commitment

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on commitment

commitment

A few days ago, I completed the final day of my 50 Day Yoga Marathon.  I had been feeling a bit disconnected and uninspired with both my teaching and my own personal practice, and decided I needed to do something about it.  I needed to recommit to a daily practice.  While I do think I tend to have a good sense of “will power” so to speak (read: steadfast control issues), I knew that it would help me to bring others on board to help me to stay accountable to this goal.  I created a Facebook group and invited a few people that I had met along my yoga journeys, and a handful of us set sail into the 50 Day commitment, holding space for one another’s desire to get back into the thick of things and rediscover a passion of the practice.

My daily practices over the 50 days took many different forms.  I took some public classes, I stepped up my involvement in some of my own led classes, I dug deeper into the yogaglo.com repertoire and explored classes by lots of different teachers in different styles, I navigated my own personal practice and tackled some poses that were like those proverbial dangling carrots, laying just beyond my reach.  I was also very fortunate to slip away for a 3 day retreat at Kripalu to study with Shiva Rea.  I also practiced a variety of different styles.  When I was feeling particularly strong and motivated, I loved digging into 90 minute vinyasa flow classes with fun peak poses and interesting transitions.  When I was feeling more sluggish, slower and deeper classes did the trick.  I also took my first full yin class and found it quite challenging as it stood in such sharp contrast to my “yoga is movement” regimen.

At around the halfway point of the challenge, I was unexpectedly forced to surf a pretty big emotional wave (aren’t they always unexpected?).  I felt as if I had been placed within a hall of mirrors, and my inner guide was confused and lost.  I know that had I not fully committed to this yoga marathon, I would have balked and used this shake-up as a pretty fantastic excuse to step away and turn inward in other ways.  I would have also believed that stepping away was what I needed to be doing.  But I had made a commitment, and so I kept showing up on my mat.  I chose classes that explored emotional themes, respected the feeling state of the practice rather than the pose-oriented or achievement-based, type-A practices I had previously been so drawn towards.  I hadn’t realized how badly I needed my yoga, and how readily my yoga could take the shape of my medicine.  I felt strong and spacious and capable.  Without my yoga, I believe I could have quite easily slipped into a place of deep self-pity, blame and disconnection, and instead felt the courage to sit with whatever came up.  Around this time, I also experienced a stress-induced dip in immunity and found myself also have to deal with illness.  Again, rather than going to my usual “I’m sick, so no yoga” place, I remained dedicated and selected classes that helped to calm my nerves and boost my immunity.  I began each class with the feeling that the yoga was going to be miserable, and was surprised to find just how much better I felt after some gentle yin.  This was a Eureka! moment for me.  In the future, when I’m feeling low energy, sick, lethargic or depressed, I must turn towards my mat, not away from it, to find my way through.

Despite having practiced for the last 15 years, despite having taught for nearly 7, I am still surprised by the power of the practice.  I am so grateful to have found this tool and am humbled to know I’m still in the early days of uncovering its vast utility.

Beginning on Monday I will begin my next 50 day dedication.  I will commit to spending time each day in meditation, and also making space for gratitude.  Follow my daily gratitude journal on Facebook.

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.