After yesterday’s triumphant announcement about completing the 30 day yoga challenge, I just about blew it on the last day. I got home from work, sat down in my chair to read a book, decided the bed looked more comfortable than the chair, relocated myself to the bed, clicked through a couple of pages of Pride and Prejudice on my Kindle 2, and then next thing I knew I woke up a couple of hours later; which happened to be much later than my normal evening yoga time.
As I groggily came to my senses, I realized it was going to take some serious will-power to roll off my bed and onto my mat instead of crawling under my covers and calling it a night. Despite the invisible hands that were pulling me back towards my comfortable sheets (the bed’s a whole different story though — a military cot might be more comfortable than this spring-loaded nightmare), I managed to flip open my May copy of Yoga Journal to the “home practice” section. I did the ten poses just like Patricia Walden instructed, took a shower, and then laid in bed wide-eyed for most of the rest of the night. That’s pretty much par for the course after a two hour nap just before bed. Enough to make a person crazy! But I don’t get crazy ’cause I do yoga, right?
As penance I dragged myself out of bed again this morning at 4:30 and did the hour long abbreviated Ashtanga Primary Series sequence I’d planned to do last night. This last week or so, I noticed my motivation and dedication levels declining, which was probably caused by exhaustion from all the running I was doing on top of my daily yoga practice. I think I sort of used running as a crutch because I started to doubt whether yoga alone would be enough to keep me fit. Running and yoga every day was a bit much though, and the intensity of my practice suffered. By the time evening rolled around and my dinner digested, I had a hard time getting pumped up about working up a good sweat. I was just ready to chill out and relax.
But now that my 30 day challenge is actually complete, I’m beginning to feel the fire building up inside again and I have a new plan. I’m going to cut back on some of my running so I have more energy for yoga and I’ll move my yoga time to the mornings so I can jump into it while I’m fresh and on an empty stomach. I should be able to get to bed earlier and the early mornings shouldn’t feel like a drag. The perfect way to start the day.
When all is said and done, I believe in yoga. I believe in its power to make my body and mind healthy and happy. And for me, yoga attunes my spirit to follow with more dedication and devotion the sacred and spiritual path that guides every thought, decision, and action in my life. When my yoga practice is strong, my spirit is strong, and I feel more unity, peace, and balance in my body and in my mind. And so, though my 30 day yoga challenge may be history, I remember once again the famous words of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who said simply, “Practice, and all is coming.” Having caught only a sliver of a glimpse of the fruits of a dedicated yoga practice, that sliver is more than enough motivation to regain my balance and coax my sleepy head out of bed for many more days to come.