This past Monday I completed my thirtieth straight day of hot yoga (a mixture of bikram and heated vinyasa). I initially planned to write this blog post that afternoon, but I waited. At first, I was too busy, but then I wanted to think--to contemplate what I had done, what it meant, where I go from here.
I've been practicing yoga since February--which is to say I'm still a bit of a noob. And while I have changed since I've begun my practice, those changes didn't really set in until after the 30 days. What's changed? My body, of course, but it's so much more than that.
I'm generally an anxious person. I have an anxiety disorder, and I also suffer from PTSD. Practicing yoga daily has not only helped me manage my anxiety, but it's helped me recognize it and see it for what it is. In doing that, I've been able to acknowledge anxiety-induced self deprecation and move on.
The largest thing I've learned over the past thirty days is self acceptance. Every day is different. Every day I'm different. Being on the mat has helped me come to terms with that. Some days I can hold a standing bow for a full minute. Other days I'm on my back, laid out, unable to even make it through the warm up. And that's okay. It's good to acknowledge what my body can and can't do. The important thing is that I'm there. I'm on my mat. I'm enduring the heat. I'm practicing. I'm not giving up.
It's discipline. It's endurance. It's daily.
Where do I go from here? The obvious answer is that I continue my practice. But I don't want to stop there. These things that I've learned, the intentions I've set, the patience I've gained, they can go beyond the studio. No. They should go beyond the studio.
My next goal? To apply them to my writing. To accept when my writing sucks. To work through that. To acknowledge it and have gratitude toward myself for trying. To celebrate the days the words flow and I can't seem to put a cap on my creativity. But most importantly: to practice.
I need writing to be daily (or at least as close to daily as possible) like yoga is. I need it to be a practice, a discipline, a constant. And I need to give myself grace.
Thank you Hot Yoga East Nashville for giving me a space to learn these lessons--on and off the mat.