After my post last week about Yoga Teacher Training, I received some really thoughtful and encouraging comments. The yoga community I’m connecting with online has been so beautifully connected to my growth, and I take every inspiring word that is said to me to heart.
Some of your thoughts on my post about being ready for YTT included encouraging me to truly carry out my practice daily. I thought about this. I always intend to get on my mat daily. It doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes it’s easier to stay in bed a little longer. Or turn on the television and watch Game of Thrones (which I just started for the first time ever. Holy moly.) So I challenged myself this week. The challenge? To get on my mat for 10 minutes every day. Here’s what I’ve learned…
Yoga sparks a desire to write.
Writing may be preparing for my blog. Or journaling about my day. Or wondering what my career will look like. Or just writing down my aspirations and goals. But getting on my mat for at least 10 minutes a day has really ignited a fuel in me to get out my journal and write. I have been writing in my journal more this week than I have in a long time, and it’s been wonderful.
I haven’t struggled with getting out of bed (as much) this week.
I feel it’s important to emphasize the “as much” part of that sentence. Getting out of bed was still a struggle some days this week, but it was not as excruciating as it is normally. I’m usually a after-work-exerciser, including my yoga practice. But when I had days this week I knew I’d work late and not want to get on my mat after work, I made sure I did my yoga in the morning. Those days when I expected to just roll out of bed and on to my mat? It made the mornings so much easier. My practice wasn’t as challenging as I generally like it to be, since I was still groggy – it was mostly meditation and child’s pose. But I was still on my mat. It was a great way to start my day; focusing purely on my breath and on my self care. I encourage anyone to try this.
Yoga gives me energy throughout the day.
The mornings that I woke up just 30 minutes earlier to do my 10 minutes of yoga? I found myself not getting the 2 o’clock tiredness during my work day. I found that I was more patient and open to the busy grind of professional life. I have a big suspicion that the 10 minutes of breathing and diving inward really gave me perspective and courage to face my day joyfully. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
Eating mindfully and healthy was a little bit easier.
This is something I openly struggle with. I have a problem with saying no to sweets and eating too much food when it’s in front of me. I’ve learned over the years that it’s ok to say no to a piece of cake, but that doesn’t always make it easy. This week, I found myself still craving sweet things – my sugary filled chai tea lattes from Starbucks, donuts on my commute to the office, ice cream at the end of a long day – but it was easier to abstain from those cravings and pick a healthier choice. I didn’t always win the battle, but that’s ok. To err is human, right? My yoga practice helped me not beat myself up over the defeat and to try again the next time.
The more consistently you practice yoga, the more you know about yourself and your body.
Of course I already know this, being a consistent lover of yoga for two years now. But getting on that mat is a lot harder some days than others. But the more I practiced, the easier it was to roll out my mat. The further in to the week we got, the longer my practice became. Monday I practiced around 10 minutes exactly (yes, I timed them). By Friday evening (when I did yoga to Beyonce, which is awesome), I was on my mat for around 20 minutes. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s something and it’s progress. I found myself trying new poses that I don’t normally do. I found myself using my breathing practices during traffic or when I felt stressed at work. I fell asleep easier and had a more restful sleep. I felt more in touch with myself this week than I have in a long time.
Interestingly enough, I did not do my ten minutes of yoga yesterday and I felt it. I felt my shoulders tense up. I felt like I couldn’t relax as well. So, it really does make a difference. I think you should try getting on you mat every single day for at least 10 minutes. That could be mediation, or sun salutations, or sitting in child’s pose. Just try it and tell me what you think.
Happy OM’ing and Namaste. ❤
What are some ways you have challenged your yoga practice? Do you get on your mat daily?