During my years of practicing yoga – no matter how much I love it – I always have my days where I absolutely do not want to go (Netflix, you know…).
However, I’ve neither had a yoga class where I’ve regretted going (Exhibit A!).
Because for me, yoga is an everyday practice – and when I don’t feel like doing yoga, is when I need it the most.
When I started doing yoga I was able to follow a ten-minute video where I would leave out the chair pose and other things I found too difficult. Starting was difficult, and I really needed to push myself because yoga didn’t feel good at all… until after the practice when I felt so proud to have finished it. With regular practice I was able to add another video to the mix and even do chair pose! I felt amazing! Looking back now it feels so unreal to me, I was so far away from being able to do any of the things I’m doing today, three years later.
But if you are looking for a place to start, I will have to say that Erin Motz’s 30-Day Yoga Challenge with DoYouYoga is what got me absolutely hooked, and after finishing the 30 days there was no turning back. Not that I’ve been doing yoga every single day since (because taking a break is also important), but I never fell out of love with it.
When I first started my yoga practice I was in a bad place because of fibromyalgia symptoms (unexplainable pain… not much fun), and doing yoga wasn’t so nice. However, I kept on going because I knew I didn’t want to live this way. Getting stronger and stronger every single time, I got hope. It was always difficult, but showing up to class was my most important goal. What I did in class didn’t matter as much – showing up was all it took. Some days I would simply go to class and lie on my mat almost the whole time. Or I would do pigeon pose when the rest was doing a half moon pose. And that was perfectly OK! I will have to say that I had the loveliest teacher, who didn’t see anything wrong with me showing up to class and not following her instructions at all; I’m not sure I could pull this off in Bikram 😉
So, to sum it up, by doing this – showing up to yoga even though I didn’t really do much – kept me going. Other days when I felt more energized I was able to follow almost the whole class, even though I usually rested in the balancing poses. At this time I had been practicing yoga for little over a year.
Now, three years later, this is me:
Yes – I’m doing a handstand! Well, not a perfect one, and I can’t hold it for many seconds, but I just feel so amazing! And this picture was only taken last week. Since then I’ve improved so much. Every single time I go to class, now, I see improvements (even on my “bad days”). Compared to myself three years ago, these “bad days” are nothing, I don’t really have any symptoms anymore.
Last week I showed up to 9 yoga classes – that is about 12 hours of yoga in a week! That is my record, and I would not do it every week (but it feels so good)! Yesterday after yoga, I then biked 25 kilometers, which was truly impossible for me before.
I’m writing you to tell you it is possible! You can do it! No matter how far away your goals seem right now, if you just keep on going you will get there eventually. Do something today that will impact your future, because your decision about going to that yoga class (or doing one at home) truly matters. Each and every time you do something different, something difficult, something scary, you are building up your future self that will be forever grateful. Good luck!