Quick note: Our annual sale for our online studio, Curvy Yoga Studio, is ON right now through January 6th! This won’t come around again until 2019. Learn more and join us!
For years, I kept a secret tucked way far away from prying eyes. Well, actually, from all eyes because that’s how concerned I was that someone would find out.
I didn’t have a consistent yoga practice.
Practice? What Practice?
My practice was allllllllll over the map for years (and years and years and years). Sometimes I would be very diligent, going to class several times per week. Other times I might not practice at all for weeks at a time. Other times still I’d do a little here, a little there.
I yo-yoed back and forth between all of these various iterations of practice for a very long time, and the whole time I did, I thought something was fundamentally wrong with me. I thought that if I was more disciplined, or had a more resolute will, or even if I cared more, then this wouldn’t be a problem for me. That a regular practice would become essentially effortless and that I’d find one routine and stick with it. Finally.
All of this unfolded during the years I was still dieting, yo-yoing back and forth from one diet to the next. My pattern here was pretty much the same as with my yoga practice — which probably isn’t super surprising.
So when I began to shift my life towards body acceptance, I had great hope! I thought, “Oh, NOW is the time that I’ll finally have the body I always wanted and the consistent yoga practice I always wanted with no changes or exceptions.” Finally.
What happened instead is something I never could have anticipated, but which fundamentally changed my life. I began an ongoing, evolving conversation with my body and my life. And I now have a regular yoga practice for the first time in my life. Finally.
Here’s the key: I expanded what “regular” means. For SO long I thought that a regular yoga practice meant 60 minutes on the mat, 5 times per week (and preferably 7). Then I loosened that up a little and thought, “Okay, 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week,” but even that wasn’t consistently doable.
The reason even that wasn’t consistently doable is that I’m human. Some weeks I have the time and energy and health for practicing more often for longer amounts of time. Other times, and I know you know this is true because I’m sure you’ve experienced it in your own life, things change. Someone I love needs me, I’m sick, I haven’t been sleeping well and am exhausted, I have a bunch of major deadlines stacked up on each other, I’m traveling or have guests in town, and the list goes on and on.
For years, these types of things, also known as life, threw me for a loop. I’d get out of my routine, if I’d somehow managed to establish one, and then everything would get thrown out the window. And as soon as I realized it, I’d beat myself up, recommit with more vigor, and start again the following Monday.
And on and on the cycle went.
Practice for Your Actual Life
Once I expanded what “regular” meant, though, life didn’t throw me out of my practice. Because my practice became rooted in my actual life.
Here’s what I mean by that: my practice began to start with asking myself what was possible each day and what my body needed, not applying a predetermined agenda to the day that may no longer be relevant or possible. And lest you fear, like I did, that if you try something like this that the answer will always be “nothing is possible and all my body needs is to lie on blankets all day,” let me put your fears to rest. Because when you’re in conversation with your body, and you begin listening to it or learning to listen to it, you quickly discover that what your body wants and needs changes from day-to-day (and often from hour-to-hour).
And while it’s certainly possible if this is the first time you truly listen to your body that your body might be ready for some rest, once you get some, it won’t want that forever. Because bodies have a variety of needs, even yours.
These days, I practice every day, and doing so isn’t filled with drama, angst or self-recrimination. And no, that doesn’t mean I practice 60 minutes per day like I’d once thought I would. It means that some days I do 30 minutes on my mat, then the next day I might take 5 deep breaths with awareness, the day after that I might do 15 minutes before bed, the day after that might be a 5 minute meditation, and the day after that I might attend a class.
Every day is different because every day my body is different.
And that is what I have discovered is the key to a consistent, sustainable practice. Because in the long run, I practice so much more often and regularly than I ever did in my yo-yoing days of two intense weeks followed by a month off of beating myself up and vowing to be different.
Also, what I have now is what I always wanted from my yo-yoing days, but couldn’t quite get my hands around (because I wasn’t operating within a paradigm that would allow me to): a regular practice that helps me feel better both in and about my body.
Get in on This
All of this is why I created our online studio, Curvy Yoga Studio. I’m a deep believer in these conversations, as well as in having a variety of practice options for your varying needs. In the Studio, we have practices from 5- to 60-minutes in length, with different energy levels, pose options, needs addressed, and so much more. We have over 150 practice videos already, and more are added by member request each month.
What that means is you have a flexible, adaptable support for your practice. And that matters because as you start to develop this conversation with your body and your practice, you want to be able to say, “Here’s what I need today,” find it, and get started. And that’s exactly why Curvy Yoga Studio exists.
Our annual sale is on now through January 6th, and the practice videos are just the very beginning of all the resources we offer. Click here to learn more, join us, and get your regular practice started with the support of resources and a community that encourages you.
I can’t wait to have you join us! It’s the body-affirming yoga studio you always wanted around the corner — now in your living room, any time of day or night. Get in on our annual savings now before it’s gone until 2019.