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2 Days of Yoga Down, 19 To Go January 12, 2011

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in 21-Day Challenge, Changing Perspectives, Fitness, Health, Mantra, Meditation, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Music, Philosophy, Science, Twin Cities, Yoga.
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21 Days of Yoga (& Other Stuff)

Day 2

When am I going to fit in my yoga practice?

What, exactly, am I going to practice?

And, where did all this snow come from?

Yes, after 40-plus years on this planet, over 10 years of yoga practice, and going on 4 years of Minnesota winters, these are still the questions I ask at the beginning of a January day. While the latter may be unique to me, anyone even contemplating a daily yoga practice in this day and age has to answer the first two questions again and again.

“When am I going to fit in my yoga practice?” translates to: How am I going to work in time for what I need/want to do given my obligation(s) to a significant other, children, pets, work, my commute, my friends, etc.? Also, in order to maintain the practice, the timing has to be convenient, a space has to be available, and you have to feel up to the challenge. All of this, before you ever even get to the question: what, exactly, am I going to practice?

I feel most myself in the late afternoon and evening. If I had a completely flexible schedule, I would almost always practice after 11 AM. That might not be traditional or ideal, but I’d be comfortable with such a schedule. In fact, when I first started practicing, the majority of the classes I attended were during a business/corporate lunch hour or in the evening. More often than not, however, my current work schedule dictates a morning practice. It’s how I begin my day. And, I’ll admit it: more often than not, it’s the way I love to start the day.

Waking up a little late on Day 2 of the Yoga Journal challenge, I was naturally concerned about how I was going to answer my first two questions of the day. Imagine my pleasure (and relief) to discover that the recommended video sequence was a 15-Minute Morning Sequence with Kate Holcombe. Boy, was this perfect – and refreshing! After a minor hiccup with the downloading, I was waking up with the flow. Again, the sequence was well thought out and, in this case, I felt like it was simple enough for anyone to follow along and get energized. I also felt like the fitness level was exactly where it needed to be to serve as positive reinforcement for someone new to the mat. Part of me wonders why this wasn’t the Day 1 sequence. In fact, as I continue to encourage people to take the challenge, I am recommending that my students start with Day 2 as their Day 1. I can only imagine how joyful it would feel to start with this simple 15-minute practice and then, 21 days later, find yourself flowing through the current Day 1 hip openers. (Maybe, at some point, even putting together the sequences from Day 1 and Day 2 – but in the opposite order.) Sublime.

The video sequence turned out to be a perfect integration sequence for what I was already planning to teach and practice on Day 2. While I did not teach this sequence to my students, I easily segued from the video into my own personal sequence. Best of all, I felt prepared for the challenging sequences I had outlined. With the dulcet sound of Sammy Davis Jr. singing I’ve Gotta Be Me playing in the background, I ended my practice and started my day on a high note. I felt balanced, focused, and ready to take on the world. Even now, going on 14 hours after the morning practice, I still feel that way.

After teaching my first class and having lunch with two of my favorite people, I sat in the back of a coffee shop and completed the So Hum meditation. The recording is fairly quiet and I was in a semi-private room, so I wasn’t worried about disturbing the other patrons. In hindsight, I should have used headphones to block out some of the ambient noise. However, I was amazed to observe how my mind and body tuned into the audio for the meditation and tuned out the competing elements. Yesterday, I counted 9 sets of 12 as I went through the mediation. Today I timed it. At some point I will use an actual mala, but right now I’m interested in noting how I tap into the practice without the beads.

As for that final question, the one about the snow….I’ve decided it’s part of that same storm front that moves through WordPress during the holidays. Smile.

~ NAMASTE ~

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