As you know, I am about to embark on the journey of yoga teacher training. It starts in 19 days!
I’m feeling like I’m not adequate. That my yoga isn’t “advanced” enough. That I’ll be the “worst” yogi there. My yoga teacher assures me that these fears and worries are normal; that these feelings show that this is something I care about.
I do, I care a lot.
It’s like first day of school or first date jitters. I know it will be ok. And hopefully more than that – it’ll be wonderful. I’ve just got to get through that door on the first day and all will be swell, I’m sure of it.
Along with the worry and doubt, I’m feeling excited. Grateful. Giddy. And happy.
When I wrote about applying to yoga teacher training, a few of you said that I should practice yoga every single day leading up to the training. I attempted to start this in April, and it didn’t stick. I missed a day which led to missing a week. So, I started in May. And I’m happy to report – it stuck! I completed 31 days of getting on my mat in some form every single day.
And I feel great. It also simmered over in to June and I’m keeping it up.
Here are some things I learned along my 31 day yoga journey:
I do not practice backbends.
Like, ever. I really should. And I used to! I used to be a pro at camel. But then for some reason, I stopped practicing it on a regular basis. I tried to do it again the other day and I could only get one hand down to my ankle. It hurt. So, I’m going to start incorporating this in to my practice again. Although I realize not every body is meant to do certain yoga poses, I shouldn’t avoid them altogether. They have their place and benefits.
Getting on the mat every day is hard.
There was one day that I meditated in my car during my lunch break because I knew I wasn’t going to have a chance to get on the mat. (This was the day my bestie and I saw Beyonce in concert and I went straight from work.) This counts, though. Because meditation is part of yoga. There were a few days that I did get on my mat, but I just breathed. I put my legs up on the wall and breathed for 5 minutes and I counted that as yoga. Because it is yoga. I don’t have to be practicing headstand every day for it to count as yoga practice. And I really learned this on my 31 day journey. It allowed me to give myself a break and to just be present; to be mindful. It was still a struggle to get on the mat every day, but the fact that I learned I could just go and sit and count it as practice? Made it a lot easier.
Dancing and yoga work beautifully together.
I found the Now and Then soundtrack on Spotify. I grew up renting that movie from Blockbuster maybe every weekend. I could quote significant chunks of that movie, if not the whole thing. My mom and I would listen to the soundtrack on CD when we would drive together even in to high school. That soundtrack is now my favorite playlist to do yoga to. Jackson 5 belting in the background while I do warrior? Yes, please. I started feeling more free on my mat and adding some dance moves in to my asanas. It feels right and it puts a smile on my face. Don’t be afraid to dance with your flow – put on some fun music and go with it! Trust me on this. You won’t regret it.
31 days is plenty of time for a habit to form.
Around day 25, I really started to tell if I hadn’t been on my mat yet. I would feel tense and slightly stressed. I also found it not difficult at all to squeeze in at least a 10 minute practice around this time. My day kind of revolves around it and it’s something for me to look forward to. It’s gotten to the point that I come home from work, give my husband a kiss, change in to yoga clothes, and get straight on my mat. I don’t even think about it and I greatly anticipate that time alone with my practice. Now I’m thinking of other habits I want to break and have motivation that they will stick because I know how easy it is to form new habits. Hello, self care and self growth!
Savasana is the hardest asana to nail.
I don’t care how long you’ve been practicing yoga. I don’t care if you can hold the most advanced pose for an hour long and not even sweat. Savasana is the hardest yoga pose, hands down. It’s easy to flow with your breath. Sure, your brain shuts off but you’re focusing on your breathing and what you’re doing with your body. But laying down in corpse pose with nothing to focus on but how you’re feeling physically and your breath? Oh man. This is so tough. I noticed that I wasn’t doing savasana very much in my home practice, so I’ve started incorporating it. (My meditation practice is really slacking in general. I really want to work on this more.) I notice that my body starts to feel fidgety the longer I lay in corpse pose. What is it about stillness and quiet that causes us so much anxiety? I’m going to figure it out and in the process, I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot about myself.
What are your biggest struggles with a daily yoga practice? How do you practice yoga at home?