One Thousand Days of Yoga*
Daily Yoga isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you can learn anything from my experience, you might just get hooked, too.
I went to practice a simple Yin class at my favorite, very hippie studio on March 11th and wondered if I should be concerned about the coughs and sneezes around me. By March 13th, we were all picking up our kids and preparing to lockdown in our homes. A pause felt very acceptable, safe, and like it might be an opportunity for me to continue well with my money detox month.
I texted a friend and asked her if she would do internet yoga with me. “Will you do 30 straight days of yoga with me? It’s free on the internet, and I just need something to try like this, and it’s over by May 1st! Also, the yoga lady has a really cute dog!” She replied that she wasn’t really too sure, but she likes texting with me on the regular, so “why not?”
I had done and somewhat liked Yoga With Adriene in the past, but had to give it up when I tore my meniscus in 2018, as Adriene LOVES squats and other poses on the knees that pretty much rule out any participation if you cannot get on your knees easily and frequently (heads up!) But 18 months of weekly physical therapy and regular acupuncture (that I would be immediately ceasing) had gotten me to a point of readiness for pretty much any yoga, and I felt more confident about just not doing anything that I wasn’t feeling OK with. Imagine that! If it feels bad, then opt out!
I ended up texting 30 friends to ask them to join in a big group all doing yoga together. We started with “Home,” which, as a series title, felt ironic and taunting at times, but also just so appropriate. Three friends made it through the first ten days with me and stuck around, and three more friends joined over the next 6 months as we cycled through her various series. We all agreed that we liked seeing Benji, Adriene’s dog.
And so a group was formed (I’ll be writing more about forming supportive circles.) Reading back through our messages, since the last week in March, is a strange and beautiful time capsule of the past year. We shared our ups and downs, remarkable moments, moments of loss and grief, and moments of joy and big wins. And each day we also simply texted each other, “done.”
And, one big, personal win was that I only missed ONE DAY of yoga since April 1st! *So, I have actually done 275 days of yoga!
My body thanks me for it, and now my body needs it. My flexibility and strength have both improved immensely, even though some days the yoga is only 10–15 minutes long, and other days have very little active, strength-building sequences. I learned a few tricks to keep it going and make it sustainable. I also have a few goals to make it serve me better and to get more out of it as I look forward to actually doing 1000 days of yoga.
Here’s the biggest trick/tip: just get to the mat and turn the yoga on.
Once you start, you can decide whether you want to do a particular move or pose. You are alone in your home, and you can decide to do whatever feels good.
- Doing this practice with a friend or two (or six) is a setup for success!
- Remember and like/save the videos you really like, and do them again if they appeal more to you than whatever is scheduled.
- When you really think you can’t do it at all, do this 7-minute program. (I have actually been doing it every morning, in addition to whatever is scheduled for the day, too!) You won't even have to get on the floor!
- I’d like to finish each day’s yoga much earlier in the day. There are plenty of odd time slots throughout the day in which I could slide some yoga. It is hard to get the most out of a short yoga program if I am already tuckered out from the whole day.
- I’d like to do yoga at the best time for my mind, which is to say, I’d like to save my brightest & best times of day for other forms of creativity and reaching out to friends and loved ones. This yoga is guided, so it's a great program for the “pudding brain” times of the day. (I’ll be writing more about saving your best time of day!) Just lean into your mirror neurons and follow Adriene’s lead.
- I’d like to do more modifications to increase my muscular strength. I am so thrilled by how well I hold a forearm plank and going through a smooth Chaturanga feels incredible!
- I’d love to make it through a round of hip dips without sending a lot of swearing complaints to my yoga crew!
Wanna join us? Sign up here, and tell me about your daily practices in the comments.