Sometimes I forget how much I love yoga.
Sometimes life is busy, and the weather is crappy, and pajamas feel like the only acceptable post-work attire. Sometimes leaving the house and venturing out into the world for a yoga class feels like the last thing you want to do after a long day at work.
Between work and teaching and other assorted life obligations, I feel like I’ve neglected my personal yoga practice for the past little while. I went to a class last night, and realized it was the first time I’d actually been to a yoga class as a student in almost a month.
Sure, I’ve done yoga. It’s part of my routine almost every single day. And I’ve taught classes, every Tuesday night. But actually going to a yoga class? It’s been a while.
I used to go to my Wednesday night class religiously, so much so that if I ever did miss a class, the next week people would be asking “where were you – are you alright?!”. I used to be at every yoga event that was on the go; if there was a community fundraiser or pop-up yoga in the park happening, I’d be there. Now, I can’t even remember the last drop-in class I’ve been to. (Actually, and I’m even more ashamed to say it, I think it was this year’s Yoga on George, which I left halfway through because it was cold and rainy and I’m kind of a wimp).
And it’s not that I feel guilty or less of a yogi for being MIA from class; like I said, I still do a fair bit of yoga on my own. But there is an enormous difference between a twenty-minute flow at home while the cat bites your ankle and a full, relaxing class at a studio surrounded by yogifriends.
I think I’ve been in a bit of a slump since coming home from Thailand. Coming home to the humdrum of everyday life after a month in paradise felt rough. Add on the early evenings and oncoming seasonal affective disorder gloom, and the general busy-ness of this time of year, and I just haven’t been feeling too great. When my always-ready-to-rant, go-to-person-for-bitching bestfriend mentioned I’d been kind of negative lately, I realized it was bad.
As usual in my life, yoga was the answer. Last night, ignoring the after-work uggggh I just want to stay at home with my cat feelings, I finally made it to class. I feel like that’s what’s been missing this past month. I’d been feeling both overwhelmed and bored with everything, and didn’t see how to fix it. Today I feel just a little bit better, like there are better days ahead. I know nothing’s magically changed overnight, and I’ve got some things to do and deal with if I want to be happier day-to-day, but yoga helps make that feel more manageable. Taking that hour last night to go to class and fully commit time to myself – and not worry and stress and overthink – gave me back some of the inner peace I’d been missing.
I knew yoga was important for my mental health, but I guess I’d been forgetting just how important lately. Dedicated time for my practice, with no distractions, amidst the good vibes of fellow yogis – that is essential. I need that reliable feel-good positivity in my week.
My lesson – and reminder to you, as well? Ignore the call of the pj’s. It’s easy to slip into a slump when you neglect the things that make you happy. Whether it’s going to a yoga class once or twice a week, or some other routine thing that keeps you sane – DO IT. Especially as the holidays get closer and other things seem more important – DO IT. You need to take care of yourself and your happiness, or else the rest of it falls to shit as well.
So, no more playing hooky from yoga (or whatever your happy calm magic thing is). No more dreaming of hibernating. Being a happier human starts with the little things.
See you in class, maybe? Yeah? I’ll be there.