Today marks 200 days in a row of my yoga practice.
- Most days I practice for about thirty minutes.
- A handful of times I’m at the mat for less than 10 minutes. But when I think I only have 10 minutes to fit yoga in to my terribly busy retiree days, that 10 minutes usually turns in to 20 or more.
- And one or two days a week it’s a 60-90 minute practice.
In this post I write about the 30-day yoga challenge I took part in back in January. And when that 30 days was up, I thought to my bad self, why not do this EVERY day?! The challenge instructor, Brian James, helped me realize that I don’t need to yogify for 30 or even 60 minutes to validate it as a yoga practice – that even 10 minutes a day is better than no minutes a day.
I take an instructor-led class at Main Street Yoga here in Madison, Wisconsin once a week, rotating each week between my two favorite Madison yoga guides: Kristen Sage and Jim Manos. They both teach what I would call hatha yoga, but each goes about the practice a bit differently, and I like getting their unique perspectives.
I practice the 6 other days of the week at my home. My favorite way to practice is naked, as long as it’s not too hot, and it’s a short session, and my skin doesn’t stick to the mat;) And often, my cat Kitten joins in. When I first started yoga about 10 years ago, it was a class that met twice a week over the lunch hour at my work place. Jim Manos led us through a flow practice, and I learned the patterns of movement so well that it’s what I typically fall back on at my home practice. I don’t follow video or audio instructions. I don’t listen music. I unroll my mat and practice quietly, switching the moves up a little bit each day.
After 10 years of practice, and 200 days in a row this year, I’m still not the most flexible or strong yogini around. I can’t do a head stand or a hand stand. I have a hard time being a balanced stick. The base of my tree is at my knee rather than my upper thigh. When I squat, my heels don’t touch the floor. But my hips don’t ache as much anymore. I’m strong and flexible. And each day, I get time to focus only on my body breathing. And stretching. And moving. Yoga turns my monkey brain off and quiets me. Each day I end my practice with a bow to my body in gratitude. Thank you, 60 year old body:)