It’s been around 340 days of continuous yoga so far on my yearlong journey. I want to say that all of it’s been hard, but there have only been a few really challenging parts to keep the discipline and keep the practice consistent. The first of these happened before I even started….do I or don’t I? Can I keep the commitment? Is it possible? This was the biggest obstacle to overcome in the whole process….just taking the first step.
The second challenge happened on vacation this summer. It was probably the hardest time mainly because the schedule was not there and the routine was broken. This year we took a couple weeks off and had the opportunity to spend some time with family that we had not seen in many years. Late nights, different sleeping schedules with the kids and varied days proved challenging to keep a long, practice everyday. During this time I realized that practice needed to look different, and rigidity would only cause frustration.
The last challenge came a few weeks ago. Somehow, I picked up a serious case of poison ivy. I’m not exactly sure where it happened, but I “think” it was due to collecting pine cones for a craft project for my daughter. The irate, relentless rash spread from my shoulder to arms to all over. I could not do a normal practice due to some serious itching. I would have to get up in the middle of the night and take showers to help ease the pain, and this in turn affected getting a decent night sleep. My typical routine of getting up early and getting practice done shifted to evenings so I could sleep in if at all possible.
In both scenarios, a blend of Yin, Restorative, and Deep Stretch sessions filled the gap and allowed me to maintain a consistent practice. Instead of a 50 minute practice (my average), I shortened this down to 20-30 minute sessions that seemed to work much better. The other day was my first 60 minute Ashtanga session back, and it felt a little rusty, but great nonetheless.
With a schedule that requires a constant practice everyday, altering the flow was essential for times when something happened or when my personal or business schedule got tight. Adaptability is key. If there is none, it will force you to change. You will either find a way to make it work, or you put it in on the back burner.
I want to say I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and finishing up the challenge….but honestly, the more I think about it, the more I am thinking I want to just keep going