My relationship with yoga is a short one: I took a few classes some two decades ago. I had a trainer mutter 32 expletives when he tried to stretch me and felt how tight my muscles were. And I once did a hot yoga session for a story (it was one of my all-time favorite workouts — though I dripped like Niagara during the 90 minutes, I felt so strong and energized afterwards). I’ve always wanted to be more mobile, more flexible and have hamstrings that didn’t feel as rigid as Redwoods. But I’ve always dismissed regular yoga or stretching because, well, I felt like my workouts had to be more — more intense and more action-oriented to chip away at my taco graveyard. I’ve decided that devoting 2021 to small victories and sun salutations will be a good idea.
Deep down, though, I know that this was short-sighted. There was so much to be gained if I could pigeon-pose my way through the day — feeling better, moving better, getting stronger, and laying a bodily foundation that would help me in my other workouts.
Though I’ve wanted to add yoga and more purposeful stretching to my routines, I’ve never committed to a consistent approach that so many yoga devotees have. After all, it’s not easy for rhinos to move like monkeys to venture into arenas for which you’re starting at zero.
But maybe that’s the point?
That’s where the growth comes from — challenging ourselves, trying unfamiliar things, seeing progress slowly, and learning to maximize the power and potential of your body in new ways.
Even though I’ve been fairly consistent with doing strength and cardiovascular workouts, I’m craving something different (other than bacon burgers) this year: Mastering new movements and really seeing if I can nudge my body to be stronger and more mobile through yoga.
Oh, I debated a whole host of other resolutions involving weight, food, running, swimming and various #brownjuices. And I have my spreadsheet ready to go to log my workouts. But I’m going to take my own advice and try to avoid any grandiose goals this year (forearm stands by February!).
I’m just going to keep it simple when it comes to engaging in a practice: 10 minutes a day, every day.
And I’ll see where it takes me. Maybe I’ll do longer stretching sessions from time to time, or maybe I’ll learn to love yoga. Or maybe I’ll feel better for it? Maybe my groin muscles will stop feeling tighter than violin strings. Or maybe it’ll help me in my other workouts. Maybe my heel pain will stop nagging me. Maybe there’s muchto be gained — physically and mentally — with small bouts of consistency.
And maybe — just maybe — I’ll keep doing it because I like it.
As we all sketch our resolutions, goals, and healthy habits we want to start in 2021, that might just be the most important barometer of all.