I listened to a recent Robcast podcast with the amazing Rob Bell, and he mentioned attending a yoga class where the teacher used the phrase, "This Is Where You Are Today." My body and soul gasped when I heard it because I knew how powerful it would be on the mat. As I lower to brush my fingertips to the floor and have to bend my knees to do it, I pictured myself whispering, This is where I am today. The phrase grants permission, extends grace for however far--or not--your body bends in a given moment.
It was this phrase that propelled me back to my mat after months. I kept reminding myself that wherever I was in terms of pain, flexibility, or strength on my mat was exactly where I was and to not push beyond my edge or be angry or disappointed when it wasn't as far as I hoped.
I have returned to my mat a different person than the one who stepped onto it two years ago. Now, I step on it knowing that no matter what, it's better that I am there than not. I am not tracking my progress or my attendance. I do, however, set a timer and play some great music (Coldplay's Live Ghost Stories album), but the timer is there so that I can breathe and move and not think about how many sun salutations I'm doing or when I need to stop. Because two years after the great goal-setting experiment, I'm done with all the record keeping. I simply want to move and be healthy--inside and out.
I have not missed a day in nearly a month. I am increasing my time on the mat by one minute each week. For the past few days, I haven't checked the timer once. I'm acclimating to the time and am enjoying the early morning movement. The way I feel and the strength and confidence I continue building is the magnet that keep drawing me back to the mat morning after morning.
A new morning routine has emerged to support my mat time. I shower at night willing my hair to be presentable the next morning. I prep my electric kettle the night before, so that I can hit the button before I start moving on my mat. And on the mornings, like today, when I pop out of bed early, there's even time for writing.
The new mantra is having its way with my emotional and mental health too. When I start feeling angsty or restless off the mat, I remind myself that This Is Where I Am Today. It vents the pressure building that I should think or act a particular way. Saying these six words reminds me I am good where I'm at and that where I am tomorrow may be different and that's good too.