Guest Post by Susan Dawson
There comes a point in everyone’s life where a daily yoga practice or some sort of stretch regime – becomes a necessity. Not a “gee, it would be fun to do the splits” aspiration but more of an “I need to stretch to function pain-free throughout the day.” Case in point, I pulled my neck a few months ago.
How did I do this? No, I wasn’t power lifting or participating in a challenge. I simply turned my head. Just a simple glance at my son, nothing dramatic, and a neck muscle spasm ensued. I had neglected my daily yoga practice and this, compounded by years of carrying my boy and coercing shoes or coats or hats on a unwilling toddlers hit me all at once. I’m always close to collapsing. I stretch through a yoga practice that often feels more like a boot camp than a calming image of a yogi on a mountain top.
We hold our Warrior poses or the (attempted) splits past my breaking point and then we go back and do a second set. Something that began as an excellent workout has now morphed into a means of self-preservation. I now employ a daily yoga practice for self-preservation. A daily yoga practice is a change of thinking for me. Often, I have an all or nothing attitude. If I cannot put aside one hour for yoga, why bother doing fifteen minutes? Time has taught me that each day is different, so three days of fifteen minutes per day is far better than forgoing stretching all together.
Some days I wake energetic and ready to tackle the world. Other days, I drag myself out of bed and am hurried to get my boy out the door for daycare. My daily yoga practice is just as varied. Some days it seems that every pose is effortless while other days I’m looking at the clock after 5 minutes. The important point is to show up – to practice every day. It is the only way change will come.