Yoga – not on the to-do list

We all know, theoretically, that yoga is a gift. Yet in practice it sometimes becomes another item to cram onto the to-do list. Cringe. There, I said it. It’s usually when I need yoga most that I make excuses: too busy, don’t feel well, can’t focus, today is my cardio workout, etc. I recently scoffed at the overused hashtag: #yogaeverydamnday. Years ago I broke away from the confines of my Ashtanga roots, a practice that demanded pretty much the same thing every damn day, except for those few and far between moon days.

I have a good, steady vinyasa practice. It’s not every day, and sometimes it’s not long. I’ve recently changed my approach to any yoga is better than none. Which I realize that I’ve told people for years, but found it hard to adhere to: I’ve been an all or nothing sort of yogi. If I can’t be properly present on my mat for at least an hour it doesn’t “count”. Talk about setting myself up. Lately I’ve honored 15, 30 minute practices – as in, they count. And surprise, surprise…they feel really good too. I don’t always have to do the full expression of every pose and wring myself out to benefit from this practice.

This week I’ve had the good fortune to be visiting a place where I found a studio that is a perfect match for me. I walked in and it felt like home. I’ve leapt out of bed to do #yogaeverydamnday there. 90 minutes has flown by, six days in a row. No mental wrangling to get on my mat, no excuses not to. As someone who mostly practices alone, I’ve enjoyed the easy energy of others. I’ve had more than a bit of a yoga high going.

Alas, this is not sustainable. I will leave this studio behind tomorrow when I head home. Where time constraints and the juggling act will once again challenge my yoga practice. But I am changed, inspired by this little slice of yoga every damn day. It has reminded me that yoga is a gift, not something on my to-do list. It has made me remember what it feels like to come running when my yoga mat is calling my name. And that it doesn’t matter how long or how often we practice. Any and all yoga is a Gift. Namaste.