Last Tuesday, I rolled out my mat and was twenty minutes into my practice when my brain yelled "ENOUGH! I'VE HAD ENOUGH!" So, I rolled up my mat and called it a day. Five minutes later my period started and everything made sense. The why of that making sense is a completely other story. The next day, knowing that I'd have a hard time being disciplined enough to be on my mat alone, I went to a class. It was a good class. The end. No really, the end because I left my mat in my office at work over the holiday. I did not see my mat for four days after that class. Four days later, I roll out my mat and once again my brain starts telling me it's time to stop. This time I've barely even finished a round of sun salutations. Then I remember that it's December and the months ahead are just going to gradually become more and more difficult until April or the end of March if I'm lucky.
This is the time of year my daily practice becomes a once a week if I'm kicking myself in the pants kind of practice. When this happens I start reorganizing time and space. I think about moving my yoga practice to the mornings. I could move breakfast back an hour. I don't have to be at work at 7:30 in the mornings. I could carve out a small space for myself in the bedroom or I could go to the gym. Yoga at home is darn near impossible between Josephine and Michael's four different alarm clocks. My best bet would be to just head to the gym and eat breakfast at work afterward. Still I can't make the puzzle fit all together as well as I'd like to because Josephine needs my attention in the mornings and sometimes Michael needs to be nudged out of bed despite his four different alarms (though I'm really tempted to leave him be because FOUR ALARMS, come on).
This is the time of year where I am reminded of the balance of how important being on my mat is even if it's twenty minutes and cutting myself a little slack. This is where I remember that yoga is not just about doing all of the poses or even the hardest poses. I am a creature that should be hibernating through these months and my yoga practice should reflect that. More seated poses and less asanas and less guilt over skipping some asanas. Today, I spent forty minutes on my mat. I ended my practice with five minutes of meditation instead of a savasana. Tomorrow, I will roll out my mat and I will not set the stop watch on my phone to track my time. I will just be present and still and kind to myself. I will remember that I do this for me and no one else.
This is the time of year that remind myself how much I love my practice and how much it loves me.