I’ve been putting myself through my own, home-grown yoga routine a few times each week in my home gym since the start of 2018, my Year of Strength. I’ve considered it a workout, though. Not a “practice.”
Now in my 26th day of 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene—here’s Day One, in case you’d like to play along—I’m starting to get the whole practice thing. It takes practice to advance, to build muscle memory, to achieve core strength.
Each day, after a regular workout of running or rowing or doing boot camp, I settle in on my mat for a little more work with Adriene.
I love Adriene. She is knowledgeable and also adorable. She thinks out loud, says goofy things, has a great wardrobe of yoga pants, and sometimes drives me crazy with how long she might hold a challenging position. And she chatters through it with instructions, making you want to tell her to be quiet.
When Jacques was practicing along with me, he was apt to bellow at her, “Shut the $#%@& up. Move on already.”
(It’s quieter now. Doing it without him.)
This 30 Days of Yoga thing helped Adriene build a brand out of herself. She has a wide library of yoga videos. There is yoga for runners—before, or after a run. There is a power yoga. There are videos that show you the fundamentals of each and every position. Hundreds of videos.
So, I am practicing with Adriene. I am definitely getting stronger and more flexible. I was a dancer for the first quarter century of my life, and Adriene is helping me regain some of the lost stretch.
Or shall I say, my yoga practice is helping me do that.
Yoga is about practice because for every position, there might be three or four or five varying ways to execute, with each option bringing a different level of difficulty. It’s good to see where your body needs to start, and where it can go. With practice.
While I am far more patient with Adriene than Jacques, I find that I lose it with her quickly when she is breathing—forever. Breathing for three minutes. Five. Lying still. Just breathing.
“Come on, girl,” I’m apt to say. “Get a move on. Time’s a wasting.”
But I have so much time, at this time.
What I am practicing most is being still. Learning how to relax. Breathe.
“Stay connected to your breath, my friends,” Adriene tells us.
I need a lot of work in this area, especially now, but I am breathing.
We must breathe through this bizarre time.
It will get better. Deep breath.
Everything will be okay. Deep breath.
Humanity will not change. Deep breath.
Life as we knew it will resume. Sometime. Deep breath.
In the words of sweet Adriene: Breathe, my friends.