My Yoga Challenge
I started yoga later in life than I wish I had and when I did, I simply fell in love.
It helped that I had an awesome instructor and developed a virtually break-free habit.
It helped that my yoga tutor showed up at my doorstep at 6 a.m. most mornings.
It helped that I had a yoga buddy.
It helped that I was in the birth country of yoga and had promised myself that I would learn something new during my temporary two years there.
And then I returned back home to the USA.
I just couldn’t get myself to practice yoga. There was no personal, home-based instructor. No yoga buddy, no pattern established, no inclination to start, too much travel, too transient a stay in a single place, too much work, yada, yada, yada…excuses upon excuses, they just kept multiplying.
I missed yoga like anything but couldn’t get myself to do anything about it. 😦
Enough is enough. I gave myself a talk a couple of months ago. One of those tough talks. Clearly my mind was messing with me. There would be no more excuses. No more BS. I was determined to start my yoga again and keep it going.
I set myself a new goal: Do a few minutes of yoga every day. Without fail. No weekend passes. No holidays.
It would be the first thing I did every morning. No matter where in the world I was.
That’s the nice thing about yoga – all you need is some floor space, a yoga mat or carpet, and you’ve got all the equipment you need to practice and practice well. Plus a pinch of determination to start the practice, and to keep it going.
To make it easy on myself, to ensure follow-through and cut through the “no time” BS excuse, I gave myself a short 15-20 minute daily yoga goal rather than an hour. I actually started with 10 minutes. That’s a challenge that anyone can overcome.
But what a challenge that first 10 minutes was! Tough, tough, tough – with a hugely, inflexible body and fat in new places warping all my poses, what did I expect? But I persisted.
Day after day after day, for the past 70 days (but who’s counting?) without fail, I have practiced my (“petite”) yoga every morning. It’s not much, yet it’s a lot. Twelve Surya Namaskars – that makes 840 so far. But then, who’s counting? Each Surya Namaskar has 12 yoga poses, so that’s 10080 asanas so far. Hmmmm, not such a bad idea to keep counting. 🙂
The Surya Namaskar set is followed by plank for 30-45 seconds, halaasana (plow pose), and lately, vipreet karni.
Finally. A new habit appears to be forming.
Something else has helped me with this new convention – help from background music. Every day, it’s the same music (I did say “habit”, didn’t I?). I play Suprabhatam (a Sanskrit poem that is chanted at dawn at Hindu temples). There’s something soothing yet invigorating about it.
This has become such a regular pattern that now it’s likely Pavlovian. Watch out, if I hear this chant elsewhere, I’ll start performing Surya Namaskars, and you’ll know it’s that yin-yang woman. There are worse things that could happen…
It’s not a done deal, but at least a new journey has begun again. And by writing it down for even one other person to read, I expose myself indirectly extending and enhancing that commitment of mine. Trust me, I’ll take any help I can get – just to keep this routine from getting interrupted ever again. I’m trying to get addicted here and am possibly half way there.
I also found another visually stunning video of Surya Namaskar. Click on the picture below to watch.
Now, you go get yourself some yoga – you won’t regret it.
By Ursula [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons