hi there my friends! how are you today?
i have something to confess to you... i haven't practiced yoga asana (poses) in over a week. this has been the longest i've gone without yoga in maybe a year or so. sure i've still been meditating, journaling, stretching here and there... but not a substantial sun salutation, handstand, triangle-warrior-sequence, pigeon, wheel, twist, forward fold, savasana. and you know what, that's ok. i recently read on one of my favorite blogs, the minimalists, a essay called 'the rules we live by'. it said something so simple, yet so profound, that really resonated with me:
New rules: If I wake up today, then I’m allowed to by happy. If I exercise today, then I’ll feel more confident. If I spend focused time with loved ones today, then I’m contributing in a meaningful way. If I step outside my comfort zone today, then I will grow.
if i wake up today, i'm allowed to be happy. what an idea! i hear people all the time saying, 'if i don't practice yoga i am a grumpy person.', 'you don't want to see me before i've practiced my yoga for today!' why? why don't we deserve happiness no matter what luxury we've allowed ourselves for the day? it's a funny oxymoron... yoga, in all it's 8 limbs, is a practice to free ourselves from the nonsensical wanderings of the mind, yet we've become so attached to the asana that without going through an hour of postures our mind and joy has to suffer.
i mean, i get it. yoga feels freakin' amazing. to stretch, breathe deep, and open up the body after being hunched over at a desk is incredible. but we shouldn't allow our happiness to be dependent upon whether we got that 'full' asana practice in. i know i've been there, and i still do struggle with that. like a guilty feeling if i haven't done enough yoga. it sounds pretty ridiculous when i write it out. guilt from not practicing yoga. sheesh!
the reason i haven't been doing asana is, i joined a gym. haha sacrilegious! i've been wanting to do something different. when i was home visiting my family in connecticut, i went to classes at the gym with my mom. i went to spinning, weight training classes, and zumba. and i loved it! it feels so great to try something new and move my body in new and challenging ways. when i got home to cali i knew i had to continue with the fun classes! yesterday i took a weight training aerobics class that majorly kicked my ass. in such a good way. in a way that yoga never could. and it's kind of refreshing and interesting to surround myself with different types of people than "yogis". i know it will also help the development of my brand to practice other forms of exercise and see what people like to wear. yoga has become sort of a peripheral exercise lately. a down dog and some forward folds complete my exercises, rather than make up the bulk of them.
i'm obviously not saying any or all of the above is true for you. but when a practice begins to feel like a weight, like something you have to do whether you enjoy it or not, it's time to reevaluate. it's so easy to get trapped in patterns of living that we don't realize are holding us back from new adventures.
i'm still working on finding the balance in my life, where there is enough challenge, relaxation, meditation, and fun. it's a neverending journey, that's for sure. but i am seeing now i'd like to keep moving on the journey rather than stay in one place.