Monday, October 19, 2009

New Year's Resolutions, and How to Keep Them

This year I made the resolution to practice yoga every day. A full Ashtanga primary series practice, however, can take 1 1/2 hours to complete and, because my yoga studio is 15 minutes away, doing a full practice would mean two hours a day.
Doing that 7 days a week was obviously an impossibility. I'm lucky if I can fit in a full primary series at the studio once a week. The reality is that often all I can fit in is a 45 to 60 minute practice at the studio, and I was doing that at least 3 or 4 times a week. I knew that the only way I would be able to practice every day would be to practice at home on the days I couldn't get to the studio, and do whatever I could do, even if it was only 15 minutes of yoga.
But even that wasn't happening for most of the year. I usually keep my yoga mat in my car, which when it's not parked by the Arbor to my yard, is parked in the red and green barn beyond that. Yes, antique homes can be charming but they usually don't have attached garages, so I used to have walk a couple of hundred yards to get my mat out of the car to practice.
That didn't happen too often. Particularly on cold, wet days, I preferred to stay snug in the house then run out to the car to get my mat. And, trying to bring the mat into the house every time didn't work because there were always other things I needed to bring into the house, or out to the car.
Needless to say, I was doing a really poor job at keeping my resolution.
Finally, a couple of months ago I broke down and bought a second yoga mat. It pretty much made all the difference in the world.
I'm still not practicing every day, but I am practicing at least 5 times a week, and at least once a month actually do practice all seven days.
I've actually become really fond of my home practice. I still get to the studio 3 or 4 days a week for a half or 3/4 primary series practice, but at home I mix it up a bit. Sometimes I'll do an Ashtanga practice, and at others I'll do something completely different.
We have an on-demand service from our cable company, and one of the "free" options is "Mag Rack" which has, among other things, yoga and fitness shows. The line-up constantly changes and, depending on the week, there are 15,20, 30 or 40 minute options. Saturday, I did a 20 minute Radiant Heart yoga practice with Shiva Rea.
Other days I'll just do part of the Ashtanga series at home. Yesterday, I practiced three-quarters of the Ashtanga primary series.
Often, all I can squeeze in is a few sun salutations and hip openings.
I roll out my mat in my bedroom to practice, and, to further set the mood, light candles that I've arranged in my fireplace (it does work, but I've only actually burned logs in this fireplace twice in the time I've lived here).
So, while the goal of 7 days a week every week hasn't been met (yet), I am on the path in the right direction. And, if I can only spend 15 minutes in my bedroom alone, in front of a hearth glowing with candles, it's still better than nothing at all.


  1. LOL, I love this -just a simple thing like an extra mat can make such a difference.

    The candles in the fireplace sounds lovely..

  2. Now that I have the mat, I really look forward to finding any time to practice.