Medibank member Liz shares her experience two weeks into a 40-day yoga challenge.


According to the Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical text, it takes 40 days to ingrain any new way of being into our system, and that is the aim of Power Living’s 40-day yoga challenge.

The program’s weekly routine is this:

5 x in-studio practice sessions

1 x home practice session

2 x daily meditations

Weekly community meetings

3-day fruit fast in week four

Journaling and self-enquiry

I embarked on the 40-day challenge with some trepidation after having read the studio’s website, which warns that it demands “above all, a willingness to come apart”. However, friends who had done the challenge before raved about it and so, here I am.

Power Living – founded in Sydney in 2004 by Duncan Peak – has five studios across Sydney and Melbourne that teach a contemporary yoga form called Power Vinyasa. This dynamic, flowing style has its roots in Hatha yoga and is practised in a 30-degree room to aid detoxification, promote sweat and increase blood flow.

Power yoga appeals to me as an alternative to other, more traditional practices, as it provides a strong physical workout while managing to make yoga philosophy accessible and relevant to the day-to-day, helping to train your mind to be more present and peaceful.

It is refreshing to be taught that a dogmatic approach to yoga doesn’t work, because it is based on a premise that physically, we are all the same. The first two weeks of the challenge have focussed strongly on listening to our bodies, taking notice of what we feel and adjusting our practice and diet accordingly. I suspect that being able to choose from Power Living’s three core classes – Power Vinyasa, Power Align, and Power Revive – depending on what your body needs that day, will be what gets me through the forty days.

That, and the community meetings. Held each Monday night, these are a chance for the 40-day challengers to get together and share their experiences from the week. Imagining some sort of hippy love-in, I was sceptical about attending these meetings at first, but have been pleasantly surprised and can see that the honesty and support they provide will be important to me during the next four weeks.

It is great to know that I’m not the only one in the challenge struggling with regular meditation (or attempts at meditation) and craving carbohydrates post practice! Yoga philosophy teaches us that in order to reach peace and vitality, we must first recognise, and face, some difficult truths about our bodies and ourselves.

A fellow challenger used this analogy to describe the process we are all going through: “I smelt a rose today; but it was while I was weeding.”

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