I was hesitant about committing to daily yoga. I wasn't doing any yoga at home before January 2015. I only did yoga at my favorite yoga studio a few times a month. I really liked the energy that is cultivated in a room full of men and women who practice yoga, breathing and moving together. I just couldn't imagine thinking up a regular home practice. Then I contemplated the way I COULD add yoga to my home life. Four sun salutations seemed possible, but 365 days seemed daunting.
Four sun salutations isn't very many, but what makes it something is its daily-ness. It didn't take long for me to realize I was on to something that would persist long after I crossed the activity off my list. I felt better every day for having this quiet, five-minute practice in my routine. Moving my body is important to counterbalance all the sitting and writing and contemplating I do.
Even though the list is completed as of today, the daily yoga will live on in my life. I am excited about the ways the four sun salutations will transform into other forms of practice as I feel ready to stretch myself—literally and figuratively.
As the list comes to a close, I've been thinking about the past year. I've thought a lot about how in some ways the year has gone by really quickly and in other ways very slowly. Marking time with a daily activity like my time on my mat has definitely slowed the time. I am really glad that I chose to mark each day's practice on a calendar. Otherwise, all of the days would have bled together and it would have been hard to remember when I made progress.
I feel stronger and stretchier I ever have before. I am more limber. My head is clearer, more able to handle the stresses of daily life. I like thinking that at 41 I am stronger and more agile than ever before, and that with this small daily routine, I will continue to gain in strength and flexibility.
A friend recently sent me this article. I've been trying to pick out a good quote to include here, but the whole article is so good, it needs to be read in its entirety. Your daily things may be different from my writing and yoga, but his point remains the same. The important stuff must be a part of our daily routine.
Another friend sent this video yesterday. It inspires me to keep working and stretching in my yoga practice. The old me would have watched this and said, “There's no way I'll ever be able to do that.” The 41-year-old me says, “Won't that be fun to work toward?”
Just another way this list has transformed me.