This past Saturday, I broke my daily yoga streak. I made it 12 weeks.
On January 2, I started Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga challenge. It was the first time I had kept up a daily practice longer than a week or two since I started practicing in college. Once the challenge was over, I just kept going. I didn’t really have a goal in mind other than making sure to move my body or meditate daily. I was just seeing how long I could keep up a daily practice. As vaccines have become more available, we’ve planned more travel, and I knew it would become difficult to keep up with a daily practice (especially since I mostly practice in the evenings before bed).
This past weekend, we went to visit my Grandpa. We returned late Saturday night and went to bed. I forgot to unroll my mat, and thus ended 12 straight weeks of daily yoga.
Honestly, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. Twelve weeks is a nice, even number, which pleases me. But I think it was also time for a refresh. Over the past three months, yoga wasn’t an obligation necessarily, but I had fallen into the habit of doing shorter practices and meditations, because it became something I was fitting in before bed. I would definitely rather do five minutes of meditation than nothing at all, but it had turned into a task to check off.
Before I was doing yoga daily, I would practice anywhere from half an hour to an hour three or four times per week, and I would feel fantastic afterward, both mentally and physically. I am still going to aim for a daily practice, but in keeping with my unofficial one-word for 2021, I want to be more intentional about it. I want to focus more on matching my breath to my movement, and developing my meditation practice. I think my yoga practice will improve going forward simply because I have a greater appreciation for slowing down and really observing how I feel, rather than practicing just to practice.
I also want to focus on bringing yoga philosophy off the mat. The more I learn about yoga, the more I realize that yoga philosophy is a powerful tool for social justice. For example, the practice of ahimsa, or non-harm, to me not only means being kind to individuals, but also making sure that the candidates I vote for will actively work to dismantle white supremacy and other injustices that cause systemic harm. A few bloggers I know do things like take a social justice action daily or share a social justice resource with every post, and that’s something I would like to adopt, especially as I learn more about the roots of yoga. (Note to self: get started on that yoga Goodreads shelf.)
I’m glad I made it to twelve weeks of daily yoga, in the same way I’m glad I did NanoPoblano back in November. I proved to myself that I could do it, and when it was over, I had a refreshed perspective. This affirms my love for daily challenges and practices.
I also think the end of 12 weeks of daily yoga came at just the right time to allow for more balance after a year of being very At Home. When I last posted here, Tennessee announced it would open up vaccines to anyone over 18 by April 5. Well, over the weekend, my county went ahead and opened appointments up to all adults, and my husband and I got our first doses last night. I’m so thankful to finally have some control over my own safety with regards to COVID. The weather is warming, the farmer’s market is opening soon, and I have several outdoor gatherings planned for the near future. Letting go of an every-single-day yoga practice feels like starting to let go of this ugly pandemic to make room for more beautiful things.