yoga every day

10 things I became in 2010:

  • More relaxed
  • More positive
  • More aware in the present
  • More energy
  • Better health
  • Better sleep
  • Better breathing
  • Better focus
  • 25 pounds less body weight
  • aware of how noisy the world can be and that silence is the sweetest sound of all

These were not my goals.

My goal for the year was to do yoga every day.

The first few weeks in January 2010 were a little creaky.  Then it got much easier, much more fluid.  After a year, it still gets easier, and better, every day.

There were a few days that were so busy I only took ten minutes for the practice.  Most days, I spent about 30 or 40 minutes.  Some days, when I was a bit tired, or if I had a little time on my hands, I’d spend lots of time in savasana and my practice would last 90 minutes.

I admit, there were days I watched The Daily Show and The Colbert Report while doing yoga.  Sometimes I played Terry Oldfield’s Yoga Harmony.  Mosty, I used silence as my soundtrack.

I’ve taken many classes here in Salisbury from Anne Edwards, and a few others, and read books, and watched many videos, but I basically use the same routine I learned from Charlotte Troxel, in 1974, at her yoga studio at Reynolda Village, when I was a freshman at Wake Forest.

This was not a college course, and this was before yoga became fashionable.  I was reading the bulletin boards on campus one day and saw a small notice about a “gentle, non-exertive exercise.”

I was a tennis player and jogger, and never stretched.  At age 18, I could not get close to touching my toes.  I remember Charlotte telling me that my legs were tight, and that “tightness in the body represents tightness of the mind.”  I’ve been practicing yoga ever since.

Yoga is popular now and there’s plenty published about the benefits.

Not so, back then.  I remember doing yoga stretches between tennis matches and hearing people warn me that I could hurt my back.  I once asked an orthopedic surgeon (at the tennis courts) if he thought yoga was good for you.  “Be very, very careful with that,” he said.

My practice became sporadic when I reached the age of 25 and became a father.  With children in the house, quite time was hard to come by.

Now, 29 years later, I’m back to the daily routine — and it’s great.

In 2009, my goal was to walk 10k steps each day.  In 2010, it was yoga every day.  I’ve got one for 2011 — but I hesitate to say what it is.  Let’s see if I do it, first.

2009 goals. 2010 goals.

Today is the last day of the year.

My resolution for 2009 was to walk 10,000 steps per day, each day of the year.

I’m happy to report that I did this.

There were a few days that fell short, usually by just a few steps.  But I always made up the difference the next day.

Once, I was tired and accidentally fell asleep and came up 4,000 steps short.  The next day, I walked 14,000 steps.

A couple of times, my odometer pressed too hard against the other stuff in my pocket and reset itself.  This happened late in the day when I had over half the steps complete. Because the goal of 10k steps per day has become such an obsession, I went ahead and walked the extra steps until the device hit 10k.

There was also the day my odometer battery died and I was too far along to start over.  I did some estimating that day and feel confident I was over the required number.

It’s interesting how I developed a real sense for how many steps I had walked.  When I check my pedometer, I’m never surprised.  I can almost always get within a few hundred steps of how far I’ve walked that day.

I developed a sore toe about two or three weeks into the year (last January).  Almost one year later, it’s still a little sore, but improving.  I rarely notice it.

I did have to get a new pair of shoes in July, for my birthday.  Probably will do so again in the next couple of months.

Next year, I plan to keep the same goal.

Problem is, I didn’t take time to stretch and, with all that walking, had a few creaky days wherein I did not feel so young.

I’ve always loved yoga.  Started when I was 19 years old, as a sophomore in college, where I took a class in a wonderful studio in Reynolda Village in Winston-Salem.  But with all the walking this year, I neglected taking the time for yoga.

So this year I’m adding daily yoga in 2010 to the New Years Resolution.  This goal comes with some qualification.  In order to make it count as a daily practice,  I won’t ask myself to do a full routine — 30 to 90 minutes — if things are too busy.   I’ll do ten minutes and call it yoga.  I started this a week ago and it works out well.  Ten minutes is not ideal, but it still makes a huge difference.  When time allows, I’ll practice longer.

As for today, the last day of the year — time for a walk.