Being New Every Day

As I entered my 11th straight week of yoga this past Monday, I decided this week to switch my practice up. I began this 100 day journey 72 days ago to experience yoga not as part of my routine, but as the gift that it has been to me. I thought that maybe not getting up at 5 a.m. every weekday to practice might be a nice change of pace (and yes, not having to get out of bed at 5 every day was part of it too). Anyway, I have been going to practices at different times during the day this week to notice any changes in my mind and body. My hips and hams are more open at noon, but my mind is also a bit more cluttered, so it’s been nice to shift the energy around a bit.
And with this schedule switch, a funny thing happened to me today. I decided to try a new studio and went to a Dhyana yoga studio in Philly. I walked in and realized that I had actually been there before and totally forgotten about it. About 10 years ago when I was training diligently for a marathon (or few), some friends and I decided to try yoga to supplement our running. We signed up for a new student deal for 5 classes for 20 bucks or something like that. We never returned after 2 classes. I remember giggling every time the instructor said downward facing dog and laughing out loud every time he said to reach for your toes (see above re: marathon training). Yoga never landed with me. I was too intense, enjoyed working out too much, and chanting or whatever was never my thing. And then I completely forgot I ever set foot in a yoga studio for over 10 years ago. Then something happened a little over a year ago. I tried another yoga class, this time Baptiste style power yoga, and I was hooked. I have been practicing regularly for over a year now and not only is yoga part of my daily routine (literally, 72 days and going), but it’s a gift I give to myself every day. Some days I go for the physical benefits, some days for the spiritual and some days because at this point I can’t imagine myself not practicing every day. But what I realized today when I was in that studio I first practiced in over 10 years ago and vowed to never return, is that I’m new to yoga every day. Every day that I return to my mat and keep this commitment is a new day. Every day that I choose to return rather than run in the opposite direction is a new yoga practice for me. This may be the hundredth plus time I’ve practiced, but every single time I get on my mat, I learn something new, open up a little more, let something go I didn’t even know was there, or open my mind to a new possibility. So here’s to being new on my mat every day, regardless of what the count is.

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