Between dealing with the chikungunya virus, tonsillitis, gastroenteritis, and a bit of family drama, it’s been a rough couple of months. My yoga practice has been irregular and my strength (both mental and physical) has suffered. My eating habits and the goings-on of my digestive system deserve their own post entirely.
While my yoga practice has been less regular than it once was, it’s still there. I’ve had the opportunity to take a few more classes rather than only attending the ones I teach and it’s always such a lovely experience. I’ve learned to wear my glasses to class and take them off right before we begin. Without my glasses the world around me is a blur. No chance to gaze in the mirror and pick apart the bits of my body that “could be better,” no comparison of myself to others: “do my back muscles look like hers?” “I can fold way deeper than her,” or insert other bullshit here.
During these classes I’ve set a few more intentions for myself than I would have otherwise. One Sunday afternoon my intention was to have a practice that was “not perfect.” Wednesday’s intention was to “be easy” with myself. But the one I have come back to most frequently is the intention of grace. Treating myself with grace, feeling graceful in my breath and movement, seeing the grace and beauty within myself.
Fake it till you make it, right?
In all honestly, I feel graceful when I’m mindful of what I’m eating and practicing yoga regularly. But that isn’t always my reality. I’m working to feel that grace even when things aren’t “perfect,” when I’m eating a bag of Cheetos in the afternoon and just don’t feel like getting on the walking desk at the moment. Okay, that isn’t really graceful, but you get what I mean. It’s like when take off my glasses and let everything get all fuzzy and just accept everything exactly as it is, that’s living with grace.
I find participating in a yoga challenge on Instagram helps motivate me to stay in that mindful place. Madeleine motivates me during those times too, asking about that day’s yoga pose and helping me with creative ideas. A few days ago I thought to myself that I missed the #yogagirlchallenge and all it inspired. Then yesterday Maddie asked “what’s today’s theme?” and it just clicked. I told her I wasn’t currently doing a challenge but that we should make our own. She’s already come up with the initial pose; watch for it on November 30.
Our theme? #DecemberGrace. While this 31-day challenge will include asana, there are no hard and fast rules. Yoga travels off the mat, not only in the way we treat others but most importantly the way we treat ourselves. During each day capture some way you are treating yourself with grace. I’ll come up with a few suggestions as we go along. I’m not giving away free yoga pants or any other tangible prizes, just the reward of ending 2014 in a mindful and graceful way.
Please join us! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and include #DecemberGrace in your posts.