I’ve done yoga off & on for years, but even in the [full] years that I haven’t maintained a practice, I consistently heard myself listing yoga in my “if I could do anything at all” daydreams. Wanting to dive back into it more this year, only led to me realizing how challenging it proved to be to make time to put on (presentable) clothes, get in the car, drive over to a yoga studio, hope I find parking and shell out the $10-$15 per class. In summary: My diving back into it wasn’t working so well.
Cultivating a home practice
When I saw Marianne Elliott’s 30 Days of Yoga I was intrigued. I first signed up for her newsletter, which provided a download to a 10-minute intro video, so I could get a sense for her voice, the video quality, her teaching style, and just what it would be like to do yoga in my home, with just my laptop. And then I read her shame-free yoga post, along with a few others, and was like, OK, I’m doing this.
The more I’ve thought about it the last few weeks, cultivating a home practice is so apt to what yoga truly means to me: It’s about connecting with my body, my Self and Spirit. So, inviting this daily flow and cultivating the connection to my Self, within my home… it just all makes sense.
Going back to that whimsical “if I could do anything at all” thought process I mentioned, that’s something I’ve really been looking at a lot in this last year. You know when you’re stressed – maybe at your job, or feeling like you’re getting run over by your own business, with a gazillion things to do – and you start dreaming about the “If onlys”? Well, I found myself doing this earlier in the year, and I made a commitment to myself that I would LISTEN to what those dreams were, and start integrating them into my daily life.
When it comes down to it, we’re so spoiled. I mean, maybe you’re not, but chances are if you’re reading this, you have a computer, and you’re sitting in a warm home or office with clean clothes on. And you’re leisurely reading my blog post. This in large part means YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! OK, so I will speak for myself: Sometimes I’m a big whiney baby about stuff. i.e. Even though I know it would be amazing for my health to run every day & not eat any sugar, “I don’t waaanna. I just waaant a cooooookie!” Sound familiar? One thing I’ve learned about myself is I often confuse my quest for freedom in life with letting go of all discipline in an effort to do whatever I want. Fine line there.
I’m naturally a very curious person. I want to learn everything I can, and while that can sometimes lead to my getting distracted, it can help when I’m trying to get to the bottom of my own fears and limitations. Note: It can help to have a coach or a therapist in this process, to help you untangle some of the stickier bits and sustain focus through the process, but it’s not absolutely necessary. In general, I believe only good things can come from looking within, and learning about yourself.
Sometimes we have fears that are buried deep (often for no good reason, really, but they’re our fears nonetheless) and need to be uncovered a bit. I myself have been doing some deep excavation into what lies beneath. I want to stop just dreaming about these things, and instead make them a part of my life. To listen and act on them.
My word for this year is intention. And I just learned from Marianne’s email today, there’s actually a Sanskrit word for this: sankalpa, which means “will, purpose, or determination.” As I was putting together this post, I remembered that I actually modeled for Yoga Journal about 7 years ago, and when I went to go look at it, I laughed when I saw the word headlining my quote. Check it out:
Ready, set, go!
I’ll keep you posted as the 30 Days of Yoga practice gets underway. I predict it will give me a lot more energy, and grounding. I haven’t been wanting to go out much lately, and am trying to get on a better sleep schedule, etc. Much of this has been culminating for a few months now, but nothing like a new year to kick it all off feeling fresh and ready to invite in major change!
Listen closely to what your heart, mind or body is wishing for. What’s on your list?
Read my continuation post: Making the space and inviting change in