Time: 20 mins
Title: Yoga, anywhere.
My new year’s resolution/my yoga “goal”/my wish for my inner yogini… is to develop a daily practice. So, I started. My life is crazy-busier-than-usual because of the play. So today I stole 20 mins of my day and hijacked it for some “yoga anywhere.” I practiced in the middle of a busy Fitness First with headphones in to try to block out the bass and the grunting. I’m not used to listening to music while practicing, but I put on the Garden State soundtrack and went inside myself. I found that I was able to tune out everything and everyone. I did a lot of down dogs because I had just been reading about them in Yoga Journal. I focused on really getting the outward rotation in the arms. I felt fearless and alive. The twenty minutes I took there rejuvenated me and made my day bearable. My anxiety about fitting in enough cardio and my lack of productivity due to dress rehearsal tonight disappeared (somewhat). I am thankful for my body and my abilities. Yoga. Anywhere.
Time: 20 mins
Usually I practice yoga in a class, or I set aside a long block of time and complete my own “class” at home. Today I found that having a 20 minute period gave me more freedom. I thought ‘What do I want to do with my 20 minutes?’ And, knowing that I have 20 minutes every day, I wasn’t worried about making sure to fit in specific aspects of yoga.
So, I used the 20 minutes to go through a few flows. Then, I felt like exploring some shoulder stands and variations. I spent a long time moving my legs, scissoring them, and bringing them into a lotus position.
I felt very free—open to whatever my body wanted to do. The freedom and ability to explore felt amazing. I didn’t feel like I had to get to a certain place in my practice, or that I had to spend a certain amount of time doing a certain thing.
That freedom—the absence of a structured class feeling—was amazing. I felt yogini.
Time: 20 mins
Title: Allowing for Relaxation
I’m a pusher. I like to get the most out of everything. Until I can’t. Today I woke up exhausted. Working, working out, and the play this week has pushed me to my limit. I woke up to go to Martine’s class early, couldn’t function, went back to bed, and ended up sleeping 6 more hours. I needed the rest.
Once I got up, I took it easy with my day. At around 6pm, I found my 20 minutes for yoga. I felt strong, so I went through a warrior series. After those, I felt physically tired, so I relaxed in child’s pose for several breaths.
Since one of my year’s goals is to get to a headstand in the middle of a room, and since I was feeling strong, I decided to spend some time on the headstand today.
After a few not-so-strong attempts, I listened to what my body was really telling me. Even though I felt strong, I was still exhausted. Similar to the need for the child’s pose, I knew I needed to just move into some meditation. My body wouldn’t go into… well, anything else.
I came to a seated meditation. I concentrated on my breath, and the sensations my body was experiencing: the air that moved across my skin, the release I felt as I stopped trying to push.
I then moved to savasana and kept my body/mind open. When the timer beeped, and I moved out of savasana, I felt good. Relaxed. Renewed. And surprised at myself. For allowing my body/my self to do what it needed.
(note from the next day): I felt like I carried a secret smile with me the rest of the night. Like I had done something gluttonous—purely for me/my enjoyment. But it wasn’t anything “bad” … and that made me smile. When I got to the play last night, people commented on how excited/radiant I was. Allowing my body what it needed gave me energy/peace/happiness… an inner smile. Imagine my shock!
Time: 20 mins
Title: Looking for Guidance
I felt “behind” all day today. I didn’t know what I wanted or needed from my practice today, so I decided to go to Yoga Journal and picked their “15 minute midday practice” which was energizing and full of backbends. That “energizing” label appealed to me, and I was grateful to have some pre-made plan for my yoga today.
I added a few standing forward bends and sprinkled some extra down dogs throughout because my hamstrings felt a little tight.
The midday practice was a good choice, and it gave me the opportunity to go into wheel, which I wouldn’t have chosen to do. As part of the pre-made plan, I didn’t mind doing it, though.
Once I finished, I lay on the floor in savasana, feeling my heartbeat and enjoying and being grateful for the energy I could feel radiating through my limbs.
Even though I was enjoying the freedom I found in my yoga the past few days, I liked having a plan today. WHICH, brings me to my mini-revelation: I need different things on different days… and I can get whatever it is that I need through my yoga practice in some way. Having a daily practice has already shown me how much yoga can offer. Even though I knew this on a mental-level before, I didn’t feel it. And, while I also knew having a daily practice was important, I didn’t really know it until now.
Time: 30 mins
Title: Playing at Yoga
Today I assisted as a body-corrector for Martine for the first time. I loved it so much more than I thought I would. I expected that I would feel jealous of the teacher OR the students. But, I really enjoyed my role. It was its own unique role—one that people really appreciated.
So, after I got home, I wanted to play at the poses Martine had taught. So, I spent a half hour exploring several of the things Martine taught in class—most everything was standing or an inversion. My thirty minutes felt energetic and exciting… but probably not quite as tiring as the class was for the participants!
My 30 minutes was playful. And fun. I felt relaxed and childlike as I went through the poses because I had lots of things in my head that just wanted to be explored through my body.
Today I felt happy and relaxed. That was reflected through my practice.
Time: day off
Martine suggested yesterday that a practice was not complete without a day rest. I didn’t want to listen to her, so we thought I might try to incorporate this idea gradually. However, I ended up needing it today, so I tried it out. I took Sunday off this week, though it won’t be my “usual” day off.
I spent time in the morning reading and relaxing. I had my final play in the early evening and then had dinner with Billy on the way home.
I felt good most of the day until dinner. I felt anxious about eating because I had taken the day off. And then, after dinner, I ate a lot of snack foods. I didn’t feel relaxed or peaceful. I then felt upset that I had taken a day off for rest.
Today, I feel that maybe I wasn’t ready for a full day off. I probably should’ve tried to fit in a bike ride or swim in the morning, but I didn’t have much spare time before prepping things for the play finale.
But, at least the day off is complete for this week. I don’t have to do it again for at least a week!
Time: 20 mins
Title: True Sun Salutes
This is the first time I have done my daily yoga so early in the day (at 7am after teaching a 6am cycling). So, early this morning, I (of course) wanted to begin with sun salutations. I also played with some triangles and revolved triangles. I finished with a few headstands and twists. My practice flew by and before I knew it, I needed to shower for work.
After today’s practice, I felt powerful—mainly because I had held an egg tuck in my headstand without touching the wall at all. I felt confident in some progress today… and that confidence stayed with me as I got dressed and ready for work.
When I exercise in the morning (running or cycling), I always feel good. Mostly because I feel that I’ve accomplished something before I even leave the house. However, I never feel confident because of that. It was nice to feel new feelings arising out of my practice.
This experience made me want to do yoga every morning. However, I’ve also really enjoyed getting different things I need from my practice by doing it later in the day.
So, for now, no rules. Whenever it comes.