With apologies to my yoga friends, whom I promise to reconnect with soon
I've been a yogini since I discovered yoga during my last year of law school. I faithfully practiced for the next 4 years, taking classes at a great studio in Takoma Park, or doing my own home-based practice. When I moved to Boston in 1999, my practice slipped. I've never found a studio I liked, and the gym-based classes I took were, in a word, awful. As my practice disappeared, I got heavier, unhappier, and so much less flexible.
Yoga was the first step back for me on the path to weight loss, and physical and emotional health and strength. Yoga is known for supporting weight loss, yoga keeps me centered, yoga keeps my knees and hips from aching as I pound out more miles than ever before (18, this week!), and yoga keeps my body and my mind supple and strong. Lately however, my practice has disappeared again. I think about it all the time, but I never actually get to my mat. It is no small coincidence that as my yoga has slipped, so has my mental discipline regarding eating, training, and practice.
A wise yogi once said that the hardest part of yoga is getting on the mat. Today, I'm committing to getting on the mat every morning with at least 20 minutes of practice. No NPR, no tea, no breakfast, until I've honored my body and my mind first. 20 minutes is easy: it's 2 pushes of the snooze button; the time to check overnight emails; making a good cup of tea; or checking the weather and the traffic. It could lead to a longer and deeper practice too, if the mind is open to receive that gift.
I'm about to go pop Rodney Yee's sweet AM Yoga into the machine, and take care of myself. Won't you grab your mat (or use my extra one) and join me? It could be the best thing you do for yourself all day!
Some of my favorite yoga resources:
Ali McGraw's classic, Yoga Mind & Body w/ Erich Schiffman
Rodney Yee & Patricia Walden, AM/PM Yoga for Beginners
Rodney Yee Yoga for Energy
Bryan Kest Power Yoga
And I want to try IronYoga, with Anthony Carillo
Judith Lasater's 30 Essential Poses
A Woman's Book of Yoga & Health, Linda Sparrowe, Patricia Walden, Judith Lasater
Yoga Abs, Judith Lasater
Moving Towards Balance, Rodney Yee
Yoga, The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, Erich Schiffman