On the 5-hour bus ride home from a weekend yoga retreat in July, I got caught up on my pile of unread Runner's World magazines. The spring issue was dedicated largely to run streaks--running every single day-- featuring lots of different people who are in the midst of long streaks, including lots of old people. I was impressed and inspired, especially by this guy, Raven, who has run 8 miles every day since 1975! He's 69 years old and hasn't missed a day since he was 24. Not one. No excuses. Oh, and he cleans up trash on the beach as he runs.
In my month of Brahmacharya I had to list 3 things that brought me closer to my godliness, which I see as just my better self, and both running and yoga bring me there. A running streak doesn't make sense for me right now, physically and time-wise: my achilles tendons are nowhere near healed enough to run on every day, and running requires putting on particular clothes, leaving the house, sweating, and showering. Yoga, on the other hand, requires no special accessories or clothes, nor does it require I leave my house or shower afterwards. Plus, I've felt so disconnected from the practice that I've more or less built my paltry career around, so I hoped that committing to a streak of getting on the mat every single day would revitalize my connection to and enthusiasm for it.
I also needed to prove that I can keep a promise to myself that requires a semi-long-term commitment and discipline. I'm trying to think more about how I treat myself, in terms of how I treat my body, how I talk to myself, and how I either let myself down or boost myself up. My study in Brahmacharya challenged me to see myself as "holy", and although I couldn't quite get there, I am trying to regard myself as someone of value--high value--and worth holding in high respect. One way to do that is to keep commitments to myself.
So I committed to a yoga streak for as long as I could, but a minimum of 30 days.
Some of these daily practices are 10 minutes of deep lunges and a pigeon. Some are 15 min of legs up the wall. Some are nothing but child's pose and handstands. Each one serves an important purpose. I am tuning into what I and my body need, but balancing that with what my time and life can afford. This has been impactful and illuminating and is teaching me more about life balance than I've been able to glean from decades of barreling through life and alternately trying to fit everything in and eventually just giving everything up.