What I said, in essence:
Thank you for coming. You may be here because you've made a New Year resolution.
Say you discover that, resolution notwithstanding, you stop going to yoga classes after February. Please don't be discouraged. Don't get down on yourself if this is what happened last year and the year before that. Keep on making New Year resolutions, anyway, okay?
Change is hard. Effort counts. Keep trying. Congratulate yourself, please, for getting up and coming to yoga today when you could have stayed at home.
I started practicing yoga in 1993. I have never been someone who practices everyday. I have a kid; the mornings are jammed with things to do, I am often zonked by the late evening. Sometimes, the only time I practice is in the middle of the night, when I wake up and can't get back to sleep again.
But I've been more or less consistent. One suggestion: Give yourself 30 minutes a day for self-directed practice. My rule is at least 30 minutes, before breakfast. I get to choose what I do during that time -- one or more from the following:
- go for a walk,
- read a book of poems or part of a sacred text (the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita),
- write in my journal,
- sit in meditation, and/or
- practice yoga asana.
Start with that. Some days, you will have more time. Some days, you'll discover you have been so engaged in what you're doing, that you forgot to stop.
Notice, in a few weeks' time, what has happened for you. If you're feeling more vibrant, vital, happy. Keep it up!
reflections on 20 years (10/22/16)
The class was held in Studio E, at the first location for the Piedmont Yoga Studio— south of where You and The Mat currently is, past 41st and across the street, behind Hassan's flower stand, opposite Gaylord’s. Have you heard Richard Rosen wax nostalgic? The Piedmont Yoga Studio first opened its doors in 1987. It was a small studio. It could fit about 24 students, realistically — but Rodney Yee would say yes to you even if you showed up late— and then you’d be doing downward-facing dog in the foyer and when it came time to pack up, people would spill down the stairs into the courtyard. There were retaining pillars in the middle of the room— the best way to use them was to place students in viparita karani and strap their legs to the pillar— that kept them quiet and deepened their breath. Richard always mentions that he and Rod put in the flooring— having bought the stuff at Ace or some such place. It was named Studio E because by then Rodney and Donna Fone had had their first child— Evan. When they opened the next studio upstairs in the early 90s, they called it Studio A. That initial was for their second, Adesha.
Here it is — 20 years later. We’re looking a bit worse for wear but still holding up, the veterans of the early days at the Piedmont Yoga Studio. There’s not many of us around, I’m afraid. If you’re out there, come say hi, call or pop me an email. We need to hug and be glad that we’re still at it. Yoga — it’s a good thing to be doing for decades. Don’t you think?