I have a love/hate relationship with a challenge. I love the way a new challenge can wake you up inside and give you a new lease on life, but I hate the fear of failure too! This is the story of my yoga dilemma. To Yoga or not?
A few years ago, I started getting into yoga. A teacher at my school was an aspiring yoga instructor and needed to log several hours leading classes. She dangled free yoga classes for stressed out teachers in front of us, and I bit! I didn't expect to fall hook line and sinker for yoga. When I was in college and gave yoga a try, it was too slow, too get in touch with your inner self, too BORING!
A few classes in this time and I began to crave the soft music, slow stretching, and uninterrupted time to think a little without a mommy interruption. I started noticing, "Hey, I can do downward dog without my wrist feeling like they are going to fall off! " I was getting STRONGER! This motivated me to bring my new found yoga practice home. I did what any self respecting child of the eighties would do...I bought a yoga video. This is sad because I know my smart TV has a million free yoga videos living inside.
This video introduced the "Pigeon Pose" to me. My body said, "What the heck is she doing??" "How is her body moving that way??" I am a little green, okay a lot green... I am jealous! I want my body to do that. My body did not cooperate though. My thighs burned and hips said, "NO WAY!" But somewhere deep inside me there was a voice saying, "How cool would that be!" I continued to practice yoga with the video and had to resort to the adapted pose every time that stupid pigeon came up, and I'm not going to lie, it hurt my feelings and pride a bit.
Then I quit yoga! I'm not proud! Don't judge me! Why? Why did I quit? I'm literally asking myself that question right now. Why did I quit? Just like that I gave up on exercising, on an activity I actually enjoyed. I want to lead with my excuses, but the truth is ...yoga was not an established habit for me. I'm talking about the kind of habit we don't even think about, we just do. We do it because it is who we are and our day isn't the same, if we don't do it. You know, like drinking your morning coffee. We give time and space to what we value. I did not value my commitments to myself. My yoga habit didn't have time to take root.
I was writing my goals down as Rachel Hollis suggested I do from
Girl Wash Your Face and it took me a while to finally get around to writing my health/fitness goals. I was putting it off. Exercise is the one area of my life that I just can't seem to be consistent. As I'm writing this, I looked back at my journal and even that entry is noncommittal. I'm going to include a picture of it just so you can see how much I'm struggling with the decision to exercise or just give up altogether.
Rachel suggested writing some baby steps to reach your goal. So, I'm going to rewrite my new goal since the first time I wrote it as you can see, wasn't anything more than maybe I need to find some kind of exercise. I want my goal to be more specific, more tangible. I want to somehow finagle my body into the pigeon pose.
Steps to Consistent Yoga Practice
1. Kids are going to have to be involved in this yoga endeavor! So far, Claire is the only one to make it all the way through the yoga routine. Carter tries to climb on our backs when we are in table top, a little distracting, but at least they feel included. Who knows, maybe it will become a life long practice for them.
2. Practice at least three times a week. At least once a week, I plan to do yoga with the kids. The other two times, I'm using Yoga with Adriene. She has tons of videos and is easy to watch. You can tell she really knows yoga, but does a nice job explaining to newbies.
3. Practice with pigeon pose in mind. I plan to work on opening up my hips, which can help with pigeon pose.
4. Fashion is a good motivator for me. New yoga pants inspired me to dust off my mat and begin again. I told myself, if I was faithful for three weeks, I could buy a yoga tank top. My new fashion rule...if I am faithful for one year...I can buy a Luluemon yoga outfit! I hear the line is fabulous or so they say! For now though, it is Old Navy.
5. Read Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.
This last step may be my most important step. The inability to implement yoga as a new habit into my life is the real problem. I would like to invite you to read this book with me.
Take a minute to be still and listen for any whispers from your mind and heart. Is there a little thought, a cry , or scream you have been ignoring? Maybe you need to form a habit to accomplish a goal or begin your journey to living a dream. I believe we are all capable of much more than we think we are, but taking the risk is the first step. At least, that is the way I see it.