100 for 100

100 for 100

 

Growth requires a certain singleness of mind. As Jesus once said, “you cannot serve two masters.” Either you commit to a change of heart and mind and live it out, or you are just playing around. This singleness of mind I’m talking about means making a total commitment to the path of growth: no wavering, no detours, absolute commitment to staying present, unconditional commitment to discovering and living by the truth within. I’m talking about staying the course, even when it hurts.” An excerpt from Baron Baptiste’s 40 Days to Personal Revolution – Law 6: Commit to Growth

 

Just as finally being able to do a yoga pose like handstand, headstand, forearm balance or whatever doesn’t mean that any sort of bells, whistles or fireworks go off; hitting this 100 days in a row mark of yoga pretty much means nothing either. A unicorn didn’t accompany me to class today, the practice was the same (which means I got out of it exactly what I put into it) and other than a nice recognition from my beloved community of Anjali yogis, nothing was different on this day 100 than it was on day 47. Except that I am different. My asana practice is relatively the same, save for a better sense of focus, gratitude and peace that comes with it; but the yoga I practice off the mat is what keeps growing, opening up, and letting go. A favorite teacher of mine said in a class the other week that we are all searching for balance in our lives and we think that an extra yoga class, meditation session or kale smoothie is going to bring that to us. Yet, without giving up something (or some things) that don’t serve us, we don’t allow ourselves the space to create something new or to find the balance we seek. These 100 days for me didn’t necessarily cause me to give things up but instead they gave me up (trust the process of Baptiste yoga!!!). Without even trying, yoga became part of my daily routine, in the same sense of brushing my teeth is. And it’s opened my heart more to practicing equanimity, non-reactivity, peace, love, and gratitude for my life and those in it. The actual number of days doesn’t matter, but the commitment I made to myself does. And what it means is that I’ll be back on my mat tomorrow and the day after that. And the day after that. Being on my mat will continue to allow me to practice the part of yoga that is most important to me: the stuff that happens off my mat.

 

Since I did keep a log though, here’s a rundown of the numbers:

  • Number of hours practiced: 118
  • Studios visited: 9
  • Cities I practiced in: 5
  • Workshops/Master Classes attended: 7
  • Intentions set: 100s
  • New yogi friends made: handfuls
  • Chaturangas performed: countless

 

NAMASTE.

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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.