I Suck at Yoga Challenges

I do. I just can’t stick with them. Goodness knows I’ve tried. Each January, the online yoga instructor I adore, Adriene, does a free month-long yoga journey, which includes a new video and inspirational email every single day. Yet I can never manage more than a few days before somehow being derailed.

An at-home yoga practice is rough for me, even when I have a dynamic instructor sending new videos every day. The rest of the year, Adriene sends new videos every Sunday (and posts even more content on her member site, of which I am a part) and I still rarely manage to roll out my mat.

But here’s the thing–I love yoga. I love how I feel in my own body when I do yoga. I love the lightness of spirit I feel after doing yoga. It’s a kind of balance between being in my own headspace and sheer physicality that I love.

The ancients made yoga their entire life–asana practice, meditation practice, and an entire state of being throughout the day. That will never be me. And I never made it my goal to be that person.

The best yoga that I ever found came toward the end of my time in Stillwater. I hated my job, I hated my body, and I hated my relationship. But the only yoga studio in town offered a Tuesday/Thursday lunchtime yoga class. It was shorter than a typical class–45 minutes, as opposed to 60 or 75–but it was perfect. It kept me going. Many days, it was the difference between making it through the day and not, filling the time between yoga classes with just enough for me to hold on.

No, that two days a week was all that I needed. Any more and it would have been too repetitive, I think. And that’s why I suck at any challenge–to do something every single day? I don’t even drink wine every single day! All mornings are different! Some mornings I want to sleep in, some I am so hooked on my current read that I just want to curl up, some are made for coffee, some are made for a Coke, and some, yes, some are made for yoga. But to mandate that all mornings are for yoga is to doom myself to failure.

For me, part of the beauty of a yoga class is the synchronization of movement, breathing with other people. It’s about community and support, how the whole community–consciously or unconsciously–cradles those in need. In a way it’s like group therapy, but without words. I don’t need to know the struggles of the person on the mat next to mine, but it’s enough to know that with the “namaste,” the light in me honors the light in them and vice versa.

I live in a small town with limited options for everything. I joined a gym. It offers a number of classes, but yoga is only offered in the mornings, four days per week. A class first thing in the morning is not my top choice, but perhaps like that noon class years ago, it’s what I need to get through the interim.

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