Last week I had one of those days where I was in a funk. The day started just fine. Ok, to be honest, no it didn’t. I slept later than I wanted to, didn’t have time to make myself breakfast and then felt totally icky on the train ride from Westport to New York City. One thing led to another and my morning unraveled, no one’s fault but my own. While this was far from a life or death situation, I still let it rock me and as I walked from the Upper East Side to Grand Central (I had lots of time before my train), my mind just wouldn’t shut up and I had that ball of anxiety in my stomach.
I completely allowed for external situations to permeate my cool, calm exterior and push me far from center. My breath was shallow and my north star was far from sight. It started turning into one of those things where you are convinced the world is out to get you. And then came the busy mind chatter telling me I wasn’t working hard enough, I wasn’t communicating enough, I wasn’t a friend/daughter/sister/girl
friend/teacher enough. Somehow, a bad morning, turned into … I’m not good enough!
I returned home to get some work done, completely unable to focus. Heck, I wasn’t even hungry for lunch. And then I remembered – while I had already completed my daily meditation, I still had to do my daily yoga. “Ugh, do I have to?” I thought to myself. Yes, yes you have to! After much self talk I put on my warmest yoga pants (my apartment was freezing), made a cup of tea, lit a candle, turned on some yoga jams and stood in my designated yoga spot, facing the Christmas tree in my living room. (Please note: that you do not need tea, candles, and jams to do your home yoga practice. But in this instance, I needed all the help I could get.)
I set my alarm for 10 minutes, took a deep breath and … all of a sudden I was in it. I was smiling, twisting, lunging, downward-dogging, playing with inversions, taking restorative backbends, and finally relishing in the sweetness of it all.
As I lay in corpse pose I remembered once again that THIS is why I do yoga. THIS is why I meditate. Tiny tears welled up in my eyes. And would you believe it? My 10 minute practice turned into a 40 minute practice! The rest of my evening I felt like a brand new being. My funk was totally broken – yoga had won!
I share this with you primarily because it is a reminder that: no one is perfect. We will have our good days but guaranteed, we will also have our bad days where nothing seems to go as planned. The wonderful gift that yoga brings is a reminder to let go of what didn’t go our way, to let go of the pain of the past and the anxiety of the future and live in the present moment of the breath and of the asanas.
The next time you experience a funk or a bad day, remember that as you go through the process of the 31 Day Challenge you are cultivating some truly powerful tools to help hone you back in and bring you back to center … possibly even crack a smile. You have all shared so many powerful reasons for participating in this process so that when you feel you are being pushed off track, when you lose sight of your New Years resolutions or goals, you can find your way back with a little yoga and meditation. And remember, we are always here for you!
by Maggie Converse