The past few weeks have proven particularly challenging. A gradual and persistent cold stealthily unloaded all its home furnishings from a microscopic U-haul truck and redecorated my sinuses. I'm all for new neighbors but this one keeps me up at night and in the early morning. Banging on the walls to tell them to turn down their raging party has had little to no effect. In return, there were several days that I thought about throwing in the towel on the March 30 day yoga challenge.
|Doodle by Amy Baranski.|
What happened was a series of visualizations and one realization.
Visualization #1: Day 30 - there's palpable excitement in the air. The teacher congratulates everyone who completed the 30 day challenge. There may be "goodies" in the studio. People clap and smile. I'm lying on my stomach in Savasana feeling like I don't deserve a pat on the back for participating. A single tear drops from the corner of my eye.
Visualization #2: Day 30 - after class I go to the big chart on the wall where we track our progress by awarding ourselves stars for each day we've completed. I look at the chart and the overwhelming number of stars it contains. I see a black-hole in this bones to skin mega-constellation. The black-hole sucks me into its disappointing depths. I try to cough up the hard and painful golf ball in my throat.
Visualization #3: Day 30 - I run into Melissa who's completed the 30 day challenge. She's ready to go out and celebrate. We go to Big Mario's for a slice and a pint. We toast. She says congratulations. I smirk and say I don't deserve it. I sit hunched over in the booth eating my pizza unsatisfied.
Ultimately finding little to no merit in this daydreams I decided they were unwarranted, uneeded, and competitive thoughts. I decided not to go to yoga and perpetuate some kind of competitive mind-fuck I was (now conciously) putting myself through. This felt like a real grown up decision, rational and self-loving.
After more consideration I thought, if I'm not doing the 30 day challenge "to win" then why did I really start it in the first place? I realized that for me, the purpose of the 30 day challenge has been about establishing a dedicated practice of yoga. Going 30 days in a row teaches my mind and my body to make room and space for yoga, no matter how late my neighbors keep me up at night. It forces me to not give up on this, like I have on so many other physical pursuits. It teaches my muscles to move every day and never let go of loving my body and my health. So I gathered my mat, towel, and water bottle and went. And I keep going and I will keep going and going.