I know today is the 17th, but I gave myself two days of a head start in April. I have practiced yoga daily for the last 19 days, which is probably my longest stretch ever. Here are a few of my latest take aways:
1. Some days lying on the floor counts as yoga, (especially if you focus on breath and meditation and throw in a few lazy poses…). I am grateful to a lovely yoga teacher who told me this would be true. Without her permission, I might have pushed my body harder than would be beneficial.
2. Surfing the internet and reading can be happily accomplished in many yoga poses with a mat on the floor, resulting in far less neck and back tension than the couch or a computer chair. Bonus, the dogs think it’s fun to join me.
3. Yoga makes you look healthier. I have never been told so frequently that I look really healthy. That’s not a statement of vanity but instead of true gratitude. Health is a mission. True health radiates. I’ve eaten really well for years, but adding consistent yoga to the mix makes a real difference.
4. I’m less tired. Earlier in the month I was in this weird pattern of needing a nap every day after work. Now I do yoga instead and it achieves pretty much the same goal of relaxation with the added benefit of endorphins.
5. Yoga is kind of a religion. The more I practice, the more I’m interested in the spiritual aspects, and the more I feel like the mind, body, and spirit are all really connected when it comes to the health of each. I feel more emotionally constant with yoga as part of my daily routine, which spills over to the classroom and all aspects of my life.
6. Real physical strength can be built through yoga. Upper body strength has never been easy for me and I hate push-ups/weights. However, the balancing challenges of poses like crow make building upper body strength fun– I can now hold crow about three seconds, which is pretty amazing considering I was down to zero on April 29. Three seconds may not sound like much, but it feels like an accomplishment when you’re balancing all of your body weight on your spread hands and elbows. Just don’t try crow next to my brother. He doesn’t frequently practice but he’s strong enough to extend his legs to the side in advanced variations. Show off.
7. Yoga brings amazing people into your life. Yesterday an instructor I love shared the idea that when you’re brave enough to be your authentic self, you attract people with similar levels of authenticity. What started as a whim to do yoga every day in May has brought people in my distant sphere closer– so much gratitude for this. More friends with shared interests and values is a good thing indeed.
8. I’m now obsessed with Wanderlust. The posters are at all three of the studios I’ve visited this month, calling to me, “YOGA! YOGA! YOGA!” However, I don’t camp and the idea of camping alone at a festival is intimidating. I need to recruit someone to go with me. I also need to learn how to camp. It is a life skill I really should acquire… Maybe Wanderlust will convince me to give it a go.
If you’ve made it this far, bravo. I leave you with my favorite cover of “Forever Young”– discovered during a yin yoga class yesterday, (motorcycles be darned).