30 Days of “A Year of Living Your Yoga” — Day 28: 21 Days to You

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Welcome to Day 28 of my 30-day blog series based on Judith Hanson Lasater’s “A Year of Living Your Yoga.”

I will try to keep these posts to about 500 words. Here is the quote:

January 26 — Without discipline there is no art. the art of yoga comes from the consistency of discipline. Today, resolve to practice for the next twenty-one days without missing a single day. Note it on your calendar.

I’ve heard and have written about the premise of forming habits: 21 consecutive days is the root of starting a habit. I agree with it heartily.

I will admit this here: I don’t think there is one thing I’ve ever done 21 days in a row at the same time in years. Last year on the retreat, it came close: we were together for 16 days but 15 mornings.

Even this series, I’ve written a few posts in one day, so that I can clear my calendar. That’s cheating. Do you read each post every day for 21 days straight? If so, thank you.

This is a great idea and one that I should expand beyond my fitness routine. Back in 2006, I would wake at 6:00 am, have a banana, get on my ergometer and “row” 5,000 meters. It usually took me about 23 minutes. My routine varied (for instance one day I would row intervals, another day I would row steady state), as will each day we do the “same” thing, but the underlying concept, the “theme” of what we do does not vary.

So I’m going to do this. I’m going to take this seriously and commit to doing one thing, the same kind of thing, every day without fail.

What’s fun about this is that doing one same thing every day will actually create more irregularity, and more freedom in our lives: I don’t think it’s good that a cup of coffee tastes the same every day. No jog with the dog is the same as it was the day before and therefore, no repeated yoga program, will feel the same each day. I’ll sleep differently and feel differently each day, so why shouldn’t my yoga practice?

I’ll just do the poses and do what my body is telling me to do — for the entire practice. I would do this (unscripted) as a teacher, but I still feel a little green. I have to remember the opposite sides and limbs to repeat it for the other side; when I’m all alone, there’s no worry of messing up a side…. Perhaps I give myself too much pressure. Anyway, do this.

If you want to break a habit, don’t think of giving up something so much as getting something new instead. You’re not quitting smoking, you’re getting fresh air instead. You’re not stopping biting your nails, you’re getting a nice manicure at the end. I can say that for the yoga — an entire practice: meditation, pranayama, asanas, balancing, inversion, reclined stretches, svasana to meditation — each day will bring me closer to myself.

Let me know you commit to … let’s meet up in three weeks…

Thank you.

2 responses »

  1. I am trying to think of something I have done lately for 21 days straight. I am sure I have checked Facebook every morning for many days in a row. Not exactly a habit I planned to make or something I consciously chose to do. I think it would be good to actually choose something I wanted to become a daily habit. I will have to think about what I want that to be. My walking in the afternoon was a really good one. I think I did that for 21 days straight, but then with traveling I got out of the habit and in just a few days of not doing it have forgotten about it. I’ll probably choose to do that again. I was sleeping better when I did it.

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