Why is yoga something that always slips between my fingers when I’m not paying attention? It evades me like my child when asked to pick up her mess. Some months, yoga will happen all the time. Some weeks, I’ll practice every day, others 3 or 4 times a week. My body will NEED it. I will feel tight, if I haven’t stretched. I will feel unbalanced, off my kilter. Other months, I will think about doing yoga daily, yet, for some reason, I won’t be able to get on the mat. I’m tired. I have dishes. Laundry. Baking. More laundry. More dishes. It never ends, and the mat eludes me. I may stretch once a month, but its never enough or how much I want.
I love doing yoga. I really really love it. It’s my only form of exercise, aside from the occasional hike, that I practice. And it is a practice. I learn from my body every time I get on my mat. I improve it. I gain strength in my muscles. I stand a little taller and have a little more sense of understanding and calm in my life. Understanding that our bodies take work, patience, and practice. Calm in knowing that you have to rest in the stretch, in the practice, in your life, in order to grow.
The months when I’m not doing yoga, I feel busy. I, in reality, am no more busy than I was 3 months ago. I am always busy. However, carving out that 15 minutes to get in some flows, for some reason, always invites some respite from the stress that is my life. Respite that lingers a little longer than just the time on the mat. You have to just do it. When the thought pops into your head “I really should do some yoga today”, don’t hesitate, don’t try to find the time to fit it in, do it. Right then. Right there. If that means just standing in place doing some easy standing stretches, or pulling out your mat and going at it for 30 minutes, just do it. Now is the best time for yoga. You (and your body) wont regret it.
One thing that always encourages me, is that my muscles (as weak as they may be), always remember. They never forget. They may not be able to respond exactly like I want immediately, but they recognize my actions and they want to show off their memory. I notice this most when I’m playing my guitar. I will play every day for 5 days, and on the end of the 5th day, I’m all over the place. I can’t play anything correctly. But, if I give it a rest for a week, when I pick it back up, it’s like all the practice has accumulated to my muscles reacting exactly as I want. The same thing with yoga. Did you know I can do a headstand? I taught myself about 2 years ago. Did you know that I did yoga maybe a total of 10 times in 2018 (which I surpassed for 2019 by February for sure)? Even though I didn’t practice my headstands much at all for an entire year, when I try to go up into one, its like I never quit. In fact, it’s as though my muscles were better than before! The repetitive motion of doing an action over and over, will become ingrained into your muscles memory. If you haven’t done yoga in awhile, get on the mat. I bet you’ll be surprised how after 2 or 3 days of yoga, your body remembers. And your body will be excited! It likes the stretch.