I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve had an “on again, off again” relationship with my yoga practice. I first started taking yoga classes back in the early 90s, before having kids. I kept up with the classes, and sometimes summer yoga retreats, throughout most of the 90s and all the way through 2008 or so. I even took yoga during both my pregnancies.
Funnily enough, I only developed a consistent home yoga practice around 2005 or so, because I’d always had the impression you “had to” get up early in the morning and do your yoga before the day began. I don’t know what gave me that impression, but I have always been a night owl, so getting up earlier was not going to happen. Eventually I had an epiphany: I could do my yoga practice in the evening, before bed. Eureka!
For a while, my practice was very strong, and helped sustain me on all levels (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). When I started working for myself in 2008, though, the scattered nature of my schedule meant my home practice sort of went by the wayside. I also stopped taking classes, as they were too expensive while I was getting my business up and running.
Over the past few years, I’ve gone in and out of practicing regularly. This year, despite some intentions I’d set, I was mostly “off,” not doing yoga at all. That is, until the days following my friend’s death. I needed something to ground me in the midst of fluctuating emotions and a sensation of emptiness. My yoga mat beckoned.
Now I’m on my third week of regular yoga practice, and I’m so thankful. Regular, for me, currently means I do yoga about 4 days per week, for 30 to 45 minutes each session. My intention is to gradually increase the frequency and time spent as I get stronger and more flexible once again. I’m hoping a side benefit will be to lose some of the extra weight I’ve put on over the past few years. But really, the main reason I love yoga is that it helps me feel much more centered and focused.
And if anyone asks what I would like for Christmas or Yule, I have a ready answer: yoga classes!