Today marks 100 (plus five) days of my yoga journey.
Personally, I consider this to be a significant milestone in my life (it might be a drop in the ocean if it is to be compared with the world’s success stories at large).
I’ve struggled with yoga, or more honestly, the idea of yoga for many years.
In my head, I’ve been practising yoga for at least five years. It has been on the top of my to-do list in every New Year’s resolutions list, only to be carried forward to the next year—until now.
I turned 40 this year. When COVID-19 struck the planet, I got stuck inside my house, like the rest of the world.
While people struggled with homeschooling their kids, their jobs, and paying bills, I struggled with free time. I also struggled with expanding my energy—apart from watching endless hours of news, binge-watching Netflix, and getting anxious and stressed.
I woke up one day in early April and thought of doing some yoga practice. I still had the mat I had purchased for this moment in 2017.
It’s now been five months, and I’m still on the mat.
On average, I practise five days a week, and I’m working toward building an everyday practice. It’s a work in progress—like most things in my life.
Here are the 10 things I’ve learned from my 100-day yoga journey:
1. My body feels differently each day. I listen to my body and flow accordingly—no two days feel the same.
2. I celebrate my small wins—it makes me feel good about myself.
3. I’m aware of my body, and I see myself in a new light. Yoga has made me more aware of my pain triggers.
4. As each body is different, I’ve realised the two sides of my own body are different and respond differently. While practising pigeon pose, I realise the stretch in my left thigh is of different intensity from my right one, or my left hand stretch is so much better than my right one in the cow face pose.
5. I don’t compare myself with the Instagram yogis. If I do this, it only leads to anxiety and feelings of incompetence. So I follow selected people who can act as a daily inspiration for me to challenge myself. I personally like Darcy and Vered.
6. I sit on the mat even if I feel lazy or not in the mood—I just do it. There are countless times when I feel too lazy to practise. But every time I make the effort to sit on the mat, my body starts moving, and I end up with a yoga practice. Concurring to point two, small wins are always welcome.
7. I take occasional pictures of my yoga practice—it’s a great way to check my own progress and see how far I’ve come. It’s totally your discretion if you decide to post this on social media or not—I don’t.
8. I use props generously. They have helped me go deeper into my practice. If props aren’t readily available, I get creative. I used to practise using books as blocks, till I bought my own.
9. I challenge myself. I’m a beginner yogi with a stiff body, so to make my practice interesting, I try to learn one new pose every month and work on it. This month, I’m working on plow pose and will incorporate it in my daily practice this month.
10. I breathe in and out, long and slow, and settle into the pose slowly and breathe. One, two, three…
My world seems a lot better on the mat—I wish you the same.