Why I still need yoga every damn day.

20 April 2017 by
First published: 24 November 2016

Here’s why I still need yoga every damn day. Last month I shared 10 reasons why I need yoga every damn day. I talked about how my busy life had left me worn down, lacking energy and a little bit sore. I needed more balance in my life, and I reckoned yoga was the way to get there. Yoga. Every. Damn. Day.

So how have I been getting on? It’s been a challenge. I read somewhere that it takes 50 days of dedicated practice to form a habit. That’s a long time. Longer than I’ve been attempting to do more yoga, and I won’t lie, there have been some slips. I’ve got really good at making sure I schedule in a couple of classes every week, trying to mix it up and keep things interesting by checking out different studios and trying different styles, but if I don’t have a class booked I don’t always remember to take myself to the mat. The habit is very much still being learnt!

So, I’m not as diligent in hitting the mat as I’d like to be, but I’m sure that’ll come with time. However, other yoga habits have come much more easily. There’s one class I always make time for: Free Range Yoga at Bullfinch Brewery – and at the end of every month our teacher, Victoria, talks to us about ocean breathing. Ocean breathing, or Ujjayi breath, is a breath technique that is balancing and calming. It increasing oxygenation, builds warmth in the body and helps you to stay present, self aware and grounded through your practice. I find it amazingly meditative, and recently I’ve found myself almost subconsciously turning to the practice in moments of stress (of which there have been many lately). It’s a little weird to be making ocean noises at your desk, but it’s by far one of my most valuable learnings on this journey to date.

Something else I’ve learnt is that I really enjoy yin and restorative yoga practice. I love how meditative and calming (are we seeing a trend here?!) it is to hold postures for longer periods of time, working deeply into each pose. It’s something I’d never tried before I started to take my yoga practice more seriously, and I’m really glad I’ve had the opportunity to explore that side of the yoga.

While I set out to do yoga every day, what’s actually happened is I’ve set out on a journey to develop a yoga practice. To incorporate yoga more meaningfully into my everyday life and to think about it more. So, while I’ve ostensibly ‘failed’ because I don’t make it to the mat every day, in other ways I feel like I’m making good progress because I’m learning what yoga means to me. For me it’s about the mental benefits over the physical benefits. It’s about slowing down. It’s about breathing, it’s so much about breathing!

Physically I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more aware of my body. I notice little changes, like tightening in my shoulders, I might not have picked up before, and I’m keener to make sure my body is well cared for (at least that’s how I’m justifying my new massage habit!). Likewise, I’ve become more aware of changes to my emotional wellbeing and am working on how I can use my yoga practice to manage those changes, something I’ve not always excelled at.

My yoga practice is becoming a part of my lifestyle, and it’s making me think more about how I live and what I value. It’s helping me achieve my goal of having more balance and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.