After being sick with the flu for about a week, I hadn't practiced yoga the entire time. Typically I try to do some yoga every day, even if it's just for five minutes, so I really missed it. But even though I longed for it, it was very difficult for me to return to my mat. Have you ever had this trouble with any habit that was temporarily stalled?
So Saturday I putted around the house for a while and sat in my morning meditation, which I've also been neglecting for a week, yet I still didn't want to lay out my yoga mat. Finally I compromised with my ego and bribed it by turning on the TV while I dragged out my mat and began my asanas or postures. I know, I know, obviously not the most conducive way to hold a yoga practice, but I thought if that's what it took, it was better than nothing. I believe I read this idea in a Yoga Journal article a few months back about revitalizing a stalled, home practice. Obviously, you should turn off the boob tube before lying in savasana, but if having that distraction in the background is what gets you started, try it. I am a self-described TV junkie - in fact my New Year's resolution was to cut down my television watching. I don't know if I'm succeeding but at least I'm aware of the issue. :)
But back to the mat... Once I began flowing through the postures, my practice naturally developed as I drew in each breath. I didn't even notice the TV was on after five minutes, and I ended up turning it off after a while. An hour later I was chilling in savasana and feeling my baby kick - perhaps he or she was thanking me for doing something good for the both of us. We both apparently needed the release of my body, mind and spirit.
So why was I so weird about returning to my mat? Maybe it's because sometimes in life it's hard to take the first step because of the fear of commitment or what comes next. Whenever I have this feeling, whether it's with my yoga practice or anything else in life, I need to remind myself that it's just one step and not worry about the rest of it. With yoga, all it takes is laying out the mat and taking the first step of standing on top of it in tadasana or mountain. The rest of the practice will unfold as it should.
"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
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