Hold on tight, y'all.
Virginia Kinnier is a recent graduate of Free To Be Power Yoga's 200 hour teacher training and the founder and creator of Keep Yo' Side Hustle, a positive online platform showcasing the hidden passions and tucked away dreams, of some incredibly talented and inspirational women. This site has been created "so we can give each other a leg up into a future that looks a little bit more like our daydreams and a little bit less like days of untapped potential." Check it out y'all and shoot Virginia an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let her know all the hustlin' YOU'VE been up to!
The next 40 Days To Personal Revolution will take place right after Mardi Gras (March 10th to April 18th). Sign up now!