I have never been a fan of New Years resolutions. They always seem superficial to me. However, this year I did feel compelled to implement a new habit. In early January (2018), I started reading Autobiography of a Yogi, which was at the same time that I was working to add more leisure activities into my schedule. So, I decided to start learning about and practicing yoga. This was a bigger challenge for me, mentally, than it was physically. In the past, I always found an excuse not to accept the challenge of yoga. Part of me felt intimidated, like I was not ready for the yoga journey, that for some reason I would be unsuccessful.
Recently, something clicked in me and I became frustrated with the excuses I was making for myself. I knew that it was time to face my irrational fear of yoga. I was suddenly ready to show myself that I could do it. Also at this time, one of my cowokers invited me to yoga class with her. This was the universe, giving me the chance to do what I said I wanted to do. So, on January 26th, I went to my first yoga class, Slow Flow Yoga with Kelly. This was a huge deal for me, as I have never been one to enjoy going to the gym or dealing with the large number of people there. Realistically, I was pretty nervous. I had no idea what a yoga class was really like and a likely incorrect idea of how to do a handful of yoga poses. This was going to be…interesting. As I felt by body stretch, I could also feel my body sink into the rhythym of the poses as well as my breath begging to sync. Although it was difficult, and I could not hold a few of the poses for very long, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was surprised the next week when I found myself anticipating and looking forward to attending another yoga class. In the beginning I wasn’t sure where my yoga practice would take me, but I felt I was off to a good start.
At first, I challenged myself to practicing twice a week. Once a week seemed to be aiming low for me, but too frequent would have felt like an obligation and overwhelmed me. Accountability and consistency are things I have struggled with, when trying to implement a new habit. To help with this, I attend a class every week. I feel a sense of accountability to attend class, so that helps me stay consistent with my practice. To practice at home, I have started following a YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene. Currently, I am up to practicing at least three times a week! Some days, I wake up between 5 and 6am, to start my day with a “stretch and strength session”. A couple of months ago, I would have never imagined myself to be actively practicing yoga. I attribute my consistency and progress to how great I feel! I genuinely look forward to the burn of yoga, the satisfaction of holding a pose longer than before, and the mental pause that allows me to focus solely on myself. I love the relief of leaving my worries on the mat, then getting up, feeling lighter. I feel that my self-determination has increased, as a result of how empowered I feel. I stopped “trying” and starting doing. I no longer stand in my own way! It was actually that simple. Even when I feel sore and sleepy, I make myself get up to practice. If I can sit in class for 3.5 hours, or at work for 8 hours, I can dedicate a fraction of that to myself. I deserve that, at least. It only takes a decision and then an action. You can do this too! I hope this inspires others to find and connect with their inner yogi!