40 Days of Yoga, DIY Style
Running is great. Really great, in fact, and I’m looking forward to some springtime runs, now that the evening light is lingering into the after-work hours and I feel fully rested and recovered from the half-marathon. There’s nothing quite like running to refresh and rejuvenate you. When I’m running, I sweat away all my stress, and I return home, feeling serene and relaxed, sometimes energized and other times just ready for dinner and bed.
I have spent a lot of time running in the past two months, and one of my hobbies that got pushed to the side as a result is my yoga. Now that I can let up on my running mileage, I want to focus on a more regular yoga practice. I was inspired to read about Jenna’s 40 days of yoga. Immediately, I knew I wanted to do something similar, and I’d do it my way, which is to say: I’d do it on my own, according to what appealed to me each day. I do yoga primarily to relax and because it feels good. In a sense, I use the physical aspect of yoga to tap into my emotions. It’s the mind-body connection that really draws me into yoga. Yoga has certain fringe benefits of course—it’s a strength and flexibility work-out that I believe makes me a better runner. Yoga also teaches patience, which is an invaluable virtue. Patience can work miracles. It can make the impossible a reality. I want to be a patient person, and yoga helps me work toward this goal.
My 40 Days of Yoga will consist of yoga, every day, for 40 days along with a few minutes of quiet meditation. It’s amazing what five minutes of meditation can accomplish. Even after just a few minutes of sitting quietly with my eyes closed, my mind feels clearer and calmer. It’s really powerful stuff. Too bad I’m not disciplined to do it regularly. But that is what this yoga project is all about: applying some discipline to my yoga practice. I won’t be spending hours every day on yoga and meditation—I probably won’t even spend more than 20 or 30 minutes each day on it—but I’m excited to see what the rhythm of doing it every day will bring me. I hope that at the end, I feel happier, calmer, and more mentally alert than I do now. I should clarify that it’s not that I feel terrible these days—in fact, I feel fine—but I’m curious to see what 40 days of yoga can do.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will mention that I am already planning a time-out on this project in April. A friend and I are planning a little weekend road trip to weird, wonderful Austin, Texas, and I don’t know what our schedule will be for those two days. So I may hit the pause button on 40 Days of Yoga and then resume it when we come home.
(My goodness, I am such a planner.)
One final note that I find funny and interesting: this project coincides perfectly with the season of Lent. I am not religious at all, and even when I was religious, I wasn’t brought up in a household where we observed Lent. Although I know that most people today observe Lent by giving something up, I like the idea of a springtime ritual that is oriented around spirituality, whatever your spirituality may entail.