I’ll confess – I haven’t done a lot of yoga lately. My average day contains lots of movement, but since retreat season ended, my body has craved stillness. I’ve done lots of eating, sleeping and reading – I feel like I am fattening up and slowing down for winter. And I’m actually ok with that. After teaching yoga all season, and having to work hard to fit in my own practice, I’m enjoying the slower pace. I know it won’t last long.
That said, I unrolled my yoga mat yesterday for a gentle practice. And I found myself mostly in child’s pose. The first time I found balasana, I felt like my third eye opened up and all kinds of stuff I didn’t need came pouring out onto the floor. Tears pricked at my eyes. It was a whooshing kind of release, and relief. Damn, I needed that. It reminded me of the power of one pose. Many of us treat our yoga practice like our to-do lists – we think that the more we can cram in on our mat, the better. Not so. This retreat season, I told my students about how yoga is a shifting of prana, or energy. Even if you only practice one simple pose, something shifts. Even one as simple as my child’s pose can bring on a big shift.
My latest yoga tutorial on the Athleta Chi blog is all about Doable Daily Yoga – uncomplicated enhancements to your regular yoga routine that will keep your practice thriving on the days you don’t have time to hit the mat. Do yoga daily…? When it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day (or when you’re on a slower speed, like I’ve been), that can be unrealistic. So how do you make yoga a daily practice? Work with what you’ve got. And when you don’t have a lot of time or energy, there are lots of ways you can infuse the yoga benefits we love and crave into every day. Check it out for ideas on meditation minutes, visualization, daily sutra, and pranayama, as well as one-pose wonders to address everyday ailments.
Go ahead – do yoga daily. Namaste.