At the beginning of 2017, I took it upon myself to begin a daily, at-home yoga practice. In times of stress or when my husband is traveling for extended periods, having this respite on my mat has been a lifesaver.
After we moved in the late summer of 2018, daily yoga became an immense struggle for me. When the foundation of your life is swept away and you are forced to build it up again, every last feeling you have managed to ignore or deflect surfaces on your mat. This has always been a part of the process and one I normally would welcome, but for some reason, with all the external changes in my life, it felt wrong somehow.
Daily yoga began to feel like a burden. When this happened, I knew I had to make a change.
I gave myself permission to skip a day. At first, this seemed like it went against everything I had worked so hard to achieve. I was disappointed in myself and had tremendous guilt over letting my yoga goals slip.
The first time I allowed myself a break it felt uncomfortable, but also a tiny sliver of relief cracked through me. When I returned to the mat the following day, I felt renewed. I felt a love for my practice that I was convinced had permanently vanished.
This day was a revelation for me.
From that day on, I now allow for an occasional ‘skip day’. It has made me feel more in control of what feels supportive to me and what does not. Some days, instead of rolling out my mat, I roll out some Ben and Jerry’s and binge watch movies. Sometimes Ben and Jerry’s feeds my soul in a way that a slew of vinyasas (yoga flows) cannot.
Ask yourself, what are you doing solely dedicated to your well-being? If the answer is not one thing, start there. Brainstorm ways to bring self-care into your daily orbit. Once you have that figured out, make it a priority but not to the extent that you beat yourself up if it doesn’t happen. This is when it crashes back on us and has the opposite of its intended effect. Start easy. I like a good journal, a walk outside or curling up with a book.
Here is the link to the free 30 day Yoga with Adriene challenge I am currently participating in:
In all fairness, I am two days behind. I don’t love that I have missed two days, but I am still making my way to my mat when I am able. On the days I practice, because I have thoroughly checked in with myself that it feels supportive, I enjoy it so much more.
Please, only check it out if you feel a spark in your heart to do so. If it feels like a ‘should’ instead of a genuine ‘want’, go ahead and pass on it. But, please, do not pass completely on the self-care.
Your well-being depends on it.
Written by Diana DeVaul, MSW and Parent